A senior member of the Hashd al-Sha’bi Iraqi Shia militia says that 6,000 of its militants will deploy to the Taza Khurmatu and Daquq areas, southern Kirkuk Province soon, where they will launch an attack on Islamic State (IS) at the Bashira front.
An unnamed Hasd al-Sha’bi lieutenant on Wednesday told BasNews that IS has recently increased its presence in the province.
“Shakir Walid, a deputy of IS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has left Tikrit, in Salahaddin Province, for Kirkuk where he will lead IS attacks in Kirkuk province, posing a threat to areas around Daquq and Taza Khurmatu,” said the lieutenant.
He continued, “In order to prevent IS capturing land, 6,000 Shia Hashd al-Sha’bi militia, equipped with heavy weapons, will be deployed in Taza Khurmatu and Daquq soon, under the leadership of Hadi Amri [The leader of Shiite militia group Badr Brigade].”
He revealed that their first operation will be to liberate Bashira.
BasNews recently reported that the increase of Shia militia groups in the disputed territories, especially in Kirkuk province, has angered Kurds. There is a widely held belief that once IS have been pushed back from the areas, clashes will flare between Kurdish and Shia forces.