Pro-government fighters of Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi thwarted on Wednesday a planned attack by Islamic State militants on security forces in a village on the Iraqi-Syrian border, leaving 43 terrorists dead and wounded, like reported by iraqinews.com.
“Iraqi artillery targeted a hotbed grouping IS militants in the village of Baghuz on the Iraqi-Syrian border after receiving intelligence reports about a plot by those extremists to attack security forces,” Almaalomah news website quoted Commander of Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi operations in Western Anbar Qassim Mosleh as saying.
“The artillery shelling left 43 IS militants dead and wounded, and destroyed a large number of weaponry and armored vehicles that were planned to be used in the attack on the security forces,” he added.
Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.
Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi, an alliance of volunteer Shia paramilitary forces, actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against IS since 2014, when they were formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.
They won official recognition as a national force in late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.