Iraq: Hashd Al-Shaabi foils ISIS capture of oil wells in Diyali

Head of the security committee at Diyali governor-general’s office Sadeq al-Hosseini told the Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh website on Tuesday that Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) forces in Naft Khaneh region in Eastern Ba’aqoubah repelled the ISIL plot to occupy the oil wells in the region.

He added that Hashd al-Shaabi adopted the strategy of line of fire in its recent operations to confront the ISIS attacks against the oil-rich region of Naft Khaneh and adjacent areas.

“Hashd al-Shaabi plays a strategic role in establishment of security in Diyali and is in control of an extensive area in the province which sometimes witnesses activities of the remnants of the ISIS terrorists,” al-Hosseini said.

Hashd al-Shaabi continues fight against the ISIS while the US fighter jets shrug off targeting the terrorists’ hideouts in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq.

A security source at Hashd al-Shaabi command center told al-Ma’aloumeh news website that the US fighters in Northern al-Anbar near the province of Saladdin close their eyes on ISIS moves, adding that the US indifference has entailed negative impacts on the province’s security and stability.

“The US fighters fly for a long time over these regions but they refrain from bombing the ISIS centers,” a move that runs counter to the US forces’ main excuse for their presence at Ein al-Assad airbase, he said.

Hashd al-Shaabi  is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 militias that are mostly Shia Muslim groups, but also including Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi individuals as well. The popular mobilization units have fought in nearly every major battle against ISIS. It has been called the new Iraqi Republican Guard after it was fully reorganized in early 2018 by its then-Commander in Chief Haider al-Abadi. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued “regulations to adapt the situation of the Popular Mobilization fighters,” giving them ranks and salaries equivalent to other branches of the Iraqi military.