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Daesh on the Verge of Collapse, Iraq Makes its Own Decisions: PMU Spox

Daesh on the Verge of Collapse, Iraq Makes its Own Decisions: PMU Spox
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Zeinab Daher

In the latest developments taking place along the Iraqi border, the Iraqi forces, along with Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], are making rapid advances in their battle to liberate the country and eradicate Daesh [ISIS/ISIL] terrorists from it.

Daesh on the Verge of Collapse, Iraq Makes its Own Decisions: PMU Spox

In this respect, al-Ahed News website managed to conduct an exclusive interview with the Spokesperson of the Hashd Sha'abi, the Arabic name of the PMU, Hajj Ahmad al-Assadi, who told us that the PMUs are still gaining progress in al-Ba'aj after many areas have been liberated in the last days.

Hajj Ahmad al-Assadi, Abo Ja'afar, made clear that the units liberate between 10 and 15 towns on a daily basis. "Now we are gaining advances on the border towards al-Anbar, al-Qaem and al-Walid. Now, some 30 kilometers on the border line have been liberated, in addition to many towns on the eastern border."

Daesh on the Verge of Collapse, Iraq Makes its Own Decisions: PMU Spox

"The Iraqi-Syrian border stretches along 600 kilometers, some 100 or 150 kilometers are controlled by Kurdish forces, the rest 450 kilometers have long been controlled by Daesh gangs over the previous years. The Hashd Forces reached the borders, the first time Iraqi armed forces reach this point, even the al-Ba'aj desert haven't been controlled by the government since 2003. It is the first time Iraqi official forces, the Popular Mobilization Units, control this area. The areas controlled by Daesh cover some 450 kilometers. We started cleaning this area downward covering 30 kilometers. It is also possible that we are backed up in the southern part moving northward. Therefore, there remain some 400 kilometers that are not yet controlled by the PMU, yes they are a target for liberation."

Commenting on the successive victories achieved against Daesh, al-Assadi stressed that they are part of a strategic victory bearing that those border points have not been controlled by any central government forces since 2003. "The area was rather open to terrorist gangs moving between Syria and Iraq for more than ten years."

Daesh on the Verge of Collapse, Iraq Makes its Own Decisions: PMU Spox

"Reaching the borders, especially after they announced their proclaimed caliphate in the region, and due to their presence in this mutual area between Iraq and Syria, and cleaning this vast desert with all its towns and districts, and starting to close the borders gradually means that the superstition of Daesh has come to an end.

"It is a declaration that those terrorist groups has come to an end, in addition to announcing that they won't be able to return to the area. As long as the PMUs, backed by Iraqi aerial force, and the border guards will join us in the coming days, we have ended the years-long superstition."

On the western side, Hajj Ahmad al-Assadi noted that "it is still controlled by Daesh gangs on the Syrian borders, which means that reaching this region, cutting off the borders and besieging them inside the Syrian northeastern borders will facilitate the process to get rid of them and boost the Syrian Arab Army and its allies to gain progress in those regions."

Daesh on the Verge of Collapse, Iraq Makes its Own Decisions: PMU Spox

As for coordination with the Syrian government, al-Assadi stressed there is a good level of coordination between both governments, noting that when developments speed up, coordination intensifies between both governments and armies combatting terrorism in the region.

"I expect after controlling the borders completely, cooperation will reach its highest levels and those terrorist groups will be surrounded in the remaining areas of the Syrian desert."

Daesh's End A Matter of Time

After Daesh has lost more than 90% of the lands it is controlling in the west of Mousl, al-Assadi emphasized that the end of Daesh became a matter of time. "It is besieged now, but as it always does, the more it is besieged, the more it takes numbers of civilians to be either used as human shields or terrified to be shown to the world. It is estimated that in west of Mosul there are some 100,000 civilians being used by Daesh to prevent us from using any kind of heavy weapons that certainly have a great effect in ending the battle. Daesh is also using civilians at the same time to terrify them and hinder our fighters from making progress to end its presence in that area."

"The coming days are certainly the final days of Daesh, but this terrorist organization is very brutal, which means that liberating the area from them won't happen without losses," al-Assadi noted.

Daesh on the Verge of Collapse, Iraq Makes its Own Decisions: PMU Spox

Iraq is a Sovereign State, It Takes Its Own Decision

Whether the US rejects or accepts Iraqi forces' progress on the border line, al-Assadi stressed that "there are still many areas that need to be cleaned after finishing the battles in al-Ba'aj; however, when it comes to the borders, Iraq is an independent and sovereign state. Iraq takes its independent decision regarding its armed forces, despite possible pressures from here or there, the decision remains and Iraqi one and no pressures would prevent the PMUs from gaining further progress in the field, al-Assadi pointed out."

"The Iraqi leadership's decision is clear. We want to move forward to clean the entire border area. On the ground, we are in a front position. However, there are fierce clashes on the borders because Daesh terrorists are defying death because they know it is their decisive end before closing the borders and announcing the great victory against those terrorist groups," al-Assadi concluded.

Finally, the man reassured that this year will be the year during which Daesh will be eradicated.

Al-Ahed News