The spokesperson of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, Ahmad Al-Asadi, announced on Monday that "if the Popular Mobilization Units hadn't fought in the Syrian territories for six years, the Syrian regime would have fallen into the hands of ISIS (Daesh)."
In a press conference held in Baghdad, Al-Asadi said that the "Popular Mobilization Forces that have been fighting in the Syrian territories for six years have been playing a major role in preventing terrorism from reaching Iraq".
He added that "without these factions and their fighting, we might have seen the Syrian regime fall into the hands of terrorist gangs, and perhaps the map, including that of the Middle East, would have changed."
Many Shiite Iraqi, Lebanese, Afghan and Iranian armed factions are fighting alongside the Syrian regime in several regions.
The Iraqi government asserts that any armed Shiite factions fighting outside the Iraqi border do not represent the country.
On June 18, the Syrian army forces and Popular Mobilisation Forces met on the border of the two countries in Anbar province for the first time since Daesh expanded across the border.
And about the battle to liberate Tal Afar, west of Mosul, Al-Asadi explained that "the Popular Mobilization Forces will participate with its brigades and factions in the battle to liberate the district of Tal Afar. The date of the operation launch has already been set and it will be in the next few days".
He explained that "the Popular Mobilization Forces will participate in the operation under the air cover provided exclusively by the Iraqi Air Force, because we do not fight under the air cover provided by the International Alliance".
Since the battle for Mosul ended on 10 July, Iraqi forces have been preparing to launch an attack on Tal Afar, about 65 kilometers west of Mosul, yet it is still unclear when the campaign will take place.