A senior commander of the Iraqi volunteer forces disclosed that Hashd al-Shaabi has been commissioned to a new operational axis in the Mosul liberation operation.
"Hashd al-Shaabi is now in charge of another operational axis in addition to the Western axis," Rayan al-Kaldani told FNA on Wednesday.
He noted that the Iraqi volunteer forces will take hold of the operational axes of banks of al-Zab River which includes important regions such as al-Hamdanieh and al-Khezr.
Al-Kaldani noted that Hashd al-Shaabi is waiting for Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, who is also commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces, to open a new chapter in the Mosul liberation operation titled "Nineveh, We Are Coming".
He said that the importance of the Western and Southwestern parts of Mosul lies in the fact that the ISIS supply routes from Mosul to Syria, specially Raqqa, pass through these two axes.
On Tuesday, the Iraqi volunteer forces admitted that the battle to retake the city of Mosul from ISIL, which has entered its second month, could actually take longer despite Iraqi officials' optimism about a close victory.
Those who believe that battle of Mosul is going to end quickly are deluded, Hadi al-Ameri, a senior al-Hashd commander and secretary-general of Badr Organization, said the remarks in a televised interview on the battlefield in Mosul, Iraqi News reported.
The battle will last longer than expected, but will eventually see the city liberated from ISIL, he added.
Iraqi officials and military generals have voiced optimism that Iraq's second largest city would be recaptured soon, saying that the forces had so far retaken 40 out of at least 60 districts in the city's Eastern section, the Eastern shore of the Tigris River.
The Iraqi forces, meanwhile, have been taking up the fight for the city's West, where ISIS maintain holdouts near their strongholds in Syria.
Commanders of military operations said recently that the forces had ended a first phase of their campaign and were preparing for a second phase that would see changed tactics and offensives on all directions to retake Central Mosul from ISIL militants.
However, operations have slowed down over the past few days due to bad weather conditions and ferocious resistance from ISIL combatants who rely on explosive traps and suicide bombings.
Source: Al Alam