Iraqi paramilitary troops say they have pushed ISIS out of several villages west of Mosul as moving towards Iraq’s border with Syria.
Baghdad is aiming to control the border area with Syria in coordination with the Syrian army. Linking up the two sides would give Syrian government a significant advantage in fighting ISIS.
In March, experts estimated the strength of the Iran-allied Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq to be between 100,000 and 120,000 fighters. The PMU is also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and Hashd al-Shaabi.