At least six members of the Hashd al-Shaabi forces have been reported killed in an attack carried out by the ISIL (ISIS) group in Iraq’s Salahuddin province.
According to Iraqi state media early on Saturday, clashes erupted between the paramilitary unit, also known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, and ISIL on several fronts in the town of Mekeeshfa.
The attack in the province just north of the capital Baghdad is one of the largest ISIL attacks since the armed group was defeated in December 2017.
The final casualty count on both sides remains unknown, but there were unconfirmed reports showing higher number of fatalities.
Iraq forces and Hashd said they have now taken control of the situation, pushing back ISIL fighters.
Footage published by Hashd Shaabi reportedly showing ongoing clashes between PMF forces and ISIL. pic.twitter.com/V4NAsAThJh
— Arwa Ibrahim (@arwaib) May 2, 2020
The government has also sent reinforcement to supplement efforts and prepare for possible retaliatory attacks.
Hashd, founded as a loose network of Shia-majority factions, played a crucial role in defeating ISIL, which occupied a large swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria between 2014 and 2017.
ISIL attacks in Iraq have been on the rise since April compared to previous months this year.
More details soon.