SHIITE HASHD SHAABI FORCES WITHDRAW FROM OIL TOWN IN CENTRAL IRAQ

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The predominantly Shiite paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, began the withdrawal from the Sunni oil refinery town of Baiji, in Iraq's central province of Salahudin.

"Brigades of Hashd Shaabi began the withdrawal, from areas in the west of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, in addition, from the nearby oil refinery complex and al-Fat'ha area," a source from Salahudin's provincial Operation Command said.

The withdrawal came after a meeting between the command, the Hashd Shaabi and paramilitary Sunni tribal brigades, the source said. The Sunni tribal brigades will temporarily replace the Hashd Shaabi brigades, until the Iraqi army forces are deployed in the area, he added.

About two weeks ago, Salahudin's provincial council, urged Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, to pull the Hashd Shaabi out of the provincial cities and their checkpoints on the main roads of the province, because they started to be a "threat to civil peace" there.

The key cities of Salahudin Province, including Tikrit, located some 170 km north of the capital Baghdad, were captured by the Daesh in Jun, 2014, before the Iraqi army freed the province during major offensives.

Meanwhile, Saadi Nasir, deputy commander of the Hashd Shaabi operations, in the western part of Anbar, said, the artillery of the Hashd Shaabi, pounded the Daesh positions in border areas, inside neighbouring Syria.

"The coordination is high between the security forces and Hashd Shaabi, in monitoring any movements of the organisation on the Syrian side," Nasir said in a statement.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK