Shiite militias launch operation against Isis in town near Mosul
Shiite militias have launched an attack on the Islamic State group west of the Iraqi city of Mosul but reiterated that they would not enter the Sunni majority city.
Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the state-sanctioned Hezbollah Brigades, said they launched an offensive on Saturday along with other militias towards the town of Tel Afar, which had a Shiite majority before it fell to IS in 2014.
He said Iranian forces are advising the fighters and Iraqi aircraft are providing air strikes.
Iraq launched a massive operation to retake militant-held Mosul, its second largest city, last week. The involvement of the Shiite militias has raised concerns the battle could aggravate sectarian divisions.
Mr al-Husseini said the militias will focus on Tel Afar and on securing the western border with Syria.