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Iraqi Shia Militia Could Help Fighting Daesh in Syria, Iraq's VP Says

© AP Photo / Anmar KhalilIraqi Security forces and allied Popular Mobilization forces take combat positions during a military operation to regain control of Islamic State group held town of Besher outside the oil-rich city of Kirkuk (File)
Iraqi Security forces and allied Popular Mobilization forces take combat positions during a military operation to regain control of Islamic State group held town of Besher outside the oil-rich city of Kirkuk (File) - Sputnik International
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Iraqi Shia militia may help in combatting Daesh terrorists in war-torn Syria after defeating the radical Islamist group in Iraq, Iraqi Vice President Nouri Maliki said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Hashd al-Shaabi, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Shia militia may provide their help in fighting Daesh in Syria after defeating the terrorists at home, Maliki said.

"If we can be successful against Daesh and liberate our soil, we can go into Syria if our brothers there need help against Daesh," Maliki told journalists as quoted by Anadolu news agency.

The PMF is currently tasked with clearing from terrorists the city Tal Afar 40 miles west of Mosul.

A soldier from Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces looks from the gun turret of a Humvee as troops gather on the edge of the Shuhada neighborhood in Islamic State-held Fallujah, Iraq - Sputnik International
Iraqi Troops Eliminate Police Station Attackers in Samarra City - Reports
The PMF is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of 40 predominantly Shiite militias with reportedly up to 100,000 members. It has been subjected to criticism from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among other Sunni states, for fomenting sectarian discord.

The Iraqi government has rejected the accusations.

Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting Syrian opposition groups striving to overthrow the president. Damascus is also fighting numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as the Jabhat Fatah al Sham and Daesh, both outlawed in Russia. According to the United Nations, at least 300,000 Syrians have died since the beginning of the conflict.

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