A Shi’ite paramilitary force said late on Tuesday it will support the Iraqi army’s offensive on Mosul, Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq, raising the risk of sectarian strife in the mainly Sunni region. The Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), a coalition of mostly Iranian-trained militias, said it will back government forces advancing toward Tal Afar, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of Mosul.
Tal Afar’s population was a mix of Sunni and Shi’ite ethnic Turkmens until Shi’ites fled the town after Islamic State’s ultra-hardline Sunni militants took over the region in 2014, declaring a ”caliphate” over parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria. The PMF also said it will be supporting the armed forces advancing into the city of Mosul from the west.
sauce via IrisWest