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Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitaries seize air base from Islamic State

Ahmed Rasheed writes for Reuters:

Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitaries captured an air base from Islamic State militants on Thursday, gaining a strategic foothold in the western desert as they push towards the Syrian border.

While regular Iraqi security forces engage in gruelling urban combat inside Mosul, the paramilitaries have been advancing against Islamic State through thinly populated terrain to the southwest.

Last week, the paramilitary groups, known collectively as Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), or Hashid Shaabi, launched an offensive to retake the Qairawan district, around 95 km west of Mosul.

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