US military forces have reportedly conducted an operation and arrested a leader of tribal fighters affiliated to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic name Hashad al-Sha’abi, in the country’s western province of Anbar.
An unnamed security source said US troops carried out an airdrop operation in al-Shuhada neighborhood of al-Baghdadi district, located west of the city of Hit, on Monday, and detained Sheikh Mu’di Karab al-Samarmad al-Ubaidi, the Arabic-language al-Forat television network reported.
The source added that Ubaidi is a prominent figure within the PMU, and that Americans have not provided any information about the reason for the arrest or the charges against him.
Back on December 19 last year, US military forces detained Naseer al-Ubaidi, a leader of tribal fighters linked to Hashd al-Sha’abi forces in the same Iraqi province.
Ubaidi was arrested for no reason in an area of Khan al-Baghdadi city, which lies close to the Ain al-Asad air base, where hundreds of American troops are stationed.
Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters have played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast and north of the Iraqi capital, ever since the terrorists launched an offensive in the country, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.
In November 2016, the Iraqi parliament voted to integrate Hashd al-Sha’abi, which was formed shortly after the emergence of Daesh, into the military.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.
Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.
On July 10 that year, he formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.