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About 60,000 Shiites Defending Baghdad Against Islamic State

20.05.2015 12:31

Up to 60,000 Shiite militiamen are reported to be deployed in the Iraqi capital to protect the city from ISIL, as the extremists are stepping up their offensive.

"Experts believe sending Shiite fighters into Ramadi puts Baghdad at major risk, but it is not true because up to 60,000 fighters of Hashd al-Shaabi (Shiite Popular Mobilization Units) are inside Baghdad now," the Security Committee of Baghdad Provincial Council said in a Tuesday statement.

According to the statement, only five percent of Shiite forces have been sent to central Iraqi city Ramadi, captured by IS on Sunday. Other 95 percent are still in Baghdad, staying to protect the city's security and stability.