Iraqi Forces Launch Operation to Liberate Center Of Hawija
Iraqi forces began an operation to liberate the center of Hawija from Islamic State (ISIS) militants, the Hawija operations commander said.
Commander Abdulamir Yaralla said in a statement on Wednesday (October 4) that units of the Iraqi army, federal police and rapid response and Hashid al-Shaabi have launched the operation to liberate the center of Hawija and Riyadh sub-district as well as the surrounding villages.
Yaralla further said the operation is in the framework of the second phase of the Hawija operation announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on September 29.
Security forces began moving on Hawija two days after the forces recaptured the Rashad airbase, 30 kilometers to the south, and it was used by the militants as a training camp and logistic site.
Iraqi forces launched an operation against ISIS after the Iraqi Premier announced the first phase of the operation to liberate Hawija and surrounding areas on September 21.
The Iraqi forces, deployed north and west of Hawija district, pushed southward along the Tigris River, after clearing the first lines of defense by midday.
Hawija, north of Baghdad, and a stretch along the Syrian border, west of the Iraqi capital, are the last pieces of territory still in the hands of ISIS in the country. The group took control of about a third of Iraq in 2014.