Abadi Confirms Fall of Islamic State's Last Stronghold in Hawija
The Iraqi Prime Minister on Thursday (October 5) confirmed the capture of Hawija, Islamic State's (ISIS) last stronghold in the north of the country, leaving the militant group holed up in pockets of land by the Syrian border.
Haider Al-Abadi made the comments to media after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
He also vowed to preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq, calling on the Peshmerga to work with federal forces, but under the authority of the central government.
Hawija Operations Command announced on Thursday the liberation of the center of Hawija district from ISIS, saying Iraqi forces continue advancing to liberate other areas around Hawija.
Iraqi forces and Hashid al-Shaabi entered the center of Hawija from western and eastern sides after they began an operation to liberate the center of Hawija and its surrounding areas early on Wednesday.
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.
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.