Several Hundred Suspected Isis Militants Surrender to Peshmerga near Hawija
Several hundred suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militants handed themselves in to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces after their retreat from Hawija where the militant group control is shrinking, Reuters reported on Tuesday, (October 10) citing a security official.
The militants surrendered to Kurdish authorities in Kirkuk last week numbered around 1,000 men, according to the Kurdish official who spoke under condition of anonymity.
Not all, however, are terrorists,” the security official told Reuters. It’s fair to say hundreds are probably ISIS (Islamic State) members, but that will be clear after their debrief,” he said.
The Asayish (Kurdish security forces) in Dibis, northwest of Kirkuk also said in a statement that as many as 7,000 people had reached the Peshmerga defensive lines near Kirkuk since the offensive to liberate Hawija.
They also report around 1,000 suspected ISIS militants among them, the statement by Dibis Asayish read.
Islamic State group was ousted from Hawija and surrounding areas on October 5, in an offensive by the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and Shia paramilitary groups.
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 of land 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.