joi, 5 octombrie 2017

Press TV Iran

Iraqi military announces Hawijah liberation following two-phase operation

Thu Oct 5, 2017 06:24AM
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Iraqi forces and volunteer Hashed al-Sha’abi forces advance towards Hawijah on October 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi forces and volunteer Hashed al-Sha’abi forces advance towards Hawijah on October 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The Iraqi military says it has liberated the strategic town of Hawijah, ridding the Takfiri outfit of its last bastion in the northern part of the Arab state.
In a statement issued early Saturday, the military said Hawijah, located in Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk Province, and its surrounding areas were recaptured from Daesh following a weeks-long offensive.
Iraqi forces “liberated the whole of the center of Hawija and are continuing their advance,” said the operation’s commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah.
The operation, which first began on September 21, features Iraqi army troops and police forces, backed by volunteer fighters of Popular Mobilization Units, better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi.
Fighters from the Hashed al-Sha’abi, backing Iraqi forces, advance towards Hawijah, on October 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The recapture puts an end to Daesh presence in northern Iraq and leaves the extremist terror group in control of a stretch of land in the west near the Syrian border, including the town of al-Qaim.
Hawijah lies between the two major routes north from Baghdad – to the second city Mosul, and to Kirkuk City and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
Mosul used to serve as the terror group’s main urban holdout in Iraq before its historic liberation in July. 
Daesh has been driven out of most of the territory it managed to seize in Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014.
In Syria, Daesh terrorists are mainly holed up in the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr, where they are on their last leg in the face of two separate operations by the Syrian military, supported by Russia, as well as US-backed militants.
[This item is being updated.]

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