From 2017-10-04 at 16:59 (Baghdad time)
Follow up of Mawazine News
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi forces have passed a new phase in their operations aimed at reclaiming the remaining strongholds of terrorists in Iraq by storming on Wednesday the town of Hawija, the last bastion of a militant organization in the north of the country.
On September 21, Iraqi forces began their military operations to recover the city of Hawija. In this context, they recovered four cities and dozens of villages.
The city, located 230 km northeast of Baghdad, is one of the last terrorist strongholds in Iraq after they were expelled in the past months from most of the areas they controlled.
“The pieces of the army, the federal police, the rapid response and the popular crowd have started a large-scale operation to liberate the Hawija district, Riyadh district, villages and the surrounding areas,” said commander of the Hawija Brigade Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rashid al-Jarallah.
For his part, the Federal Police Chief Major Raed Jawdat that “the pieces of the federal police control the neighborhoods of Nada and military north-west of Hawija, killing three snipers and destroy two wheels booby-trapped.”
Earlier, he announced the launch of the third phase of the operations of Hawija under artillery and missile attack directed to the headquarters of the organization in the town.
A statement said that the federal police paid “elite commando units and the mechanized and brigades brigades and marines supported by the popular mobilization forces from the area of concentration north-west of Hawija.”
“Federal police forces have moved towards their targets as they seek to regain control of seven key areas of the judiciary and 12 vital targets,” Goodt said.
Hawija is 230 kilometers northeast of Baghdad and 45 kilometers from the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. It is located southeast of the city of Mosul. It is home to some 70,000 people, the majority of whom are Arab Sunni Arabs.
The city is also located along two main roads connecting Baghdad to Nineveh province and the Kurdistan region.
The process of restoring Hawija began less than a month after Iraqi forces announced full control of Ninewa province in the north of the country, where the city of Mosul and the Tal Afar, two of the main strongholds of the Da’ash organization in Iraq.
• Destruction of frontal defenses
In turn, the Popular Forces announced that it had begun to evacuate dozens of families from the villages at the outskirts of Hawija district after fleeing the grip of the organization of Daash, who tried to use them as human shields during the advance of troops.
The popular crowd said that the engineering units “began to clear the mined roads towards the judicial center to facilitate the passage of the advanced units during the liberation operations and succeed in dismantling a number of houses from the bombs planted by the elements of the criminality.”
A spokesman for the crowd of Hawija Ahmed Khurshid said the factions of the crowd and federal police were able to enter the province of Hawija
Khurshid said in a statement to (Mawazin News) that “the revival of Tnak and abscess and the village of the Republic is still under the control of a supporter”
He noted that the crowd of Hawija remained in the back lines to support the security forces and the popular crowd in their progress towards the liberation of neighborhoods of Hawija
Khurshid predicted that the full liberation of Hawija will be announced in the coming hours
In a subsequent statement, the crowd confirmed that “elements of Dahesh withdrew from the villages adjacent to the center of Hawija towards the center of the judiciary because of the intensity of the fire of the popular crowd that destroyed their front defenses.”
In the event of the restoration of Hawijah, the presence of a sympathetic organization in the country will be limited to a tape near the Iraqi-Syrian border, where the extremist organization on the other side of the border is subjected to two violent attacks.
Hawijah fell into the hands of terrorists in June 2014, along with Mosul, which was restored by Iraqi forces last July with support from the US-led coalition.
In addition to Hawija, Daqash continues to control two cities in the western province of Anbar, namely Rawah and Qaim, located on the border of Deir al-Zour in Syria.
On 19 September, Iraqi forces also launched an offensive to retrieve them.
In Syria, the terrorist organization also faces great difficulty in its “capital” of Raqqa, which has lost 90 percent since the start of an offensive by the Syrian Democratic Forces with the support of Washington.