According to Press TV, in a statement issued early Thursday, the military said Hawijah, located in Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk Province, and its surrounding areas were liberated 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.
The liberation 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.
Hawija 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.
The notorious militant 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 terrorists.