Iraqi PM announces new offensive to free IS-held Hawijah

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/21 15:48:22

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday announced the launch of a new offensive to drive out Islamic State (IS) militants from the city of Hawijah in the western part of Iraq's oil-rich Kirkuk province.

"With a new Iraqi dawn, we announce the launch of the first stage of an operation to liberate Hawijah," Abadi said in the morning in a brief statement.

In a separate statement, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC), said the army, the federal police, the interior ministry's elite forces of Rapid Response and the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units began an operation to liberate the eastern areas in Hawijah and neighboring Shirqat.

The city of Shirqat is about 280 km north of Baghdad. Its eastern part and the surrounding villages and rural areas have been under IS rule since June 2014.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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