News ID: 201037
Published: 0332 GMT September 22, 2017

Iraqi troops recapture 20 villages in Kirkuk’s Hawija

Iraqi troops recapture 20 villages in Kirkuk’s Hawija

Iraqi joint troops have managed to recapture 20 villages from the Daesh terrorist group’s grip, in Hawija, Kirkuk, concluding the first phase of the offensive, military said.

“Federal Police, Rapid Response, army brigades and Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), liberated 20 villages in Hawija,” Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Hawija Operations, said on Thursday, reported.

According to Yarallah, Iraqi troops managed to conclude the first phase of operations, which started early on Thursday.

During a joint press conference with Ryan Dillon, spokesman of the US-led coalition against Daesh, on Thursday, Brig. Gen. Yahia Rasoul, spokesman of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said the number of Daesh members in Hawija falls between 800 and 1,500.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, deputy commander of the Joint Operations Command Thursday announced the launch of first phase of operations to liberate Hawija and western Shirqat. Several villages in Shirqat have been retaken.

Hawija and other neighboring regions, west of Kirkuk, have been held by Daesh since mid-2014.

Other offensives were launched earlier this week at the group’s havens in western Anbar’s borders with Syria.

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