Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State has closed the last restaurant catering for the group’s fighters in Kirkuk, a local source in the province said Sunday.
The group shut down the last of a chain of restaurants it had run in the town of Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, a local source was quoted saying by Waradana website. He said the closure came as food supply scarcity deepens, and with the militants hampered by debts.
“Daesh (Islamic State) had relied in a chain of local restaurants that occasionally served banquets for the group’s emirs and senior leaders, but rapidly shrunk due to the militants’ inability to pay their debts and the scarcity of foodstudd supplies,” said the source.
Hawija and other neighboring areas in southwest Kirkuk have been under Islamic State control since 2014, when the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. The group executed dozens of civilians and security members there, forcing thousands to flee their homes to refugee camps or neighboring provinces. The civilians are executed for either attempting to flee the town or for collaboration with security forces.
Local tribal leaders and politicians from Kirkuk have mounted pressure on the Iraqi government to hasten with invading Hawija, suggesting that its people were experiencing a humanitarian crisis under the group’s rule. Having concluded its campaign in Mosul, the Iraqi government is planning to launch further offensives at other IS pockets across Iraq, including Hawija.