200 IS members killed on first day of Hawija offensive’s second phase

Members of Iraqi Federal Police carry their weapon at the frontline during a battle with Islamic State militants in western Mosul, Iraq June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Baghdad ( More than 200 Islamic State militants have been killed by Iraqi joint troops within the second phase of offensive launched in southwest of Kirkuk.

A statement by Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, Federal Police chief, said “troops along with Rapid Response forces and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) managed to regain control on 70 square kilometers in west of Hawija, liberate 23 villages and regions, kill 144 militants, destroy 45 booby-trapped vehicles and evacuate 150 displaced families during the second operation of Hawija offensive.”

Earlier on the day, Lt.Gen. Abdul Amir Yaralla, commander of Hawija Operations, announced killing of 96 militants, destroying 13 vehicles in airstrikes in Hawija.

A statement by the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, Yaralla said, “Iraqi jets launched several airstrikes targeting the group’s locations in Hawija.”

“The airstrikes left 96 militants and 13 vehicles destroyed,” he added.

Joint troops managed to free 11 villages in Hawija, Yaralla previously said on the day.

Early on Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command announced beginning of the second phase of Hawija offensive.

According to Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, 557 IS militants were killed, while more than 100 villages and regions were liberated during the first phase, which launched earlier this month and was concluded on Sunday.

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