Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Over 200 Islamic State militants were killed during the Hawija offensive in Kirkuk, Federal Police announced.
“The Hawija offensive has left 270 militants killed, gaining control on an area of 640 square kilometers. 141 regions and villages have been liberated,” Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, chief of Federal Police, said in a statement.
Joint Operations Command’s top general, Abdul-Amir Yarallah, said army, Federal Police, Rapid Response Forces and the Popular Mobilization forces announced on Thursday taking over the town of Hawija. 98 villages were seized back, while 196 militants were killed.
Earlier on the day, PMFs liberated several villages in north of Hawija as well as al-Riyad region, southeast of the town.
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.
Having recaptured Hawija, Iraqi troops still have only western Anbar’s towns of Rawa and Qaim remain under the militant’s control. Iraqi troops recaptured the town of Annah, a third IS holdout neighboring those two towns, late September.