Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Fighter jets from the United States-led coalition killed on Wednesday 13 Islamic State leaders in an air raid on Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, as operations to closer to retaking the strategic haven.
Dijlah TV quoted a local source saying that the dead militants included seven members of the group’s so-called “treasury”.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command said joint forces launched on Wednesday morning a new offensive targeting the center of Hawija, a major Islamic State stronghold which the militants occupied since 2014. The decisive onslaught comes as part of a second stage of operations launched last Friday.The first phase of operations launched on September 24th, and managed to retake eastern Shirqat, an Islamic State haven in neighboring Salahuddin province.
Also on Wednesday, Popular Mobilization Forces’ media said the troops managed Wednesday to take over the road linking central Hawija. A senior leader within the force, Jabbar al-Maamouri, had told Alsumaria News that the PMF were one kilometer from the town’s center.
A wide-scale campaign launched with the backing of a U.S.-led coalition in 2016 to recapture areas occupied by IS since 2014, when the militants declared a self-styled “caliphate” rule in Iraq and neighboring Syria based in Iraq’s Mosul.
Iraqi government, coalition and paramilitary forces recaptured Mosul, the group’s former capital, and the neighboring town of Tal Afar early July and late August.