Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Warplanes from the United States-led military coalition destroyed a fuel storage area belonging to Islamic State militants in southwest Kirkuk, a source was quoted saying as the IS-held enclave expects imminent military action to retake it from the extremist group.
A security source told Alsumaria News that the airstrike, carried out late Thursday, targeted a location used by the Islamic State militants as a raw oil market and reservoir which they relied on to supply their vehicles.
A week ago, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said operations would launch sooner to recapture Hawija. The announcement came shortly after the JOC said it totally took over Tal Afar, the Islamic State’s last stronghold in Nineveh province. Earlier in July, Iraqi troops, backed by a United States-led coalition, recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, after more than eight months of battles
The United Nations predicts 85.000 civilians to flee Hawija as anticipated military operations launch to liberate the province from IS. The group has regularly executed civilians there for attempting to flee the enclave and for acting as informants for security forces.
IS is still holding other havens in Anbar and Salahuddin which will be the next targets for military action.