Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) – A pro-government force said on Wednesday that a plot by Islamic State militants to spoil Iraqis’ celebration of Eidul Adha (Greater Bairam) was foiled in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.
In a press statement, a copy of which was obtained by Iraqi website Alforat News, the paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said that a plot by the Islamic State militant group to storm a village in Hawija district, in Kirkuk, was successfully foiled during Eidul Adha holiday.
“A PMF member was killed while repelling the IS attack on the village,” added the statement.
In October 2017, former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country.
The town had fallen to IS in June 2014, when the militant group seized control of much of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed the creation of a self-styled “caliphate”. There, Islamic State’s reign forced thousands to flee to refugee camps, while hundreds had been executed by the group for attempting to escape the area or contacting security forces.
The offensive on Hawija began in September 2017 and has involved army, police and special forces units, as well as the Shia-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces. Despite the victory over IS in the city, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.