Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army planes airdropped millions of messages on Islamic State-held town of Hawija, Kirkuk, on Thursday, telling them that operations to recapture the stronghold were nearing, military media reported.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said the air force dropped millions of messages on the southwestern Kirkuk town telling people “riddance from Daesh (Islamic State)” was close.
Citizens were instructed to steer away from militants’ gatherings because they would become targets for military jets, the media service said.
“The Joint Operations Command will specify safe areas for citizens later,” it added.
The JOC said Wednesday it had concluded operations to retake Tal Afar, Islamic State’s last stronghold in Nineveh, adding that Hawija was the next target for the next military operations.
Local tribal leaders and politicians from Kirkuk have mounted pressure on the Iraqi government to hasten with invading Hawija, the group’s largest stronghold in the southwest of the province, suggesting that its people were experiencing a humanitarian crisis under the group’s rule as the group continues to massacre civilians attempting to flee the town.
Islamic State is still holding havens in Anbar and Salahuddin provinces.