Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi forces on Tuesday advanced further and made more arrests as a recent operation continues to clear areas in Kirkuk province from remnant Islamic State militants.
The Popular Mobilization Forces said through their media that troops, backed by Iraqi army divisions completed the clearing of five villages northeast of the town of Hawija, Islamic State’s former stronghold in Kirkuk.
It said it seized munitions belonging to the group, and continue to chase fleeing militants at areas surrounding Hawija.
Hussein Ali Najm, commander of the PMF’s 56th birgade, said in a statement that troops had managed to arrest a large number of IS members at the eastern Hawija regions.
Last Thursday, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said troops started searches and arrests of wanted suspects, imposing security and order at the regions of Hawija, Riyad, al-Rashad and al-Zarka. The announcement came as reports had told of the assassination of a number of security members in fake security checkpoints erected by remnant Islamic State militants.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the recapture of Islamic State havens in Kirkuk early October.
Victory over Islamic State militants in Iraq was proclaimed early December, ending a three-year campaign to bring down the group’s -self proclaimed “caliphate”.