Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State members executed one of their fighters for turning himself in to Kurdish forces in Kirkuk as operations near for the liberation of the group’s strongholds there.
A local source told Alsumaria News that militants executed Ibrahim al-Aziz at al-Khan village in Hawija, the group’s bastion in southwestern Kirkuk. The source said the execution came after “a failed attempt” by the leader to turn himself in to Kurdish Peshmerga forces. He did not mention the method of the execution, but IS has commonly used burning, beheading and firing squads in executing civilians and disobedient members.
Other senior commanders, including religious police official Mahmoud Khamis al-Fadlawi and Zakat (Islamic tax) bureau chief Mohamed Abdan al-Assafi had already turned themselves in among others, according to the source.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command has recently declared the approach of operations to recapture IS strongholds in Kirkuk, most notably the town of Hawija which the militants held since 2014. Reports had told of reinforcements sent to the the town’s outskirts, but the exact date of the offensive is yet to be determined by the Iraqi command.
On Monday, Jabbar al-maamouri, a leader at the Popular Mobilization forces in Kirkuk, said IS militants families had begun evacuating their residences in Hawija.
The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights predicts 85.000 civilians to flee the town as military offensives launch.
Iraqi forces had so far recaptured Islamic State’s former capital in Iraq, Mosul, in July, and also retook Tal Afar, the group’s last holdout in Nineveh province, a week ago.