Islamic State could be hiding at underground tunnels in Hawija: Official

Iraqi soldier inside a tunnel belonging to the Islamic State.

Kirkuk ( A member of Hawija council has urged joint troops to comb regions that were liberated in the town, located southwest of Kirkuk, warning that Islamic State militants could be hiding at underground tunnels or remote regions in order to attack the troops again.

Speaking to AlSumaria News on Monday, Ahmed Khorshid, said “Iraqi troops should launch operation to comb Hawija as well as villages of al-Dibs town, southwest of Kirkuk, and the northwest of the province. He said these regions need to be purged of IS militants.”

Khorshid indicted around 100 villages in al-Dibs and al-Rasha towns, which need to be combed to finalize the liberation of Hawija.

Previously on the day, a tweet by the autonomous region’s security council indicated receiving dangerours messages that Iraqi forces are preparing for a major attack in southwest of Kirkuk. However, Jabbar Yawar, secretary general of the Peshmerga Ministry, said in remarks that such news were untrue.

Iraqi joint troops killed 385 IS members, including five snipers, as Hawija Operations Command announced accomplishing targets of the second phase of operations earlier on the day. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared on Thursday liberation of Hawija. The second phase of the offensive was launched in late September.

557 IS militants were killed, while more than 100 villages and regions were liberated during the first phase, which launched on September 24th.

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