Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have set up a new hospital in their stronghold town of Hawija, Kirkuk, to treat wounded members, local sources said Tuesday.
The sources told Alsumaria News that the makeshift hospital wsa opened at a civilian-owned house, and was supplied with medical equipment previously stolen from the town’s main hospital.
The hospital comprises a mostly foreign staff who provide treatment to members wounded in battles against Iraqi security forces in Mosul and the group’s Syrian stronghold in Raqqa, according to the sources.
The same sources said that treatment at the hospital is exclusive to IS militants, with civilians denied assistance.
Hawija and other neighboring areas in southwest Kirkuk have been under Islamic State control since 2014, when the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. The group executed dozens of civilians and security members there, forcing thousands to flee homes.
Local tribal leaders and politicians from Kirkuk have recently mounted pressure on the Iraqi government to hasten with invading Hawija, suggesting that its people were experiencing a humanitarian crisis under the group’s rule. The Iraqi government is currently employing the largest portion of its military effort in Mosul, IS’s capital in Iraq where Iraqi commanders said recently they became in control over nearly 90 percent of territory since operations launched to retake the city in October.
Two weeks ago, Alsumaria News quoted sources saying that IS had opened alternative headquarters for its so-called “Nineveh State, “Dijlah State”, “Salahuddin State” and “Diyala State” in Hawija. He said senior leaders had entered the town in armored vehicles after having fled battles with security forces in Nineveh.