Paramilitary troops free another IS-held region in Kirkuk

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces.

Kirkuk ( The pro-government paramilitary troops have announced liberation of another region in southeast of Hawija, Kirkuk.

The media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said in a statement “the 26th brigade, backed by army jets, liberated on Thursday al-Riyad region, southeast of Hawija, and started combing it.”

Earlier on the day, PMFs liberated other villages in north of Hawija.

Joint Operations Command’s top general, Abdul-Amir Yarallah, said army, Federal Police, Rapid Response Forces and the Popular Mobilization forces announced on Thursday taking over the town of Hawija. 98 villages were seized back, while 196 militants were killed.

On Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command announced beginning of the second phase of Hawija offensive.

According to Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, 557 IS militants were killed, while more than 100 villages and regions were liberated during the first phase.

Having recaptured Hawija, Iraqi troops still have only western Anbar’s towns of Rawa and Qaim remain under the militant’s control. Iraqi troops recaptured the town of Annah, a third IS holdout neighboring those two towns, late September.

Troops also managed to recapture Mosul, the group’s former capital, and the neighboring town of Tal Afar early July and late August.

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