Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Twenty Islamic State snipers have been killed by the Iraqi fighter jets in Hawija district, west of Kirkuk.
In a statement on Thursday, the War Media Cell said “Iraqi air force launched two airstrikes that destroyed a stash of weapon of the IS militants and a snipers’ haven in addition to killing 20 snipers in Hawija.
In related news, Gen. Ali Fadel, commander of the East Dijla Operations Command, said operations to be launched soon to drive IS militants out of Hawija.
“Security troops are tightening the grip on the district. Fighter jets launched several airstrikes against several IS militants and pockets there,” Fadel said in statements earlier on Thursday.
The commander urged residents to “stay as they are in case operations were launched to liberate the district and raise white flags to be distinguished and protected by troops.”
Safe passageways, according to Fadel, “will be opened to allow civilians flee so troops would enter the district.”
Dozens of residents from Hawija and the regions in its vicinity escape to Kirkuk province on a daily basis. Despite the risky routes to the freed regions, the civilians prefer death to staying under IS control.
Hawija, located 55 KM west of Kirkuk, has been held by IS since mid-2014.