TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - In a statement issued early Saturday, the military said Hawijah, located in Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk Province, and its surrounding areas were recaptured from Daesh following a weeks-long offensive.
Iraqi forces “liberated the whole of the center of Hawija and are continuing their advance,” said the operation’s commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah.
The operation, which first began on September 21, features Iraqi army troops and police forces, backed by volunteer fighters of Popular Mobilization Units, better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi.
Hawija lies between the two major routes north from Baghdad – to the second city Mosul, and to Kirkuk City and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
Mosul used to serve as the terror group’s main urban holdout in Iraq before its historic liberation in July.