Iraqi government forces have recaptured more than a dozen other villages near Hawijah as they successfully carry out the second phase of a joint operation with allied fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units to push Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of the strategic town in the country’s oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk.
The media bureau of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) announced in a statement on Friday that units of the 9th Armored Division as well as the 2nd and 11th brigades of the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, had established full control over 19 villages, including Dumat Aziz, Arab Lok, Tal Ghazal, Khadhirah, Aziz Obeid, al-Hadiqah, Eastern Mandian, Western Mandian and Tal al-Matar, Arabic-language Shafaaq news agency reported.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the launch of the operation to retake Hawijah early on Thursday.
Hawijah is one of the four Iraqi towns still controlled by Daesh. The other three towns of al-Qa’im, located nearly 400 kilometers northwest of Baghdad near the Syrian border, Anah and Rawa are in Anbar province.