Iraqi government forces and allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units have established control over more than a dozen villages near the northern town of Hawijah.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) announced in a statement on Sunday that soldiers from the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), army units and pro-government fighters – better known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha’abi – had seized back 16 villages, including Kanaan, Southern al-Maydan, Northern al-Maydan, Aal-Awashra, Ibrahim al-Saleh, al-Basta, Fallah Farhan and Ain Manat.
The JOC added that Iraqi fighter jets had destroyed 8 Daesh pickup trucks in an area linking al-Fathah region to nearby al-Riyadh region.
Members of the Federal Police Force also liberated al-Malaha air base southeast of Hawijah, located 45 kilometers west of Kirkuk.
Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said the recapture of the air base had cut off Daesh supply lines to Hawijah.
Iraqi cameraman slain while covering Hawijah operation
Meanwhile, an unnamed security source said Warith al-Shimari, a cameraman for Arabic-language al-Nujaba television network, was killed while covering advances by government troops and allied Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters near Hawijah.
UN: Violence killed over 200 Iraqi civilians in September
The United Nations says more than 200 people lost their lives and over 380 others suffered injuries as a result of acts of terrorism and violence across Iraq in September.
According to the latest figures released by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Sunday, terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 203 Iraqis and left 389 others wounded last month.
The worst-affected area was Baghdad province, where violent attacks took the lives of 37 civilians and left 157 others wounded.