Iraq launches operation to liberate El-Ha'wij region from ISIS
By Kamila Aliyeva
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the launch of an operation to liberate the El-Ha'wij region, southwest of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, seized by militants of the IS terrorist group.
"With the beginning of the new day, we are announcing the beginning of the first stage of the operation for the liberation of El-Ha'wij, fulfilling our promise to the Iraqi people for the complete liberation of Iraqi lands from ISIS terrorist group," RIA Novosti reported citing Abadi's statement on his Facebook page.
The Iraqi army is simultaneously conducting operations to liberate several areas, winning again and again, according to the prime minister.
About 20,000 soldiers and militia fighters take part in the operation for the liberation of El-Ha'wij, according to Sky News Arabia.
Iraqi officers who participated in the operation told the Akhbar Al Aan TV channel that the majority of ISIS fighters in El-Ha'wij are Iraqis but their commanders are foreigners. Currently, almost 2,000 ISIS terrorists are in the city of El-Ha'wij.
Previously, the Iraqi Prime Minister announced the beginning of an operation by Iraq’s armed forces to clean up the Anbar province bordering Syria from militants. Al-Abadi promised to defeat the militants "who will be overtaken by death."
In August, the Iraqi military seized the city of Tall Afar and, thus, liberated the northern province of Ninawa from ISIS terrorists. In July, the military destroyed a group of radicals in the second largest city of Iraq, Mosul.
On July 10, Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi officially announced victory over the IS in Mosul. The city has been under the IS control since June 2014.
Abadi's announcement of victory over ISIS was met with international praise from a number of countries still actively battling the militants, including the U.S., Russia, Iran and Syria, where the remaining half of ISIS's self-proclaimed caliphate lies.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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