Iraqi military launches offensive on ISIS-held town of Hawijah

Iraqi government forces on Friday launched an assault on the northern town of Hawijah, one of the last bastions held by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). “A huge military operation has begun to liberate Hawijah and its surrounding areas,” Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah, the operation’s commander, said. The military began an operation to retake the jihadist enclave around Hawijah on September 21. It took the town of Sharqat on the second day before pushing on towards Hawija itself, AFP said. Friday’s assault is the second phase of the operation and is aimed at recapturing Hawija and the towns of Al-Abbasi, Riyadh and Rashad to its west, east and south.