Gov’t Forces Make Fresh Gains in Anti-ISIL Operation in Central Iraq


The Iraqi Army troops and popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi continued their advances in their rush towards the ISIL-held town of Huweija and recaptured more than a dozen villages, the media bureau of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) announced in a statement.

The JOC announced on Friday that units of the 9th Armored Division as well as the 2nd and 11th brigades of the Hashd al-Shaabi 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.

Relevant reports said on Thursday that the Iraqi government and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) recaptured several villages as the government launched a wide-scale, final operation to retake all of ISIL’s remaining havens.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command said Thursday and late Wednesday that major offensives were launching to retake ISIL last bastions in Salahuddin’s Shirqat and Kirkuk’s Huweija.

Other offensives had launched earlier this week at the group’s holdouts in Western Anbar’s borders with Syria.

Federal Police, Rapid Response and the Popular Mobilization Forces were carrying out the attack, according to the command.

PMF media said its troops managed to take over four villages in the ISIL-held Eastern side of Salahuddin’s Shirqat town, while Federal Police chief, Shaker Jawdat, said his troops recaptured three other villages after invading the town with tens of combat vehicles and troops.

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