Iraqi forces said Thursday they had retaken the center of ISIL Takfiri group’s stronghold of Hawija and were pushing forward in their assault on one of the last ISIL enclaves in the country.
Troops, police and paramilitaries “liberated the whole of the center of Hawija and are continuing their advance,” the operation’s commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah, said.
Government and allied forces launched an offensive last month to oust IS from Hawija, a longtime insurgent bastion.
The town is among the final holdouts from the territory seized by the terrorists in 2014 and its recapture would leave only a handful of remote outposts in ISIL hands.
Hawija, 230 kilometres (140 miles) north of Baghdad, is one of just two significant areas of Iraq still held by ISIL, along with a stretch of the Euphrates Valley near the Syrian border which is also under attack.