On October 4, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) media outlet claimed that Iraqi forces had fully recaptured the town of Hawija; hours after the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said it launched a fresh offensive targeting its centre.
The PMU claimed that the decisive victory came as part of a second stage of operations launched on September 29 to liberate the town and surrounding areas from IS militants, who have been in control of the area since 2014.
The JOC has not officially confirmed the liberation of Hawija town, but if confirmed, it would mean that only western the Anbar’s towns of Rawa and al-Qaim remain under the militant’s control.
The Iraqi army’s War Media Cell did however reported that its forces had regained full control over Makhoul Mountains in Hawija, the area of Al-Harareyat and the western bank of Al-Fatha Bridge.
PMU media also reported that its forces had liberated three villages west of Riyadh on October 4. According to a statement, PMU forces liberated the villages of Yassin Taha village west of Hawija district and Aliah and Khalaf Asuad villages, west of Riyadh district.
Separately, Iraqi airstrikes were reported to have targeted an IS headquarters in Rawa in Anbar province, killing a top IS leader Bakr Wagdi al-Rawi, according to unnamed ‘security sources’.
(Picture: US Army near Mosul, March 2017)