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Iraqi premier claims victory against Islamic State in Hawija
[DPA-INTERNATIONAL] Iraq has "liberated" Hawija, Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
bad boys’ last stronghold in the northern part of the country, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claimed on Thursday.

"I announce to you today ... the liberation of the city of Hawija today at the hands of the Iraqi forces," al-Abadi said in Gay Paree after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

"This victory is not just a victory for the Iraqis, but for the whole world," al-Abadi added.

His remarks came shortly after an Iraqi commander said that forces had recaptured the centre of Hawija from Islamic State.

Hawija, in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk,
... a thick stew of Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and probably Antarcticans, all of them mutually hostile most of the time...
fell to the radical group in mid-2014.

Commander of the Hawija operation, Lieutenant General Abdul-Amir Yarallah, said earlier the centre of the town had been "completely liberated" from bad boys.

"The units are continuing progress," he added in a statement without details.

Despite the statements, government forces, backed by Shiite militias, are now fighting to retake the district of Riyad, the last part of Hawija under Islamic State.

The Iraqi military says that seizing Riyad is likely to be completed in the next few hours.

Fighters from the pro-government Shiite militia, the Popular Mobilization, have pushed around 5 kilometres inside Riyad, sources in the group said.

The Popular Mobilization has played a major role in Iraq’s campaign against Islamic State.

On September 21, al-Abadi announced the beginning of a major offensive to retake Hawija.

Posted by:Fred