MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iraq's army has launched an operation in the center of the country's northern town of Hawija, Kirkuk province, in an effort to drive militants of the Daesh militants from the town, local media reported Wednesday. The development comes as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of an offensive in the town earlier in September.
"Rapid reaction forces have blocked the center of Hawija. Multiple units of security forces continue moving through the town and clearing its neighborhoods," a source told the Alsumaria broadcaster.
The Iraqi authorities have announced that they had freed over 90 percent of their territory from terrorists. According to the government data, over 2.2 million refugees have returned to the Iraqi regions which have been liberated from the terrorists.
Daesh terror group captured Hawija and its vicinity in the northern province of Kirkuk more than three years ago. The town became the main stronghold of the terror group in the region after the Iraqi army regained control of Mosul in July.