Iraq forces retake center of IS bastion Hawija – army

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BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces said Thursday they had retaken the center of Islamic State group stronghold Hawija and were pushing forward in their assault on one of the last IS 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 backed by a US-led coalition 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 jihadists in 2014 and its recapture would leave only a handful of remote outposts in IS hands.

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