On Friday, the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) captured al-Abbasi town northers of Hawija town, according to the PMU media wing.
The media added that the Iraqi government forces also captured the following areas:
- the Al-Makhoul mountains south of Hawija;
- 90% of Hamrin hills south of Hawija;
- Al-Shumait bridge;
- Gharib 1, Gharib 2, al-Karna, al-Alkayah, al-Hujama, al-Shajarah, al-Mustah, Hammud al-Khalaf, al-Ablat, Namla, Tuyriah, Ali Kata’ al-Jabrawi and Hamad Swied villages.
Government forces also cut off the road between Hawija and the Alas oil field, and the road between Zaghitun valley and al-Rashad town south of Hawija.
The PMU media wing also announced that government forces killed 71 ISIS fighters including 12 suicide attackers, and destroyed 10 VBIEDs on Friday.
Iraqi sources reported that so far over 600 ISIS fighters have surrendered to Kurdish Peshmerga forces, while others surrendered to the Iraqi forces in al-Abbasi town.
The PMU Intelligence reported that ISIS commanders in Hawija area ordered their fighters to withdraw to Hawija town and than ordered them to stay in their positions and defend it which led to chaos in ISIS ranks.
Moreover, ISIS fighters set the oil wells in Alas oil fields on fire in order to block the way of the army and the PMU.
Government forces will likely reach Hawija town and Shuqqat Riyad Air Base south of it tomorrow. Hawija town is smaller than Tal Afar city. So, the battle there will not likely take more than few days.