On Friday, the first group of Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) troops redeployed from the liberated Tal Afar area to al-the Hawija area southwest of Kirkuk city.
According to Iraqi forces the preparation for al-Hawija battle are underway and the battle is expected to begin soon.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command spokesperson Brigadier General Yahya al-Rasul confirmed to the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik that Iraqi forces started preparing for the al-Hawija battle.
— الوعد الصادق 🇮🇶 (@Imparatoriraq) 1 September 2017
“After fully liberating Tal Afar preparation to enter al-Hawija area in Kirkuk governorate began quickly. Leaflets were dropped for the citizens there to get away from ISIS fighters positions… We insured them that ISIS positions will be targets for our warplanes, we are now preparing our final military plan to liberate al-Hawija area,” General Yahya al-Rasul told Sputnik.
Al-Rasul also revealed that Iraqi forces might launch two operations at the same time, al-Hawija operation and another operation in Euphrates valley towards the Syrian border. However, it’s likely that the Iraqi forces will launch only al-Hawija operation for now.