On September 5, Ahmad Khurshid a member of Al-Hawija local council said that over 330 ISIS fighters escaped with their families from the besieged Al-Hawija area to the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
“They escaped. ISIS members were transported by Peshmerga buses to al-Debs region, than to areas inside the Kurdistan region” Khurshid said.
Khurshid also said that ISIS fighters were escaping because they didn’t trust their commanders anymore. Many Iraqi sources claimed that dozens of ISIS commander’s families escaped from Al-Hawija area in the last few days.
Meanwhile, Shikh Jaffar Shikh Mustafa a commander of the Kurdish Peshmerga force said that the Peshmerga didn’t receive any requests from the Iraqi Army related to Al-Hawija battle. Shikh Mustafa also stated that the Peshmerga would not allow any Iraqi force to use its territories without an official request.
The Peshmerga participation in the upcoming Al-Hawija battel becomes highly doubtable after Shikh Mustafa statements. In the same time, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have not announced its position on the Al-Hawija battle yet.
Some experts believe that both forces –Peshmerga and PMU- might not take part in the operation.