Reuters: Iraq launches offensive on Hawija, an Islamic State-held region near oil city Kirkuk21 September 2017 | 06:45 | FOCUS News Agency
The offensive, announced by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, comes four days before a referendum on Kurdish independence due to be held in Kurdish-held areas of northern Iraq, including Kirkuk.
Abadi considers the referendum '‘anti-constitutional‘’ and has called the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government to cancel it.
Hawija, north of Baghdad, and a stretch along the Syrian border, west of the Iraqi capital, are the last pieces of territory still in the hands of Islamic State in the country. The group took control of about a third of Iraq in 2014.
© 2017 All rights reserved. Citing Focus Information Agency is mandatory!