Sept. 21, 2017 —
SOUTHWEST ASIA – Iraqi Security Forces initiated major combat operations in Hawijah during the early morning hours Sept. 21.
ISIS seized control of the city in early 2014. Hawijah became isolated from the rest of ISIS’ territory in July 2016 during the battle of Mosul, when Al-Shirqat was captured by Iraqi troops.
"The liberation of Hawijah will be yet another major achievement in the ISF's relentless drive to liberate civilians trapped by ISIS," said Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney, Deputy Commander for Strategy and Support.
Following rapid successes against ISIS in and around Tal Afar, Akashat, Haditha and Rayhanna, ISF began its offensive into the Middle Euphrates River Valley, which stands as one of two remaining pockets of ISIS fighters remaining in Iraq along with western Anbar province.
“The rapid, recent success of the Iraqi Security Forces points to the ISF’s momentum in the campaign to destroy ISIS in Iraq,” said Coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon. “ISIS has never been capable of providing effective governance or services that benefited the people under its rule. Its defeat in Iraq further demonstrates ISIS is an organization in decline, whose leaders are no longer capable of effective military command and control.”
"Recent ISIS attacks on civilian targets signal a shift in tactics from an organization unable to contend on the battlefield. The Coalition will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the ISF in their fight against a brutal and backward organization and its ideology," said Dillon.