Kirkuk Governor Urges Abadi to Launch Hawija Operation

ERBIL— Kirkuk Governor Najmaddin Karim on Monday called on the Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to launch the operation to liberate the town of Hawija, south of Kirkuk province.

During a meeting with the directors of the governmental agencies in Kirkuk, Karim addressed the demand to Iraqi PM and the General Commander of the Armed Forces.

According to a statement issued after the meeting by Kirkuk governor’s media office, Karim also warned that the dominance of the Islamic State (IS) in Hawija and its surrounding areas threatens the future of the province.

“Like Mosul, Hawija needs also to be liberated,” Karim insisted.

The Iraqi government has not announced any plans for retaking Hawija. The town, in which the IS militants commit crimes against trapped civilians on a daily basis, has also turned to a shelter and stronghold for the extremists who fled the battle in Mosul.