ERBIL— The Shi'ite Hashd al-Shaabi forces will participate in the battle to liberate Hawija (60 km southwest of Kirkuk) and have already launched coordination with the Iraqi Army for the imminent offensive, said a spokesperson for the paramilitary forces.
Speaking to the Iraqi al-Sumaria news on Friday, Ali Husseini, the spokesperson for the Shi'ite militias in the northern axes, promised that the Islamic State (IS) militants in Hawija "will be given a lesson in the fight that they will never forget."
"The terrorists either have to surrender to get killed and there is no room for negotiations with this terrorist organization [IS] or those whose hands are tainted with the blood of the Iraqi people," Husseini stated, adding "We need to free our people in Hawija from the organization, which executed tens of them."
He expected the offensive to clear Hawija from the IS will be "swift and rapid."
The official added Shi'ite forces have already began moving their troops to the designated axes and are preparing the plan to recapture Hawija with the Iraqi Army and the rest of the combat forces.
As stated by Husseini, the Shi'ite Turkmen Hashd al-Shaabi forces have also withdrawn from Tel Afar and Mosul axes to participate in Hawija offensive.
The number of the Islamic jihadists in Hawija ranges between 1,000 to 2,000, said Hawija local council member, Ahmed Khurshid, noting "the victory is close and the entire forces from the Iraqi Army, Peshmerga, Hashd al-Shaabi and Hashd al-Ashaeri [Tribal Mobilization Forces] will play their role in the liberation process."
The Iraqi War Media Cell of the Defense Ministry reported that on Thursday Iraqi airplanes dropped millions of leaflets over Hawija in preparation to liberate the town, the last IS stronghold in Iraq.
The leaflets informed the residents that they will be freed from IS soon.