ERBIL — Two successive blasts hit on Sunday the northern Iraqi town of Hawija which is the last pocket held by Islamic State (IS).
According to local sources from Kirkuk, one of the explosions targeted an IS convoy and has reportedly left dozens of jihadists killed or injured.
Hawija, located some 55 kilometres south west of Kirkuk, fell into the hands of IS in mid-2014. The Iraqi army has confirmed that a massive operation will start in the upcoming days to dislodge the insurgents from Hawija.
The source from Kirkuk told the Iraqi media that the IS militants are now on alarm to prepare for any possible attack.
Baghdad said on Sunday that thousands of Iraqi federal police forces have been deployed to the suburbs of Hawija as part of the preparations to recapture the city.
Also, Iraqi fighter jets dropped the same day tens of thousands of leaflets over Hawija, urging civilians to stay indoors as the Iraqi army will attack the IS positions in the nearest future.