HAWIJA — The Iraqi Air Forces (IAF) dropped thousands of leaflets over the town of Hawija on Friday, calling on the Islamic State (IS) militants to surrender ahead of the upcoming military operation against the extremist group.
According to Iraqi Defense Ministry, the leaflets warned the group that their defeat is approaching and it would be better for them to surrender while they still can. It further suggested that the extremists have nowhere to hide and that the Iraqi forces know exactly where they are positioned.
The leaflets were dropped over the areas of Hawija and Shirqat (located about 65 kilometers west of Kirkuk city). The town of Hawija is one of IS's last remaining strongholds on the territory of Iraq, after the Iraqi forces liberated Mosul and Tel Afar in the Nineveh Province.
According to several Iraqi military commanders, the government forces are now fully prepared to launch their offensive against the IS insurgents in the area.
The Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition launched their series of offensives against the extremist group back in October 2016. Since then, thousands of displaced civilians have been able to return to their liberated homes.
The IS militants captured the town of Hawija in 2014, when the group first emerged in Iraq and declared its self-proclaimed "caliphate," after capturing large amounts of territory around the country.