ERBIL— US forces are setting the stage for the offensive to liberate Hawija (45 km southwest of Kirkuk) from the Islamic State (IS) militants, Iraqi media reported on Saturday.
The troops have been deployed to Qaraj sub-district of Makhmur (50 km east of Mosul).
They have also laid precision-guided munitions and smart weapons near Hawija in order to pound IS posts in the town, which has been controlled by the extremists since 2014, the reports said.
The US missiles had an effective role in liberating the city of Mosul.
On Friday Iraqi Air Force dropped thousands of leaflets over Hawija, urging the Islamic jihadists to surrender ahead of the imminent operation.