KIKRUK — The Islamic State (IS) militants in Hawija, southern Kirkuk, are attempting to flee ahead of the imminent battle on the city.
A large number of IS militants along with their families have managed to escape Hawija district as they are certain of losing the city, according to local sources.
According to military sources, around 42 thousand Iraqi soldiers are ready for the operation to liberate Hawija district in southern Kirkuk from IS which has been keeping hold of it since the fall of Mosul in 2014.
The Peshmerga forces are holding three fronts of the battle in north-west of Hawija.
Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday that the restoration of Hawija requires coordination with the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region, stressing that recapturing of the city is the task of the Iraqi forces.
He refused to reach any agreement with IS. “We will not agree on any deals with the criminals, but we will offer two options; surrender or death," Abadi told a news conference.