Iraq retakes Hawija from Daesh

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi said on Thursday that troops have retaken the northern town of Hawija from the Daesh militant group, driving the extremists from one of their last strongholds in the country.
Abadi declared victory during a press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I want to announce the liberation of the city of Hawija today,” Abadi said, calling it a “victory not just for Iraq but for the whole world.”
Iraqi forces have driven Daesh from nearly all the cities and towns it seized in the summer of 2014, including the country’s second largest city, Mosul, which was liberated in July.
There was no immediate word on the fate of civilians in Hawija.
The United Nations said this week that an estimated 12,500 people had fled since the launch of the offensive to retake the town and surrounding areas last month.
The UN’s humanitarian affairs office said the number of people still in the town was unknown but could be as high as 78,000.
It said humanitarian agencies have set up checkpoints, camps and emergency sites capable of receiving more than 70,000 people who could flee.

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