Paris, Oct 5 (IANS) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday announced the liberation of the northern town of al-Hawija from the Islamic State terror group.
He, however, added that the outskirts of the town were still under control of the IS.
The Prime Minister made this announcement during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Efe reported.
The announcement came hours after the Iraqi government forces claimed victory over the extremists in what is one of the final pockets of the IS territory in Iraq.
Lieutenant-General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah earlier said that the offensive in al-Hawija district, which was launched on September 21, would continue in the surrounding rural areas.
The ISI also controls swathes of desert along the Syrian border.
The army, the Federal Police, the Emergency Response division, rapid response and Popular Mobilization Forces Shiite militia have all been taking part in the offensive, according to the statement.
The Iraqi Army has been engaged in a sustained offensive against the self-styled caliphate this year, recapturing the country’s second largest city Mosul in July after a nine-month battle.