Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Iraq

Forces poised to attack Hawija urge locals to revolt against ISIS

By Rudaw 6/10/2016
Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers in Kirkuk Province. AP file photo.
Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers in Kirkuk Province. AP file photo.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—A date to launch an offensive against the Islamic State (ISIS) in its stronghold of Hawija has been set, said a Sunni Arab member of the Kirkuk provincial council, and the local population have been advised to rise up against the radical group as soon as the army has pulled the trigger.


“All the preparation been done and people of Hawija have been told to rise up at the same time as the operation starts,” provincial council member Islamil Hadidi told Rudaw.


The town of Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk is considered one of ISIS’s main strongholds in Iraq and military and security officials in Kirkuk have longed argued that the extremist group must be defeated there before the final battle for Mosul.


“We have no red-line as to which forces will take part in the operation,” said Muhammed Khidhr, member of the Arab bloc in the council, stressing however that “Only police and Sunni militias should be in charge of the town’s security after the operation is done.”

Iraqi army commander Wasfi al-Asi, who is expected to lead the anticipated offensive for Hawija, had previously said several Iraqi forces will take part in the joint action, including Sunni and Shiite militias, the police, the army and the Kurdish Peshmerga.

There is however concern among the local population in Hawija about who will lead the battle into their town, fearing retribution attacks from Shiite militiamen.

”We can only trust Sunni forces and Peshmerga to be responsible for the town’s security," said a refugee who escaped Hawija recently.


Hawija and its vicinity are home to close to half a million people, mainly Sunni Arabs.


The Iraqi government’s crackdown on Sunni protesters in Hawija in April 2013 notably intensified political divisions and sectarian polarization in the entire country.

A number of Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers taken captive in battle with ISIS are believed to have been held in Hawija.


A special operation by Kurdish and US commandos against an ISIS prison earlier this year managed to free some 70 prisoners, mostly local Arabs.

Now the Kurds are poised to join the operation when it comes.

"We have our own plans and priorities," Peshmerga commander Rasoul Omar told Rudaw.

"We will join the operations but in cooperation with the Iraqi and coalition forces," Omar said and noted that ISIS militants in Hawija pose a direct threat to the security of Kirkuk, located some 30 kilometres to the north.

Comments

 
Francis.GR | 7/10/2016
Asking locals to revolt against ISIS seems to me a sure recepee to achieve a local bloodbath of civilians. And I suppose the locals are perfectly aware of it.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Brzoo Kurdi | 2/20/2017 5:56:21 AM
I just realized Islamic religion is not so bad , if you live in a jangle.but not in a civilized environment....
ISIS emir responsible for beheading 4 Peshmerga killed in coalition airstrike
| yesterday at 10:15 | (1)
Brzoo Kurdi | 2/20/2017 5:48:44 AM
Imagine , our neighbor,was not Turkey but France , was not Arab but English , was not the lunatics in Iran who dress like Arab , but German ,we would...
Barzani to arrive in Paris for meeting with French President
| yesterday at 08:40 | (1)
Brzoo Kurdi | 2/19/2017 10:51:44 AM
Abadi must stop listening to the ayatollahs in Iran and Iraq....
Brzoo Kurdi | 2/20/2017 5:10:38 AM
The unity of Iraqi Army , is next to Zero......the 2 factions , one represents the Pumpkin head Ali , and the other pumpkin head Mohammad or Omar ,...
LIVE UPDATES: Abadi announces start of military campaign for west Mosul
| yesterday at 11:48 | (4)
Karim | 2/19/2017 7:42:14 PM
Hi. We are kurd.all Kurdstan need be free.since 100 years. They. Trying killing as they did everything to our people. Home to home city to city land...
Nijyar Shemdin | 2/20/2017 4:13:55 AM
Congratulations on the successes of the KR meetings in Munich. One area of concern that leave KR shortchanged is the inclusion of the PMF or Hashd in...
Barzani gets support for right to self-determination in talks with world leaders
| 19/2/2017 | (10)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Iraqi forces face army of 1800 ISIS militants, 200 suicide bombers in West Mosul yesterday at 11:47 |

Iraqi forces face army of 1800 ISIS militants, 200 suicide bombers in West Mosul

The real fight will begin when Iraqi forces reach more
ISIS emir responsible for beheading 4 Peshmerga killed in coalition airstrike yesterday at 10:15 | (1)

ISIS emir responsible for beheading 4 Peshmerga killed in coalition airstrike

it was a joint operation between the coalition more
Kurdish conference brings four parts of Kurdistan together in Moscow 15/2/2017 | (20)

Kurdish conference brings four parts of Kurdistan together in Moscow

“the Kurds are one, and Kurdistan is one," more
0.344 seconds