Iraq take full control on mountains crossing Diyala, Kirkuk

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iraqi troops managed to impose full control on mountains that stretch out between Diyala and Kirkuk provinces, commander announced.

In a statement on Saturday, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Hawija Operations, said the army’s ninth armored division and the pro-government al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) have imposed full control on Hamreen mountains in northeastern Iraq.

Troops managed to retake areas between Zgheitoun bridge reaching until al-Fatha bridge, an area that stretches out 45 kilometers with depth of 15 kilometers.

On Monday, troops managed to retake al-Fatha region, northeast of Tikrit, and raised the Iraqi flag on the highest peak of Hamreen mountains, which extend between Diyala and Kirkuk.

Al-Fatha is considered a pivotal region as Tigris passes through it between Makhoul and Hamreen mountains. On its west bank, where ISIS still exists, Biji refineries and electricity generation stations are located.

Late September, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command announced beginning of the second phase of Hawija offensive.

Having recaptured Hawija, Iraqi troops still have only western Anbar’s towns of Rawa and Qaim remain under the militant’s control. Iraqi troops recaptured the town of Annah, a third ISIS holdout neighboring those two towns, late September.

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