Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



IRAQ WARS
Cinders and desolation in Iraq's Hawija after IS
By Sarah Benhaida
Hawija, Iraq (AFP) Oct 7, 2017


One side of the billboard calls for jihad, while the other warns of death for smokers. Iraq's Hawija still bears clear signs of its three years under jihadist rule.

Islamic State group jihadists set fire to everything they could before they fled an Iraqi government offensive on the northern town in oil-rich Kirkuk province.

Thick black smoke billows from burning oil wells around the town. Fields lie scorched in the surrounding region known for its cereal crops and watermelons.

Government troops and paramilitary units on Thursday retook Hawija, one of the jihadist group's last bastions in the country.

Beside roads leading into the town, villagers throw themselves at passing military convoys begging for food.

"We haven't seen a teabag or spoonful of sugar for four years," Um Imed says, tears in her eyes.

"Our children are dying of hunger and go barefoot," she says, fiddling with the edge of her long black robe, covered in dust from the passing vehicles.

"Only IS families got fat from the taxes they levied on our crops and the quarter of our produce" they took for themselves, she says.

- Life under IS -

The desolation is the same inside the town, where the 70,000 Sunni Arab residents who were believed to have stayed on under IS rule are nowhere to be seen.

In 2014, "when IS seized the town, they used the hospital," a spokesman for the Shiite-dominated Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force tells AFP.

"But as the Iraqi forces approached, they wanted to burn everything so no one could use it -- despite it being public infrastructure," Mohammed Khalil says.

But some of the medical centre has survived the flames.

In consultation rooms, glass shards and blood samples litter the floor, while in the nurses' staffroom, prescriptions, pamphlets and other pieces of paper recount life under IS.

On one sheet of paper headed "Islamic State, Kirkuk province", jihadist leaders ask staff to urgently treat "brother Adel, a soldier in the special forces".

"They too only got things through connections," a Hashed member scoffs, before slipping away.

Opposite the hospital, no one has entered the town hall for fear it has been booby-trapped.

IS has lost vast swathes of its territory in Iraq since it overran around a third of the country, imposing its brutal interpretation of Islamic law on those it ruled.

Smoking was banned under the jihadists and punishable in their so-called Islamic courts.

- 'We're waiting' -

Hawija, 230 kilometres (140 miles) north of Baghdad, was at the centre of a pocket of mainly Sunni Arab towns that were among the group's final holdouts.

The town had been an insurgent bastion since soon after the US-led invasion of 2003, earning it the nickname of "Kandahar in Iraq" for its ferocious resistance -- an allusion to the Taliban's citadel in Afghanistan.

Jihad is nothing new in Hawija, as shown by pamphlets scattered in the hospital, or nearby in what was an IS court.

While a shiny pamphlet speaks of the "joy of martyrdom", another quotes late Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who fought the Americans and ordered grisly executions of Western hostages before being killed in a US air strike in 2006.

But Hawija is now in new hands.

In the town's central market, reduced to rubble by a car bomb, Hashed members have planted their own flag on top of surviving stalls.

Instead of the jihadist standard, the new flag bears the face of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and a revered figure in Shiite Islam.

"Let IS return," says Oday Salman, a 35-year-old who left his wife and baby girl in the Shiite shrine city of Najaf to come and fight the jihadists.

"We're here, and we're waiting."

IRAQ WARS
Iraq forces retake IS bastion Hawija
Hawija, Iraq (AFP) Oct 5, 2017
Iraqi forces retook one of the Islamic State group's last two enclaves in the country on Thursday, overrunning the longtime insurgent bastion of Hawija after a two-week offensive. IS once held one-third of Iraqi territory but it has suffered loss after loss this year and now only controls a slither of land in the Euphrates Valley near the Syrian border. "I announce the liberation of the ... read more

Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

IRAQ WARS
PAC-3 MSE Test Successful from Remote Launcher

Saudi intercepts Yemen rebel missile

Lockheed Martin to replace USS Fitzgerald's SPY-1D AEGIS radar

Orbital ATK launches Patriot system target vehicle

IRAQ WARS
Saudi Arabia says to buy Russia S-400 defence systems, other arms

US-Russia-China cooperation could hinder the proliferation of hypersonic missiles

Taiwan navy personnel jailed for fatal missile misfire

Putin in Turkey for talks on weapons deal, Syria

IRAQ WARS
IAI unmanned helo performs proof-of-concept demo

Driverless hover-taxi makes first 'concept' flight in Dubai

Drones, Fighter jets on table as Mattis visits key ally India

Wanted: Novel Approaches for Detecting and Stopping Small Unmanned Air Systems

IRAQ WARS
82nd Airborne tests in-flight communication system for paratroopers

Spectra Airbus SlingShot Partnership Extension

Airbus prepares the future European Governmental Satellite Communications programme

Northrop awarded contract for support of Air Force communications system

IRAQ WARS
Rheinmetall, Paravan team on autonomous vehicle technology

Orbit Logic Awarded Navy Autonomy Contract

Raytheon awarded contract for upgrades to Small Diameter Bomb

African country orders Elbit defense electronic systems

IRAQ WARS
Leonardo opens new site in Australia

Australia to upgrade submarines, frigates

BAE Systems Australia to support Indigenous companies

Saab eyes possible U.S. factory location

IRAQ WARS
Trump makes cryptic 'calm before the storm' remark

Philippines hails US as top ally, welcomes war games

Hong Kong lawmaker guilty of desecrating Chinese flag

Trump accepts Duterte's ASEAN summit invite after all

IRAQ WARS
Tungsten offers nano-interconnects a path of least resistance

Nanoscale islands dot light-driven catalyst

Nanoparticle supersoap creates 'bijel' with potential as sculptable fluid

Creative use of noise brings bio-inspired electronic improvement




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement