Kirkuk, Iraq (BBN) – Iraqi forces say they have recaptured Hawija, one of the last enclaves of so-called Islamic State (IS).
On Wednesday they had said they killed 196 IS militants and recaptured 98 villages, reports BBC.
The area, where tens of thousands of civilians live, has been under the militant group’s control since 2014.
The recapture leaves just one area of Iraq under the militant group’s control; a stretch of land along the western border with Syria.
IS continues to hold parts of Syria.
Troops, police and paramilitaries engaged in the Iraqi offensive against IS “liberated the whole of the centre of Hawija and are continuing their advance,” the operation’s commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah, said.
State television said the army had “fully” retaken Hawija.
On Tuesday Iraqi forces captured the Rashad air base south of the city, which was used as a training camp by the militants.
The country’s army has been engaged in a sustained offensive against the self-styled caliphate this year, retaking the country’s second largest city Mosul in July after a nine-month battle.