Just another Network site

1,000 ISIS militants surrender as Iraq retakes key town of Hawija

1,000 ISIS militants surrender as Iraq retakes key town of Hawija

  • U.S.-backed Iraqi forces announced Thursday they have retaken one of the Islamic State’s remaining strongholds after about 1,000 militants surrendered amid fresh signs the terror group is collapsing and unable to defend its territory.
  • “They’re giving up,” said Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, who commands the coalition task force fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
  • The fall of Hawija in northern Iraq, after two weeks of fighting, is the latest in a string of defeats for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and suggests the rank-and-file fighters are demoralized as the group struggles to defend what remains of the territory it seized in 2014….
  • Terror groups like the Islamic State have proven resilient, regenerating leaders and conscripting or recruiting new waves of fighters.
  • ISIS militants still control a string of towns and villages stretching along the Euphrates River in Iraq and Syria, where they are expected to make a last stand.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces announced Thursday they have retaken one of the Islamic State's remaining strongholds after about 1,000 militants surrendered amid fresh signs the terror group is collapsing and unable to defend its territory.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces announced Thursday they have retaken one of the Islamic State’s remaining strongholds after about 1,000 militants surrendered amid fresh signs the terror group is collapsing and unable to defend its territory.

“They’re giving up,” said Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, who commands the coalition task force fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “Their leaders are abandoning them.”

The fall of Hawija in northern Iraq, after two weeks of fighting, is the latest in a string of defeats for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and suggests the rank-and-file fighters are demoralized as the group struggles to defend what remains of the territory it seized in 2014.

“The speed at which the enemy gave up surprised me,” Funk told USA TODAY in a phone interview from Baghdad, after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of Hawija.

Funk said about 1,000 militants surrendered in the past three or four days of fighting in Hawija. The coalition had estimated up to 1,500 militants were defending the city when the offensive began.

In July, Iraq announced that Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, was retaken from ISIS after about nine months of intense fighting. Since that decisive battle, the pace of the Islamic State’s decline seems to have quickened.

U.S.-backed forces in Syria have recaptured about three-quarters of…

1,000 ISIS militants surrender as Iraq retakes key town of Hawija