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Iraqi army claims recapture of Isis stronghold Hawija

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Popular Mobilization Forces and Iraqi army members gather on the outskirts of Hawija Iraq

Government and allied forces backed by a USA -led coalition launched an offensive last month to oust Daesh from Hawija, a longtime insurgent bastion.

Hawija: 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.

Thick black smoke continued to rise from areas surrounding Hawija, from oil wells torched by the militants to prevent air detection.

This latest victory for Iraqi forces, however, may not spell the end for the militant group in the country. Footage released by Iraqi police shows troops walking through a nearby village, greeting and dancing with its residents who have been living under Islamic State since 2014.

The office added that humanitarian agencies had set up checkpoints, camps and emergency sites ready to accommodate the thousands who could flee.

They also hold parts along Syria's side of the border, but the area under their control is shrinking as they retreat in the face of two different sets of hostile forces - a US-backed, Kurdish-led coalition and Syrian regime troops with foreign Shia militias backed by Iran and Russian Federation. "All that remains is the strip on the border with Syria".

Macron made the offer after meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Paris on Thursday in wide-ranging talks about French support for the fight against the Islamic State group and rebuilding Iraqi's economy.

A statement for Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition fighting IS, said "battle-hardened" troops had fought for 14 days to liberate the city.

ISIS is teetering on the brink of defeat in Iraq after being driven out of its last northern stronghold.

One leads to Mosul - Iraq's second city which was recaptured from ISIL in July - and the other goes to the city of Kirkuk and the autonomous Kurdish region. "Only the outskirts remain to be recaptured".

Once they fall, IS will be left with only a stretch of the Euphrates river valley around al-Qaim, in the western desert near the border with Syria.

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