Iraq’s army has launched an operation in the center of the country’s northern town of Hawija, Kirkuk province, in an effort to drive militants of the Daesh terror group from the town, local media reported Wednesday.

In late September, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of an offensive on the Islamist-held Hawija.

“Rapid reaction forces have blocked the center of Hawija. Multiple units of security forces continue moving through the town and clearing its neighborhoods,” a source told the Alsumaria broadcaster.

Iraq’s Shia militia, or Hashd Shaabi, in turn, announced that they gained total control of the town.

Daesh terror group captured Hawija and its vicinity in the northern province of Kirkuk more than three years ago. The town became the main stronghold of the terror group in the region after the Iraqi army regained control of Mosul in July.

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