A uniquely coordinated offensive was on its way Saturday to push ISIS out the Iraqi town of Hawija, 55km southeast of the oil city of Kirkuk. For once, a broad range of forces are fighting together – at least at the start. They are the Iraqi Army, the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and the pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite PMU, which led the capture of Tel Afar last week. They have set the date for their general offensive on Hawija as Wednesday, Aug. 6, the last day of the Al Adha festival.
DEBKAfile: This town is the key to controlling some of Iraq’s northern oil fields centering on Kirkuk. Kurdish leaders in Irbil therefore fear that the assorted forces will turn on each other as the operation progresses and the Iraqi army will try and push the Kurds out of the oil center.