Source: The Washington Post
By Mustafa Salim and Tamer El-Ghobashy October 5
DIBIS, Iraq — Iraqi forces have reclaimed the town of Hawijah from the Islamic State, Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday, though fighting continued in pockets of the last significant urban territory controlled by the militant group.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the announcement from Paris, where he was meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss a growing crisis over an independence referendum held by Iraq’s Kurds.
Macron offered to mediate between the Iraqi central government and the Kurds, even as other regional powers have taken steps to isolate the Kurdish region in retaliation for last week’s vote.
France has been a traditional proponent of Kurdish self-determination, but Macron said Iraq’s territorial integrity must be maintained — dashing hopes by Kurdish officials that France would become one of the few countries to support a possible break from Baghdad.