Light violence left one Iraqi dead and six more wounded. However, it is unclear how many, if any, Iraqi casualties are occurring at the Iranian border, where Kurdish rebels are fighting against Iranian troops.
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the Iraqi military needs U.S. help beyond the year-end final withdrawal for American troops.Although a private army overseen by the U.S. State Department will replace the G.I.s, Iraq seems willing to entertain the idea of regular military troops remaining within Iraqi territory as well. Many Iraqi politicians disagree, however, with the call for an extended stay.
Separately, Zebari warned Iran that cross-border shelling is harming relations between the two countries and demanded Iran stop pursuing Kurdish rebels hiding in Iraqi territory. For several days, Iran has been shelling Kurdish areas of northern Iraq where Party of a Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) rebels are based. This offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is seeking an independent Kurdistan but focuses their operations against Iran. The shelling has caused hundreds of residents to flee the area. There have also been reports of Iranian Revolutionary Guards entering Iraq and armed clashes resulting in numerous casualties. Due to the remoteness of the area, it is impossible to independently verify any claims made by Iran or the rebels.
At least four people were wounded in a Falluja bombing.
In Baghdad, a Katyusha rocket fell on the Green Zone but no casualties were reported.
A sticky bomb in Kirkuk wounded a policeman.
Katyusha rockets fell on a base in Nasariya, but no casualties were reported.
The U.S. military handed a base near the Najaf airport over to their Iraqi counterparts.
U.S. air forces destroyed a parked vehicle in Musharah but no casualties were reported.
Security precautions are being implemented ahead of planned protests tomorrow in Anbar province.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
- Seven U.S. Airmen Among 131 Killed in Iraq – March 16th, 2018
- U.S. Military Helicopter Crash; 63 Killed in Iraq – March 15th, 2018
- Mass Grave Found Near Kirkuk; 29 Killed in Iraq – March 14th, 2018
- Militiaman Shoots P.M.’s Security Officer; 32 Killed in Iraq – March 13th, 2018
- Scattered ISIS Attacks near Kirkuk; 54 Killed in Iraq – March 12th, 2018