Chaos Reigns In Iraq As At Least 120 Killed, 30 Wounded

The fighting continued today for some members of Iraq’s army, Peshmerga troops, tribal fighters and even Iranian soldiers. However, many Iraqi soldiers simply gave up. At least 120 people died, but many uncounted militants were also reported killed in air strikes. At least 30 people were wounded. Tallying casualties in the hot zone is nearly impossible and these figures are only an estimate of known casualties.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling for the formation of militia units to drive ISIS/DAASH militants out of Iraq. In the past, Maliki has treated the militias poorly, particularly Sunni-dominated ones.

Although recent suggestions for the reinstatement of the Mahdi Army were rejected, Shi’ite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is now calling for the formation of units, perhaps under different leadership.

A Kurdish member of the Iraq Army said that only 300 troops could have saved Mosul, but the Arab members quickly fled. He believes they left because they are not welcome by Mosul residents. The government launched air strikes today.

Peshmerga forces have secured Kirkuk. The long-term ramifications of this are unclear as the city is deep within territory contested by the Kurdish Autonomous Region. After the U.S. invasion in 2003, US forces welcomed Peshmerga help, but the Iraqi government has frequently rejected the Kurdish fighters. The Kurdish Regional Government would certainly benefit from gaining this historically Kurdish and oil-rich region.

Although the Iraqi government insists it took back Tikrit, today the air force bombed militants holed up in a former Saddam Hussein palace. Also, elite Iranian troops have been deployed there.

Militants have returned to Baiji.

Iraqi troops abandoned their post on the Syrian border near Qaim, Anbar. Residents are forming their own militia to protect the city and border crossing.

Also in Anbar, troops fled the Mazraa military base.

Troops also abandoned their base in Saqlawiya.

Fighting is ongoing in Samarra.

In Jalawla, an Iraqi SWAT team fought with Peshmerga troops before deserting the city. Other towns in Diyala have Peshmerga protection now as well.

Iraqi troops abandoned Kubaisa after a battle with militants.

Clashes between police and gunmen took place in Rutba.

The government denied clashes were occurring on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Tribal fighters are protecting holy sites in Samarra.

Casualties:

The bodies of 12 Iraq soldiers were discovered in Shirqat.

Military air strikes killed three civilians and wounded 12 more in Falluja.

Gunmen in Balad killed two army officers and two university professors driving in a car.

An I.E.D. killed two soldiers and wounded four more in Saidiya.

In Baiji, gunmen killed the 10-year-old nephew of a member of parliament.

Near Manzila, a photographer was killed and 14 Peshmerga were wounded in clashes.

Over 70 militants were killed in air strikes in Salah ad Din province.

Iraqi forces killed six militants, including an emir, in Abu Ghraib.

The army killed many militants during operations around Tikrit.

Air strikes in Duluiya and Mutassim left many militants dead.

Dozens of militants were killed in air strikes near Adhaim.

Bombs just south of Baghdad in Fadhiliya killed 21 militants.

In Baghdad, security forces killed an insurgent. A kidnapping victim was rescued.

Read more by Margaret Griffis

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.