At least 151 people were killed in violence today. Another 22 people were reported wounded, but so were "dozens" of militants.
President Barack Obama reiterated that U.S. troops will not be put on the ground in Iraq but also stated the U.S. is ready for "targeted and precise" action if needed. He is also sending 300 advisors to Iraq and called on the Iraqi government to be "inclusive."
Retired U.S. General David Petreus advised Washington to resist becoming an "air force for Shi’ite militias." The general became well known to Americans while commanding troops in Iraq and believes that sectarian conflicts need to be addressed adequately.
Echoing Obama, the Saudi Arabian government insisted that Iraq needs an internal solution to the current situation, not foreign intervention. Its remarks are directed towards regional rival Iran, which has already sent advisors and troops.
Turkey warned that U.S. airstrikes could cause high civilian casualties. At least 80 Turkish nationals are held by militants. Turkey also announced the release of 44 foreign captives in the Kirkuk area. Local Turkmen, an ethnic minority distantly related to the Turks, secured their release without the need for military action. The Turkmen are also forming their own military force to counter the "unacceptable" presence of Kurdish Peshmerga.
An unidentified ally of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the danger to Baghdad had subsided, and Iraq no longer needs U.S. airstrikes.
Besides the Maliki government, Kurdish officials seem to be the only ones who would like to see airstrikes. Kurdistan benefited greatly from U.S. involvement in Iraq, and it stands to gain the most now.
Christians from Mosul are still assessing their options following the takeover of the city. Many if not most have fled the city.
Maliki ordered the release of 2,000 Shi’ite prisoners from Chamchamal Prison in order for them to join the fighting. Many were on death row. All volunteers will get the same privileges as troops, as well as a salary. Presumably, that offer includes the prisoners.
One of the top military officers that Maliki fired on Tuesday is Staff Lieutenant General Mahdi Al Gharawi. Gharawi will face charges for abandoning his post, but past charges, that include torture, may be what helped militants take over Mosul. At least 58 others also face charges for abandoning their posts.
Fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni rival targeted by Maliki, complained that the international community "turned a blind eye" to aggressions perpetrated by the Maliki government in Anbar over the last few months. Hashemi sought asylum in Turkey after Maliki’s allies in court convicted him of murder in 2012.
Australian troops are headed to secure their embassy in Iraq.
There is a somewhat secretive effort to replace Maliki underway.
A survivor of a jailhouse massacre in Baquba — who was the only witness to the crime — was kidnapped from his hospital bed. His body was later dropped off at the morgue. Sunnis are accusing Shi’ite police and militiamen for perpetrating the mass murder. The government first claimed that the men were killing in shelling, but then changed the story to "crossfire" when all the bodies were found with bullet wounds.
At least 30 more militants were killed during battles at the Baiji refinery. The government has been able to keep some territory within the large compound. As many as 300 workers fled during a brief truce.
Fifteen militants were killed and dozens more were wounded during battles in Adhaim.
In Tal Afar, tribal fighters killed 15 militants. A member of a Shi’ite political party, the Islamic Supreme Iraqi Council, was accidentally killed along with several of his children during military operations. A militant leader was killed.
In Jalawla, Peshmerga troops killed three militants and wounded four more.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed two policemen and wounded two more in Baghdad al-Jadida.
Two bombs killed one civilian and wounded five more in Sadr City.
Six militants were killed in Baquba.
In Balad Ruz, a civilian was abducted.
A bomb in Kirkuk wounded four civilians.
Fifteen militants were killed in air strikes in Latifiya and Mahmoudiya.
Another 55 militants were killed in Albu Jawary and 600 House.
Security forces in Jurf al-Sakhar somehow killed two gunmen driving a car bomb.
In Qaim, clashes took place.