Fighting raged in Sinjar today where Peshmerga forces began their campaign to retake the Sinjar, which they call Shengal. Iraqi forces bombed parts of the city and other nearby locations. Militants, however, are removing victims from Sinjar and executing them deeper within their consolidated territory. One Yazidi spokesperson claimed that thousands were already slaughtered. That has not been independently confirmed, yet. At least 457 people were killed and 63 were wounded.
A spokesman for the Yazidis community, Jawhar Ali Begg, said that thousands of Yazidis have been killed, and tens of thousands have fled their homeland in northern Iraq. It is unclear if that many people were killed in Sinjar overnight, but dozens of members of this persecuted minority group certainly have already lost their lives. Khodhr Domli, a Yazidi rights activists, accused the militants of ethnic cleansing. Other minorities in the region are also suffering.
After surprising losses by Kurdish forces over the weekend, the Iraqi government has offered air support in their fight against Islamic State militants. Some airstrikes may have already been implemented. The Kurds have apparently declined the offer. There are also rumors that the United States may offer similar air support.
Kurdish President Massoud Barzani complained that "Iraq and International forces haven’t helped Peshmerga to fight IS and have even obstructed Peshmerga buying weapons in order to defend ourselves."
Fighters affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Union Party (P.Y.D.) have already crossed over the border and engaged in fighting.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) is also getting involved. They called on Kurds everywhere to take up arms. With a Turkish peace deal in the works, P.K.K. guerrillas can be redeployed against ISIS/DAASH. They fought a decades-long war against Turkey that only recently started to wind down.
The Kurdish government is asking a United States court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Iraqi government. At issue is the sale of a tankerfull of Kurdish crude oil waiting for permission to enter U.S. waters off Texas. Baghdad insists only it has the right to sell oil overseas; however, they have been shorting the Kurds money owed them, so the Kurds feel they have the right to sell their own oil.
Should they be allowed, they could easily afford arms to use against the Islamic State. But, once again, Baghdad claims the right to make foreign sales for Kurdistan and would resist allowing them to freely buy all they weapons they can.
The northern front:
At the very least 58 more Yazidis were killed since militants stormed Sinjar (Shengal) yesterday, bringing the known number of dead up to 88 killed. The actual figure is likely higher.
The Red Cross said about 100 Yazidi families were taken to the airport in Tal Afar where the men were killed. The women may be forced to marry ISIS fighters. About 100 Shi’ite Turkmen families are trapped without supplies at a cement factory outside Sinjar.
Iraqi warplanes bombed southern parts of the Sinjar, while Peshmerga forces made gains the north. Two militants were killed in the airstrikes and eight more were wounded, but more deaths may have occurred.
The Kurds say that the Mosul Dam is still under their control.
Peshmerga troops recaptured Wana, near the Mosul Dam.
Thirteen militants were killed in Rabeaa where Syrian Kurds were reported deployed yesterday.
Operations in Aziz Balad and al-Hardaniya left 20 militants dead.
Fifty militants were killed in Zumar.
Airstrikes in Baaj killed 117 militants.
Islamic State militants are also attempting to grab hold of the Haditha Dam.
Three people were killed and six more were wounded during a mortar attack in Garma.
Four policemen were wounded in a double bombing in Karbala.
In Jurf al-Sakhar, ten snipers were killed.
Clashes left four militants dead in Ramadi.
Clashes in Jalawla left two militants dead and three Peshmerga wounded. A suicide bombing killed three civilians and wounded six more at a coffee shop in Widha. A bomb in Suq killed two people and wounded five more.
A bomb wounded three people at Kilo 35 in Anbar.
Security forces killed 120 militants in Amerli.
A militant was gunned down in Mansouriya.