At least 67 people were killed across Iraq today, and another 44 were wounded. Peshmerga troops liberated several villages in the north, while Iraqi airstrikes helped residents in Diyala.
U.S. General Martin Dempsey indicated that if the current strategy against the Islamic State fails, he would recommend to U.S. President Barack Obama to send ground troops to fight the militants. This appears to undermine Obama’s promise to keep combat soldiers out of the fighting.
Parliament rejected Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi‘s two picks for the posts of interior and defense ministers. Shi’ite political groups held up the appointments. Among the groups opposing the picks were the Shi’ite militias and their backers in parliament. Should the militias gain an ally in either of those posts, it could suggest to Sunnis that sectarianism will be tolerated by the new government. The Interior Ministry was once feared for its openly operating "death squads."
Peshmerga troops liberated seven predominantly Christian villages in northern Iraq.
Yazidis have begun the fight for Sinjar. There are some casualties.
An airstrike on a dam in al-Sudor allowed water to pass through to Balad Ruz. Militants had blocked the river for almost three weeks in order to deny water to residents.
A bomb killed one person and wounded nine more in Tuz.
In Baghdad, a bomb on a bus killed one person and wounded eight more.
An Integrity Commission official was shot dead in Kirkuk.
A dumped body was found in Husseiniya.
Militants kidnapped 22 people, including a parliament candidate, in Aski.
Twelve Christians kidnapped in Mosul a month ago were freed.
Fifteen militants were killed in the Fadhiliya area.
U.S. airstrikes near the Mosul Dam killed 12 militants.
In Yathrib, a militant leader and six companions were killed during an airstrike.
Mortars killed four militants in Tikrit.
Four militants were killed in clashes in al-Sger.
In Halabsa, four militants were killed.
Two gunmen were killed as they tried to transport a bomb in Mahmoudiya.
A senior militant commander was killed during operations to liberate Hassan Sham.