Hundreds of militants were killed in security operations across Iraq on Saturday. At least two strategic towns were brought back under Iraqi or Kurdish control. Two more towns were also liberated. At least 716 people were killed and 107 were wounded. Very few security deaths were reported in these violent clashes, so the numbers are likely much higher.
The plight of Duluiya is a good example of the troubles besetting the country. Residents and tribal fighters have managed to fight Islamic State militants for months, but requests for assistance from Baghdad continue to be ignored. The residents believe this is due to the Sunni predominance in the city. They point north to Amerli, a Shi’ite town that was suffering in similar circumstances and was successfully rescued by Baghdad support, even though it is farther from the capital. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has promised to turn back the sectarian nature of the army but that could take months to accomplish. He also said in a press conference yesterday that poorly operating army units would be replaced and asked for the country’s patience.
A roadside bomb in Alam killed four soldiers and wounded six volunteers.
Two people were killed and seven more were wounded in a mortar attack in Falluja.
Two civilians were killed, by accident, in a U.S. airstrike in Qayara.
Seventeen Turkmen from Tal Afar are being held captive in Ayn al-Helwa.
Militants blew up a Yazidi shrine at the base of Mount Sinjar.
In Hajaj and Albu Tu’mma, security forces killed 300 militants and liberated the two towns.
Security forces killed 140 militants and wounded 60 more as they wrapped up their operations in Jurf al-Sakhar. P.M. Haider al-Abadi visited the troops on Saturday, after the region was cleared of militants.
Twelve militants were killed in Arab Jabour.
Ten militants were killed in Nibaie.
Security forces killed nine militants, including one holding Chinese nationality, in Amiriyat al-Falluja.
In Kubaisa, unidentified assailants killed seven militants.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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