Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi traveled to Arbil in his first visit to Kurdistan since becoming Iraq’s premier last year. Among the topics of discussion was the liberation of Nineveh province. Mosul, the provincial capital, is Iraq’s second largest city, and its liberation will require cooperation between the federal and Kurdish troops. In Diyala, where Kurdish and Iraqi troops fought against the militants together, conflict between the pro-government forces undermined the fighting and recovery.
On Monday, Abadi also downplayed the post-liberation mayhem in Tikrit. He said “Only 67 houses and…around 85 stores were burned.” The perpetrators of the looting and destruction were not mentioned by name, but pro-government, Shi’ite militiamen have been accused. If so, the devastation, however small it may have been, was carried out in direct opposition to orders by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric.
MP Vian Dakhil, who is Yazidi, says that the Islamic State militants are holding 5,422 Yazidis currently. About 4,000 are female.
In Tikrit, a technical team has begun exhuming what could be the bodies of as many as 1,700 soldiers from 12 suspected mass graves. The soldiers were killed last summer. The work is slow, and they have only uncovered 20 bodies so far, but all the evidence points to the group being those from Camp Speicher.
Sixty Assyrians have formed a Christian militia, despite a lack of weapons.
At least 85 were killed and 65 more were wounded.
Militants executed 25 civilians in Qaim.
Shelling in Amiriyat al-Falluja left two dead and 30 wounded.
Eight security personnel were killed and 13 were wounded during separate clashes near the Alas oil field.
Gunmen wounded two health care workers in Tuz.
A bomb near Tikrit wounded a number of workers at a power plant, including their director.
Three militiamen were wounded in a blast near Jurf al-Sakhar.
In Baiji, 25 militants were killed in strikes.
An airstrike on a bridge near Falluja left nine militants dead and 14 wounded.
Thirteen militants were killed in a failed attack against troops in Mazra’a.
At least three militants were killed in Baghdad.