The U.S. military has encouraged the Iraqi government to remove Shi’ite militiamen from the battles in Ramadi. The fighting then resumed with increased Coalition airstrikes, which may or may not have been contingent on the removal of those forces. A similar request occurred in Tikrit after fighting stalled there. There are conflicting reports as to how strong the American request was. Many Federal policemen have arrived to take the militiamen’s place.
Local officials in Anbar had rejected the use of the militiamen in their predominantly Sunni province, but the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad has ignored their requests. Because of mistrust, the government has also been slow to arm pro-government Sunni fighters in the province. The greater fear, however, is that the militiamen will cause more Sunnis to turn against Iraq.
At least 123 people were killed and another 16 were wounded.
Mortar fire in Taza wounded three Turkmen militia members.
About 120 teenagers were kidnapped from various schools in the greater Mosul region.
Clashes in the Hamrin Mountains left 30 militants dead.
Twenty militants were killed in airstrikes near the Baiji refinery.
Peshmerga forces killed 18 militants in Zummer.
A militant leader and his aide were killed in Hawija.
Seven militants were killed in Haditha.
In Fathah, six militants were killed.
Four boatloads of militants were killed trying to sneak into al-Baghdadi.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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