M.P. Ahmed Salmani warned that Shi’ite militias may be holding 3,000 Sunni prisoners in a secret jail in Jurf al-Sakhar under orders given by former Prime Minister and current Vice President Nouri al-Maliki.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen met with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani in Erbil on Friday to discuss the Peshmerga’s role in the upcoming assault on Mosul. Germany has been giving support to Kurdish forces. Although they will support operations against the Islamic State militants, they do not trust Baghdad will play fair once ISIS/DAESH is destroyed.
Two more villages in the Shirqat region were liberated on Saturday, as was an Assyrian archaeological site. Daesh militants have been known to loot and destroy ancient sites across Iraq and Syria.
U.K. Lieutenant General Mark Carleton-Smith warned that British jets have come under attack from surface-to-air missiles in Iraqi and Syria, but the missiles have failed to find their targets.
The homecoming of civilians to Fallujah has been slow. Only about 500 families have returned to the city, while others await passing security checks just outside the city limits. The city was liberated in June but it took months to clear it of bombs.
At least 87 people were killed and 49 were wounded:
Near Salam, just north of Tikrit, security forces killed a gunman who shot dead five policemen and two bystanders around 5:00 a.m. at the al-Aqwas checkpoint. Two of his colleagues traveled further into the town where they set off a truck bomb and an explosives vest, killing 11 security personnel and wounding 34 more. The targets of the attack were two security chiefs, but they were uninjured. Perhaps not coincidentally, security forces launched an operation in nearby Azwai.
Militants executed 25 civilians for cooperating with security forces in Nineveh province.
Rockets carrying an unknown substance sickened 10 people in Qayara. The injured were treated for breathing difficulties.
In Mosul, 11 civilians were killed in a strike on a sharia courtroom. Militants shot dead an 80-year-old man for insulting them. An airstrike reportedly killed a number of militants, including the man in charge of detaining prisoners.
Twelve militants were killed in a strike on a tunnel in Bashiqa.
In Zab, an airstrike killed 10 militants and wounded five more.
Strikes killed six militants, including two leaders, near Kirkuk.
Three militants were executed in Hawija for fleeing the battle in Shirqat.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
- ISIS Attacks on Kirkuk Province Highways; Four Killed in Iraq – March 19th, 2018
- Bodies Pollute River in Mosul; 12 Killed in Iraq – March 18th, 2018
- Seven U.S. Airmen Among 131 Killed in Iraq – March 16th, 2018
- U.S. Military Helicopter Crash; 63 Killed in Iraq – March 15th, 2018
- Mass Grave Found Near Kirkuk; 29 Killed in Iraq – March 14th, 2018