Reports in Iraqi media, that the operation on Mosul has already begun, appear to have been premature. However, security forces are standing ready for the operation and are waiting for the go ahead from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Also, leaflets have been dropped on the city, warning residents of the impending battle. Meanwhile, a Peshmerga commander says that U.S. forces have started shelling Islamic State positions around the city. Ahead of the operation, the militants have been transferring their wounded to Syria and releasing some prisoners. Families have also been sent on ahead.
Militants destroyed a hospital in Tal Afar before withdrawing from the city.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at a youth conference in Germany on Saturday. She suggested that plans are in the works to give Yazidis a protected area in northern Iraq.
At least 88 people were killed and 80 were wounded:
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber attacked a tent filled with Ashura pilgrims, killing 41 people. The tent was also a gathering point for mourners of a local resident. The location was in Shabb. At least 57 were wounded. Separately, a bomb in the Jihad district left five wounded.
In Qayara, airstrikes killed five militants and wounded seven more.
Security forces killed six militants in Rutba.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
- U.S. Service Member Among 17 Killed in Iraq – April 20th, 2019
- ISIS Attacks Federal Police; Four Killed in Iraq – April 18th, 2019
- Roadside Bomb Targets Soldiers; 23 Killed in Iraq – April 16th, 2019
- Militia Attacks Police in Mosul; Eight Killed in Iraq – April 14th, 2019
- Security Personnel Clash with ISIS; Seven Killed in Iraq – April 12th, 2019