Baghdad Admits to Military Casualties; 254 Killed in Iraq

In a rare admission of casualties, Iraqi authorities notified their American counterparts that at least 57 Iraqi soldiers have been killed. The figure does not include personnel belonging to forces other than the Iraqi army. Baghdad has been reluctant to release such figures since the Islamic State militants declared their “caliphate” in 2014. Perhaps it is direct involvement by Coalition troops in the operation that is forcing Baghdad to be more transparent.

The believability of low casualty figures is undermined by the unusually high number of burials at the Wadi al-Salaam graveyard in the holy city of Najaf. It is the largest cemetery in the world and favored by Shi’ites who wish to be buried near Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first Shi’ite imam.

Separately, General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, reported that as many as 900 militants have been killed in the fighting so far. If accurate, that figure is up by 130 militant deaths since the Iraqi army released a set of figures on Monday.

Residents of Fadiliya celebrated their emancipation from Daesh today, some of them with Peshmerga fighters who are also their family members. But the city’s liberation came too late for other families whose young men were taken away only days ago.

In Qayara, residents are screening displaced civilians themselves, trying to identify Daesh members among them. In some cases, the residents are exacting revenge on militants they can personally identify.

Military sources have declared Bashiqa captured, but troops have yet to enter the city due to booby traps.

Hamza and Wadi Qassab were reported freed. Saf al-Tuth was also liberated. Other villages include Khazna Tepe, Muwafaqiya, Tarab Zawh, and Tehrawiya.

Shi’ite militiamen in Tuz Khormato stand accused of kidnapping three Sunnis.

Also, a video was released that reportedly shows militiamen torturing displaced children near Mosul.

At least 254 people were killed and 257 were wounded: 

The Iraqi army announced that 57 soldiers were killed and around 250 more were wounded during operations around Mosul, so far. There is also a report of a displaced person being beaten while in custody. Militants burned two children who are being treated for injuries.

In Mosul, militants executed 22 prisoners.

An airstrike near Rutba left 25 militants dead.

A suicide bomber killed five Peshmerga members in Fadiliya.

In Baghdad, a grenade lobbed at a liquor store killed one person and wounded four more just days after Parliament voted to ban alcohol.

Gunmen in Basra killed a liquor store owner, who was Christian.

Residents of Houd killed nine militants.

Qayara residents exacting revenge shot dead two militants.

A militant leader was killed in combat in Shura.

Read more by Margaret Griffis

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.