Militias Mass Near Tal Afar; 18 Killed in Iraq

Shi’ite militias appear to be preparing to storm Tal Afar despite warnings. Even if they allow regular army forces to enter first, they will likely enter the city as well. The great fear is that they will unleash revenge on innocent Sunnis, just as they have been accused of doing repeatedly in other cities they have liberated. Another fear is that Turkey will involve itself, as promised, to protect the Turkmen minority group that resides in Tal Afar.

The militias have, so far, captured the airport, which they renamed, and other areas outside of the city itself. A trucker said that he spotted burning trucks on the adjacent highway as he carried what he expected would be his last load of produce between Mosul and Raqqa, Syria.

Iraqi troops captured Salamiyah and entered Umarkan. Also freed were Hamirah and Tawatinat al-Jadida, and highways near Hamdaniya; and the Mosul neighborhoods of Abbasiyah, Orta Kharab, and Salam.

Over 68,000 people are now estimated to be displaced by the fighting in the Mosul theater. This does not include kidnapping victims being used as human shields by the militants.

At least 18 people were killed and eight were wounded:

In Baghdad, shelling left two dead and four wounded in Nahrawan. Militants killed one militiaman and wounded another at a Rashid checkpoint.

A bomb on a Sadr City bus wounded three civilians.

Fifteen militants were killed in an airstrike near Tal Afar.

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.