Civilians Flee Renewed Fighting in Mosul; 154 Killed in Iraq

by , February 21, 2017

United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis was in Baghdad on Monday to meet with Iraqi officials including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Coincidentally, a U.S. Servicemember died of non-combat-related causes near Ramadi.

Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul from the south reached the Aqrab checkpoint, which is the southern gate to the city. The strategic Albu Saif area near the airport was also captured. Militiamen further west expanded their control of areas near Tal Afar, capturing the last village on the Mosul-Tal Afar Highway still held by the Islamic State militants. On Sunday, the phase to recover the western half of Mosul began.

Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Baghdad to order Coalition forces to withdraw from Iraq after Mosul is recaptured.

At least 144 were killed and 18 more were wounded in the latest violence:

In Mosul, a drone killed a child and a young man, and left five others wounded. At least 36 militants were killed, including several officials, in an airstrike. Seven more were killed in a separate strike.

A bomb at an Abu Ghraib market killed one person and wounded four more.

In Baghdad, a mortar round wounded five people.

Turkish jets targeting suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) locations in the Zab region left 34 members dead.

Security forces killed 25 militants near Camp Ghazlani.

Twenty-three militants were killed in Tal Afar.

In Sahaji, nine militants were killed.

Seven militants were killed and four were wounded in clashes with security forces in Kubeisa.

Many militants were killed in fighting in Albu Saif.

Read more by Margaret Griffis