Airstrikes Push Refugees out of Tal Afar; 66 Killed in Iraq

Refugees streaming out of Tal Afar report that there is no clean water left, and many are being shot while trying to flee. However, an increase in airstrikes ahead of a ground campaign leaves them with no secure options. Lise Grande, a deputy special representative of the United Nations, described the conditions as “very tough” there.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on religious freedom. In remarks associated with the release, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the Islamic State militants as being "clearly responsible for genocide."

Turkey reiterated its concerns over a Kurdish independence referendum scheduled for September. Ankara mostly fears that it may inspire Kurdish groups within its borders to also seek an independent state.

Saudi Arabia is reopening a border crossing with Iraq near the Saudi town or Arar. The border was closed after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.

At least 66 others were killed and six were wounded in recent violence:

A roadside bomb in Qara Tapa killed five members of one family, including three children.

Three people were killed and two were wounded when an I.E.D. exploded in Qayara.

A bomb in Baghdad killed one person and wounded another.

In Mosul, gunmen killed one federal policeman and wounded another.

A home invasion in Abu Saida left a school director and his child wounded.

Three guerrillas were killed in Turkish airstrikes targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) near Zab.

Twenty militants were killed in an airstrike on Anah. Militants executed five of their own.

In Tal Afar, airstrikes killed at least 17 militants. Three suicide bombers were killed.

Shelling killed five militants in Qaim.

A mufti and two companions were killed in a rocket strike on Metabijh.

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.