Security Forces Pierce Tal Afar City Limits; 65 Killed in Iraq

On the third day of an offensive to retake the Tal Afar, Iraqi forces were able to breach the city limits, capturing Askari, Kifah, and Nour. A refinery was also retaken as well as several villages on the outskirts of town. About 30,000 civilians are believed trapped in the Tal Afar region and being used as human shields.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Baghdad to discuss a U.S. role in Iraq after the Islamic State has been eliminated. Continued militant activity in Mosul is causing concern about maintaining order.

Kurdish officials plan to again meet with a delegation from the Shi’ite National Alliance. The Kurds have previously met with the coalition and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss an independence referendum scheduled for September 25. The Kurds may postpone the controversial referendum should certain conditions be met.

A day after a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that there could be a joint Turkish-Iranian operation against the Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, a spokesperson for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps denied the partnership. Turkey has been battling the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.) guerrillas, while Iran has fought the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, a P.K.K. affiliate. Both groups have bases in northern Iraq.

The U.N. Assistance Mission to Iraq and the U.N. Human Rights Office called on Iraq to ensure that victims of the Islamic State’s sexual abuses are properly taken care of, including seeking reparations and psychological help for them.

At least 65 were killed and three were wounded in recent violence:

Gunmen wounded three policemen in Mussayab.

Airstrikes in the Qaim region left five civilians and 17 militants dead.

In Tal Afar, security forces killed 10 militants while capturing the Nour district. In Kifah and Mullah Jassem, 15 militants were killed. Ten militants were neutralized in Khadraa. An airstrike left five militants dead. Militiamen killed 20 militants in Zamber.

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Author: Margaret Griffis

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