Bloody Shirqat Battles Continue; 96 Killed in Iraq

Shi’ite militias denied accusations made by Human Rights Watch of rights abuses In Hawija. The organization claims witnesses saw militiamen from the Badr Organization torture civilians; some men were detained and taken to unknown locations. This is not the first time, militiamen have been charged with abuses.

Masoud Barzani called Baghdad’s overreaction to the independence referendum proof that the government is against Kurdish rights. He made the statement while meeting with a delegation from the Syrian Kurdish National Council.

Sunni leaders met in Erbil on Thursday and later issued a statement in support of the referendum.

The Erbil International Airport issued a statement revealing that a three-month-long ban on flights might be imposed beginning Friday, September 29, at 6:00 p.m. The field’s closure would not only impact the Kurds directly but also the effort to help millions of displaced Iraqis who fled the Islamic State into Kurdistan. On Thursday, the Kurdish government was still delivering supplies to the displaced.

Neighboring Turkey again threatened to shut down an oil pipeline that carries crude from Kurdistan through Turkey and on to worldwide markets. Advisors have also stopped training Peshmerga forces.

Canada says the country is still planning on sending arms to Kurdish security forces as part of operations against the Islamic State. At the very least, Baghdad has not asked Canada to halt delivery. Canada has said that it respects the referendum but supports territorial integrity in Iraq.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Khaled Jarallah said the country will not abide by any of Baghdad’s demands to sanction Kurdistan.

The chairman of a Turkish nationalist group, Kürşat Mican, declared that the group, Ülkü Ocakları, will be invading Kirkuk next month to ostensibly save Turkmen from massacre. The Turkmen are a Turkic ethnic group that the Turkish government has been using as an excuse to keep troops illegally in Iraq.

The United States has offered its help in facilitating talks between Erbil and Baghdad.

Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, warned that independence referendum has taken focus away from the fight against the Islamic State militants. Military operations, however, continue unimpeded.

In Iran, hundreds were reported arrested for celebrating the referendum.

At least 96 were killed and three were wounded:

In Hawija, militants executed 10 civilians. Airstrikes killed over a dozen militants.

A bomb in Dhuluiya seriously wounded two shepherds and killed four goats.

An old landmine exploded and wounded a civilian in Mandali.

In Shirqat, 52 militants were killed.

Security forces killed 11 militants in Anbar province.

In Mosul, six militants were killed trying to enter the city.

Five militants were killed in Ramadi.

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.