Attack on Peshmerga Launched, Shelling on Christian Town Drags on; 41 Killed in Iraq

During an interview on Wednesday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the United States, Iran, and Sunni powers that they are not to work out their problems inside Iraq. He also stated that training missions and intelligence will be the focus of an evolving relationship with the United States, but U.S. air power will not be necessary after the Islamic State militants are driven out of Iraq. Still, the U.S. and Kurdish authorities question the increasing role of Iran in Iraqi politics and military decisions.

Although the Kurdistan Regional Government has “frozen” its drive for independence, an emboldened Iraqi military says its push to gain control of Kurdistan’s border crossings will continue regardless of political maneuvering. Analysts warn, however, that if Baghdad ignores Kurdish concessions, the Iraqi government will be the one breaking agreements and obligations.

The Kurdish Regional Security Council reported that Peshmerga positions were shelled from Zummar early Thursday morning.

Shelling continued against the Assyrian Christian town of Tel Asqaf.

Peshmerga forces withdrew from Makhmour.

Shi’ite militias are accused of looting both public and private properties in the area of Sinjar.
The Rabeaa border crossing with Syria came under the control of Iraqi forces after Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.) withdrew. This crossing is not within Kurdistan.
Iran reopened its Bashmagh border crossing with Kurdistan. It was closed after the independence referendum.

P.M. Abadi said that the final operation against Islamic State militants was launched Thursday morning in Anbar province. However, hundreds remain in eastern Iraq.

At least 41 were killed and 12 were wounded:

In Mosul, four bodies were found that were bearing gunshot wounds to their heads. Militants killed five policemen. A booby-trapped home exploded and killed two people, a father and son. Gunmen killed a mukhtar in Rashidiya.

Six dumped bodies were found in Kirkuk.

Gunmen killed one militiaman and wounded two more at a checkpoint in Baghdad.

A bomb in Tarmiya killed a farmer.

At least 10 civilians were wounded in a second day of shelling against Tel Asqaf.

Airstrikes on Rawah and Qaim left 19 militants dead.

In the Makhoul Mountains, security forces killed a militant.

A militant was killed in Qara Tapa.

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.