The Iraqi military is reporting advances in Tikrit. If they should reclaim that town it will be a great psychological triumph for the ailing security forces. Still, at least 260 people were killed and 63 more were wounded across the country.
Iraq purchased used jet fighters from Russia and Belarus, because the U.S. is taking too long delivering promised F-16s. However, U.S. Predator drones have already begun flying over Baghdad.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s support from his political party may be evaporating. Separately, he said that Syrian air strikes were not coordinated with Baghdad and they occurred on Syrian territory only. If true, the source of the air strikes that occurred on two cities remains a mystery.
Many residents who fled fighting in Tal Afar are now in a tent city in Germawa, where they are lamenting the existence of both the ISIS/DAASH militants and their own politicians.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that an independent Kurdish state arising from the breakup of Iraq is a foregone conclusion.
Meanwhile, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani visited Kirkuk for the first time since Kurdish forces took control of security there. The potential breakup, however, may not be as simple as some hope. Yet, the Kurds do need to consider their financial future now that Baghdad has cut off all monies owed them.
The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul reported the flight of 50,000 Christians from Hamdaniya and nearby villages. Most of the Christians in Mosul itself fled soon after the fall of the city.
In Baghdad, at least 14 more people were killed during the third week of June than had previously been reported. Their bodies turned up at the morgue. Even more are being abducted, but their whereabouts are unknown. This scenario is likely repeating each week and driving Sunnis to stay home as much as they can. However, even at home they are not safe. Uniformed Shi’ite militiamen are growing bolder and taking victims from their residences.
Also in the capital, a suicide bomber killed 19 people and wounded 41 more in Kadhimiya.
The number of dead in Syrian air strikes rose again, this time to 90 killed. That’s 33 more than previously reported. Rutba and Qaim were the cities more affected.
In Tikrit, State TV reported that 110 militants were killed during military operations that included an air strike on a former Saddam palace. Most of the fighting seemed to occur at the university campus where one Iraqi helicopter crashed after being fired upon. Other helicopters successfully delivered fresh troops. Two university professors were wounded at home during a mortar attack. One woman was killed and two others were wounded by artillery fire. 178 45 111
Three Peshmerga troops were wounded during a clash in Hamdaniya. Militants were also hurt or killed. The troops were digging trenches at the time of the attack. The militants have control of the water supply and are shelling the city, but the Peshmerga have mostly kept them at bay. Hamdaniya is home to many Christian and Shabak Iraqis.
A roadside bomb killed a Peshmerga fighter and wounded 12 more in Rabeaa.
In Bashir, mortars killed two Peshmerga and wounded three more.
Security forces killed 20 militants in Sakra, near Haditha.
Twenty militants were killed in Mansouriya.
In Jurf al Sakhar, 10 militants were killed.
Seven militants were killed in Baquba.
In Ramadi, four militants were killed. Five militants were killed later.
The Iraqi government is claiming that the Baiji refinery is back under their control. Thirteen militants were killed during operations in the city.
Alam may have returned to the government control as well.