Iraq’s new Parliament met for the first time today, but lawmakers ended the session quickly after failing to select candidates for the important posts of prime minister, speaker of the parliament, and president. At least 82 people were killed today, mostly militants, and nine more were wounded.
June Casualty Analysis:
The end of June brings with it the impossible task of adding up the number of causalities during the month. Using figures obtained from various sources, Antiwar.com counted 5,456 deaths. Unlike other tallies, this figure attempts to include reported militant deaths. Without those, the count is 1,828 deaths. At least 2,562 people were wounded. Only 93 of those belong to insurgents. These figures are consistent with the estimates from the Iraqi government and the United Nations. Their figures follow.
At least 1,922 people were killed, and another 2,610 were wounded, according to the Iraqi government. These figures do not included insurgents.
The United Nations released its official casualty figures for June. They noted that 2,417 people were killed and 2,287 more were wounded. Because they have no team members in Anbar province, they are unable to provide anything other than official figures, which were 244 killed and 588 wounded. These figures also do not include militants.
Last month, Antiwar.com found that 2,249 people were killed and 1,953 were wounded.
All these are figures are estimates. Some areas of Iraq, such as Anbar province and parts of the northern provinces, are impenetrable by independent sources. Militant deaths numbers are generally provided by the Iraqi government, and so they are unreliable. The true counts may never be known, but they are likely higher than any of these estimates.
The new Parliament met today; however, they did not have a quorum and were forced to end their first session without achieving any results. The Sunnis withheld their choice for speaker, saying they wanted the Shi’ites to pick a candidate for prime minister first. The Kurds did not pick a president either. Last week, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called on the politicians to pick all three today in order to avoid more chaos. The Sunnis and Kurds failed to return after a break, closing the session.
The future does not look good for the new parliament. One Shi’ite member threatened to crush Kurdish heads after the Kurds complained of poor economic policies. Another said the Kurds should push out ISIS/DAASH militants, and then ask about their long-ignored rights. U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf expressed the U.S.’s disappointment with the lack of developments.
In the end, the Shi’ites did not present the current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki as their candidate. It is unclear if this is a good or bad sign. Many blame Maliki for the country’s sectarian woes. Parliament will met next Tuesday.
Kurdish President Mahmoud Barzani said a referendum on an independent Kurdistan will occur in the next few months. Meanwhile, Peshmerga troops will remain stationed in areas now occupied by them outside of the formal borders of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to a statement from the political party Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The Kurds are also reinforcing the new borders with berms, roadblocks and trenches to secure the new territories from militants, certainly, and likely from Baghdad as well.
Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faily warned the United States that Iraq cannot wait for sufficient aid and is turning to other partners in the region, such as Iran, Syria and Russia, for help.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, said that Iran will help Iraq but emphasized that no troops will be deployed from the neighboring country.
The United Nations released its annual report on children in conflict areas. It contained bad news on the children of Iraq and Syria, some of whom are being recruited into fighting, while others are suffering other war-related torments.
A social media ban designed to prevent militants from communicating has been lifted, but some websites remain blocked.
In Tikrit, 46 Indian nurses are under the "protective custody" of ISIS/DAASH militants at a teaching hospital.
Four civilians were killed and six more were wounded when shells fell on Falluja.
A roadside bomb wounded three soldiers in Iskandariya.
In the towns of Amerli and Albu Hassan 30 militants were killed.
Fifteen militants were killed during airstrikes in Ramadi.
A clash in Mansouriya left 15 militants dead.
A military helicopter bombed militants in Albu Hayes, killing six of them.
Local tribesmen are protecting part of a highway that runs from the Jordanian border at Trebil to the town of Nukhaib.
Syrian warplanes once again entered Iraqi airspace, according to witnesses.