Updated at 2.40 p.m. EDT, July 23, 2014
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with Sunni leaders today, attempting to gain their trust and help in fighting the Islamic State. Meanwhile, the fighting goes on. At least 288 people were killed. About at third of that figure was civilians or security personel. Another 154 were wounded in the attacks, which included at least one significant bombing in Baghdad.
Sunni tribal leaders met with Maliki who promised to give them everything they would need to fight insurgents. Their acceptance of the task, though, is improbable due to years of alleged sectarian harassment on the part of Maliki’s administration. One of the reasons the Islamic State was allowed to appropriate a nascent Sunni revolution was due to Maliki’s party winning a potential third term for him in April. As for Maliki, this "concession" is likely just a weak attempt to shore up support for a third term and not a true desire to bring Sunnis into his government.
The Naqshabandiya Army, a militant group founded by former Ba’ath Party members, further disassociated itself from the Islamic State by disavowing violence towards Iraq’s minority groups. The group has been working with IS militants to dislodge the Maliki government, but has also battled them for power in some regions. They claim to be the successors to the former Iraq Army and say they welcome all groups to their cause.
At least 19 people were killed, including children, and 38 more were wounded during overnight air strikes in Falluja. They managed to kill 14 militants as well. Barrel bombs were dropped there and in nearby Garma.
Battles in Mussayab killed at least 10 security personnel and wounded 30 more.
Mortars killed five people and wounded 15 more in Sabaa al-Bour.
A car bomb in Nahrawan killed five people and wounded 13 more.
Five civilians were publicly executed by militants in Jalawla.
In Kirkuk, the bodies of six taxi drivers were recovered.
In the Jurf al-Sakhar region, as many as four soldiers were killed while attempting to retrieve bodies after clashes.
A roadside bomb killed one soldier and wounded four more in Abu Ghraib.
Gunmen in Abu al-Khaseeb, near Basra, stormed a Sunni mosque, where they killed a preacher and kidnapped four men. The body of one of the men praying there was discovered later, dumped by the side of the road.
A man was killed and his wife was wounded during a mortar attack in Baiji.
A car bomb in Ana wounded a civilian.
As many as 111 militants were killed across Anbar province.
Air strikes in Baaj killed 45 militants.
Air strikes killed a militant financier and six aides in Mosul.
Seven militants were killed during an operation in Khalidiya.
Security forces killed six militants near Muqdadiya.
In Buhriz, five militants were killed.
A kidnapped child was rescued in Abbasi.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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