96 Killed As Peshmerga Lose Strategic City in Eastern Iraq

At least 96 people were killed and 85 more were wounded. There were very few reports of attacks. The city of Jalawla in Diyala, however, had a number of casualties due to a bombing and clashes. There are reports that Peshmerga units lost control of the town. Meanwhile, the prime minister deployed troops around Baghdad in what may be some kind of show of force.


During a midnight speech, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to give up his chance at a third term as premier. Political leaders have been trying to find a suitable replacement for Maliki, but have so far failed to select one acceptable to most groups. After coming to no solution earlier, Parliament adjourned for nine days. However, Iraq’s Deputy Speaker, Haider al-Abadi, said that they are close to announcing a selection.

In what appears to be a reaction to this threat on his authority, Maliki said, during his speech, that he would file a formal complaint against President Fuad Masum for violating the Constitution. Masum’s crime is basically not naming Maliki as prime minister. Maliki’s State of Law coalition won April’s election and naming rights. Maliki hopes they will select him again. It appears unlikely. Masum may file a counter-complaint.

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (Iraq and Iran), Brett McGurk, wrote that the United States fully supports Masum "as guarantor of the Constitution and a PM nominee who can build a national consensus." The US government supported Maliki through most of his career but now realizes that Maliki cannot bring much-needed unity to the country.

Prior to the speech, Maliki deployed special forces across Baghdad. Troops took up critical positions near the international Green Zone. Militiamen loyal to Maliki were seen in the capital, as well as tanks. Since then, the situation has remained calm.

There has been no clarification by the government as to why there is a surge in military activity. Retired Marine Gen. James Williams suggested on CNN that "it could be a show of force (due to ISIS)…but it may also be a concern that there’s a coup afoot." An anonymous source at the Interior Ministry said they were anticipating possible emergencies in light of the deadline for the selection of a new prime minister.


U.S. warplanes and drones continued airstrikes today.

A suicide bomber in Jalawla killed 10 Peshmerga troops and wounded 80 others. Clashes between militants and Peshmerga also occurred. In them, 15 militants and two Peshmerga members were killed. Five Peshmerga members were injured, along with dozens of militants. Air strikes killed 30 militants.

There are reports Peshmerga troops withdrew after the Jalawla clashes, and militants now control the city. Strategically, this could allow ISIS/DAASH to stage an attack against Iran.

In Mosul, airstrikes killed a dozen militants, including one of their leaders. Three more senior leaders were killed in a separate strike.

A clash left 21 militants dead in Ramadi.

Eight militants were killed in a clash in Fadiliyah.

Security forces in Hawija killed three militant officials.

Gunmen killed a policeman in Taji.

In Diwaniya, bombs targeted the homes of two representatives of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

A car bomb exploded in Haditha.

The Iraqi Air Force staged air strikes on Fadhiliya, Persian, and Hujayr.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.