At least 109 people were killed today across Iraq; however, the actual figure is likely much higher. The details from what may be another massacre at an army base are very thin, but it appears that hundreds of soldiers were probably killed or injured during bombings and clashes. At least 47 more people were wounded, mostly in a bombing in Baghdad.
In Syria, U.S. forces and allies launched their first airstrikes. Meanwhile, Kurdish forces say they have stalled the ISIS/DAASH advance on the city of Ain al-Arab (Kobanê) that forced over 130,000 refugees into Turkey.
Despite the conflicting accounts of what has happened at a base near al-Sijr, it is clear that Iraqi forces suffered huge losses. Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi said that 300 soldiers were killed in a chlorine gas attack, but that remains unconfirmed. At least 40 soldiers were definitely killed, though, and 70 are reported captured. The air forces are currently conducting night sorties to facilitate movement among ground troops. Clashes are ongoing. A sixth suicide bomber has now been confirmed in yesterday’s attack
About a week ago ISIS/DAASH militants took control of the small town of al-Sijr near Saqlawiya. The takeover allowed them to cut off an army base staffed by as many as 1,000 personnel. As the Iraqi forces ran out of ammunition, food and water, they asked Baghdad to airdrop them supplies, but that demand was somehow lost in the bureaucracy. Several commanders have been ordered to turn themselves in and explain the lapse. Yesterday, at least one suicide bomber in a Humvee gained access to the base itself, because soldiers believed he was part of a rescue party. The chaos of the explosion allowed more militants to enter the base. Many soldiers then attempted to escape, but witnesses say there are burnt corpses on the streets of al-Sijr and Saqlawiya. About 200 soldiers made it back to safety, but it is unclear how many others are dead, captured or hiding.
Mortars killed a family of seven in Baiji.
Militants in Saidiya executed four Kurds for collaborating with Peshmerga forces.
Six soldiers were wounded during a mortar attack on Albu Hassan.
In Baquba, a pair of I.E.D.s wounded two civilians.
Two Peshmerga were injured and a militant was killed in a clash in Jalawla.
The brother of the head of the Journalists Syndicate in Dhi Qar was kidnapped.
Thirty militants were killed in an airstrike near the Duluiya airport.
An airstrike in Mala Abdullah killed four militants and wounded 10 more.
Five militant leaders were killed in Jurf al-Sakhar.