Kurds Liberate Yazidi City; 207 Killed across Iraq

Kurdish forces backed by Coalition airstrikes have apparently retaken the city of Sinjar from the Islamic State militants (D.A.E.S.H.). The Peshmerga reported little resistance, and few casualties have been reported among them. The Peshmerga say they had intercepted radio chatter revealing that the militants had mostly deserted their posts in the last few hours. At least 28 nearby villages were also liberated.

In nearby Harden village, a rocket killed 13 Peshmerga. Several Yazidi fighters were killed when they tried to return to their home village near Sinjar. Also, militants executed 10 Yazidi prisoners.

At least 300 militants were killed during the entire operation. Previous estimates suggested about 157 had died. At least 300 were also wounded. Four militants leaders were executed for deserting their posts in Sinjar.

The successful operation, however, kicked off political chest thumping and bickering. Kurdish President Massoud Barzani held a press conference at Mount Sinjar in which he declared the area part of Kurdistan. Politicians in Baghdad in turn complained about U.S. loyalty and Iraq’s stability. The Kurdistan Regional Government has used the DAESH conflict to expand its territory, most notably in Kirkuk.

Further conflict comes from the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.), which claims they have been fighting in the city for the last 15 months. Indeed, they were instrumental is assisting Yazidis escape the city when it was overrun by DAESH in August 2014. During his speech, Barzani ignored their contributions, and those of other Kurdish groups who were involved.

At least 207 were killed and 361 were wounded across the country. Violence elsewhere in Iraq:

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber struck at a funeral for a militiaman who was killed in battle; at least 21 were killed and 46 were wounded. An unidentified body was found.

Five people were killed and 15 were wounded when a bomb exploded at a shrine in Sadr City.

In the Makhoul Hills, five militants were killed.

Two snipers were killed in Fatha.

A militant leader was killed in Saqlawiya.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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