Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on demonstrators to respect the law during expected protests on Friday. To ensure tighter security, the premier replaced Green Zone security chief Lieutenant-General Mohammed Ridha with Major General Kareem Abboud al-Tamimi. Ridha has been seen kissing the hand of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, bringing into question whether Ridha would stop a new breach by Sadr’s followers.
The prime minister himself appears to be surviving calls for his removal. However, this may be due to his opponents being unable to overcome their own differences and rivalries and begin the process of selecting a new premier.
Separately, Abadi ordered an investigation into a prison where Amnesty International says over 1,000 people are being held in without charge and in degrading conditions. Counter Terrorism Forces are responsible for the makeshift jail near Amiriyat al-Fallujah. A second such facility exists near Habbaniya.
After analyzing the destruction in Ramadi, Coalition and Iraqi officials are re-evaluating tactics that will be used to liberate Mosul. Some of the devastation is due to the Islamic State’s “scorched earth” policy, but airstrikes also left a considerable amount of damage.
At least 143 other were killed and 40 were wounded:
Five people were killed and 14 were wounded by a blast at a cemetery in Iskandariya.
In Tal Ward, a bomb wounded a 15-year-old girl who was feeling with her family from Sharqat.
Security forces killed 30 militants on a road near Amiriyat.
Peshmerga forces in Noran killed 20 militants.
Twenty militants were killed during and attack on Kharaib.
Strikes on Albu Ali Jassim left 20 militants dead.
A battle over money left 10 militants dead and eight wounded in Falluja.
Peshmerga forces killed three militants in Papucht.