Operations in Fallujah have stalled for various tactical reasons. Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari described the city as a “tough nut to crack” and expects the battles to go on for a long time, particularly because of the use of human shields.
On a wider scale, however, U.S. officials say their efforts to create an effective army for Iraq have failed. At the same time, they’ve been unable to limit the power of the Shi’ite militias. Even more problematic is that Fallujah residents believe the U.S. government has given the militias clearance to fight in Fallujah. Sunni residents’ fear the Shi’ite militias and may prefer Islamic State rule to reputed Shi’ite brutality.
At least 375 were killed and 26 were wounded:
A bomb exploded inside a taxicab in Khalis, killing two civilians and two policemen.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed two people and wounded seven more.
Two people were killed and three were wounded in a blast targeting refugees attempting to flee Fallujah.
In Baquba, gunmen killed one civilian and wounded another.
Mortars killed four Peshmerga in Zammar.
In Albu Faraj, a bomb killed a militiaman.
Two policemen were wounded in a shooting in Abu Saida.
About 250 militants were killed in Saqlawiya during the last day of battles. Officials estimate that as many as 2,000 militants were killed overall.
Artillery strikes killed 24 militants and wounded six more in Hit.
Seventeen militants were killed in Hamdaniya.
Peshmerga forces killed eight militants in Sinjar.
In Iskandariya, three people were executed after a court found them guilty of terrorist acts.
A strike on Saqlawiya killed a militant official.