Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the Badr Organization, said on Saturday that Shi’ite militias are planning to storm Fallujah once civilian families flee the city. He gave them 10 days to leave. However, the Islamic State militants have been preventing many civilians from escaping and using them as human shields, so it is unclear how serious this threat is. Previously, the Shi’ite militias said they would only participate in encircling Fallujah and not enter the city itself. They have been a key factor during those battles in the suburbs, but they may be growing impatient with slowing momentum on Fallujah itself.
The fight for Fallujah also appears to have postponed the Iraqi military’s operation for the recovery of Mosul. That delay might have happened anyway. American advisers believe the military isn’t ready to recapture the much larger city, even though they encouraged Baghdad to tackle it first. Some Iraqi and Kurdish forces are still maintaining active frontlines near the city.
At least 202 were killed and 59 were wounded:
Near Fallujah, a suicide car bomber killed 14 security personnel and wounded 15 others, including Shi’ite militiamen.
Separate events in Baghdad left seven dead and 25 wounded.
Militants beheaded three civilians in Hawija.
A bomb in Mahmoudiya killed one person and wounded three more.
Gunmen wounded a shopkeeper in Muqdadiya.
In Saqlawiya, 67 militants were killed, but the city now appears to be fully liberated.
Twenty militants were killed in a strike on Falahat.
A strike on Albu Hoy killed 27 militants.
Fourteen militants were killed in Albu Bali.