New Zealand and Australia Deploying More Troops; 134 Killed in Iraq

Residents and business people in eastern Mosul have begun rebuilding, even though the fighting continues just across the river in the western half of the city. Besides wanting to get a head start, townspeople fear that prices for building materials could skyrocket once the city is completely freed.

Some male residents are finding that escaping the Islamic State means becoming a prisoner of security forces. Thousands are being held on the slimmest evidence that they might have belonged to ISIS/Daesh, such as a beard or a similar name to a known member.

The White House announced that it has shifted some of its decision-making powers to the Pentagon. This will give the Pentagon the ability to deploy more troops quickly in Iraq and Syria. Also, it could provide more transparency. Troops caps currently in place are being skirted using creative definitions of who is and isn’t deployed, so the true numbers of personnel are hidden from the public.

New Zealand is sending an additional 100 servicemembers, while Australia is transferring an additional 300 soldiers.

Militiamen say they have retaken the Hatra archaeological site and nearby villages.

At least 134 were killed and six were wounded:

Militants killed two soldiers and wounded five more during an ambush near Sakhar.

In Metabijh, a roadside bomb killed a soldier and wounded another. At least 15 militants were killed in security operations.

Security forces killed 61 militants over the last two days in the vicinity of Hatra/Hadar.

Fifteen militants were killed during an airstrike near Anah.

Thirteen militants were killed in Baaj.

In Fawaz Hezam, 11 were killed.

Ten were killed in Tal Afar.

In Mosul, a strike left five militants dead.

In Hammam al-Alil, security forces killed a suicide bomber.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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