A group called the Political Leadership of Kurdistan has been formed to communicate with Baghdad post-referendum. Meanwhile, Kurdish leaders welcomed a call by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for peaceful talks. An initiative launched by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has also been viewed positively.
Rafi al-Rufai, the mufti of Iraq’s Sunni community, criticized former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s administration for driving the Kurds to seek independence. He also said Iraq is now a sectarian state run by Iran.
The climax to Ashura observances took place over the weekend without any major incidents occurring.
At least 94 were killed or found dead, and two were wounded:
In Mosul, a lawyer and a civilian were gunned down in the Ghazaer district. Militants killed three civilians and a policeman in Thawra. A firefight left one soldier dead and two wounded; four militants were killed.
Ten bodies were discovered in a mass grave near Sinjar. The men, women, and children in the grave are believed to be Yezidis from Zaytoun.
In Hawija, a photojournalist was killed. A militant drone maker was killed. An airstrike killed a militant emir and two brothers. Operations continued on Sunday, and troops liberated several areas. Militants set fire to three headquarters, suggesting that they believe they are losing the battle quickly.
Fifty militants were killed during attacks in the Ramadi area.
In Jeir, 11 bombers were killed over the weekend.
Four suicide bombers were killed in Hit.
In Hadhar, three militants were killed.
Security personnel killed two suicide bombers in Fadiliyah.
In the Makhoul Mountains, two militants were killed while trying to plant a bomb.