Although the United States claimed to have taken no sides between Kurdistan and Iraq, analysts believe that the U.S. must have been alerted to Baghdad’s plans and may have even approved the operation to show the Washington’s displeasure with the refusal of requests to cancel the referendum. At the very least, the U.S. is interested in maintaining current Iraqi borders, even if it has benefited Iran, so it cannot claim to be completely neutral.
Kurdish forces have now fully retreated to positions they occupied in June 2014. When the Islamic State began its rapid advancement, Peshmerga forces fought and occupied territory that the Kurdish government said was traditionally Kurdish.
Germany has suspended its training operations with Kurdish forces.
The Kurdish mayor of Qara Tapa said he found himself replaced by a Shi’ite militiaman when he arrived at his office. This may have also happened in Sinjar. The governor of Kirkuk province, Najmaddin Karim, was dismissed by Parliament last month, but remained on his post unofficially until today.
Kurdish residents of Khanaqin have reportedly chased Shi’ite militiamen out of that town. However, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered all forces out of urban areas except for Iraqi Army and Federal Police.
At least 90 were killed and 99 were wounded in recent violence:
The Peshmerga’s Shorish Hospital in Sulaymaniya reported their final casualty figures from the Kirkuk handover. A spokesperson said 85 dead Peshmerga fighters were brought to the hospital and 162 were treated. That is 63 more deaths and 92 more injured than previously reported.
Nine people were killed during a clash between Peshmerga forces and Shi’ite militiamen in the Mosul Dam region.
A bomb killed four policemen and wounded another in Hamad.
A leftover bomb in Tabaj killed four people.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed one person and wounded three more in the Radwaniya district.
A militant attack on the predominantly Kakai village of Sayed Walid Qalhani left one dead and several wounded. The Kakai are one of Iraq’s minority groups. The village is in Kirkuk province.
An explosives expert was killed while attempting to defuse booby-traps at a home in Haditha.
Turkish airstrikes targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) sites in northern Iraq left three guerrillas dead.
At Lake Tharthar three militants were killed.
A militant was killed in Baaj.