Iraqi forces launched an operation against Islamic State militants holed up in the Hamrin Mountains. U.S. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigin separately confirmed that U.S. forces are still seeking out militants.
In Mosul, Christmas was celebrated openly for the first time since Islamic State militants took over the metropolis in 2014. Separately, many displaced Christians observed the holiday in Kurdistan. Some Christians have found that they yet cannot return home.
At least 29 people were killed and 16 were wounded:
A clash in Rebza left six tribal fighters dead.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed one person and wounded five more.
In Kirkuk, gunmen killed a police chief, Colonel Fazil Sab’awi, and his young son. A tribal chief and his wife were gunned down on a highway leading to Hawija.
A civilian was shot dead in Abu Saida.
Security forces in Mansouriya killed two militants.
A militant leader was killed in the Makhoul Mountains.