On Sunday, Iraq resumed airstrikes on Islamic State targets near Deshisha, Syria. Also, Iraqi troops were reported, on Monday, supporting Syrian Democratic Forces in the border area around al-Bagouz, which is just two miles from the Qaim border crossing into Iraq. The border crossing was frequently used by Islamic State militants crossing into Iraq, and there are still pockets of ISIS/Daesh resistance on the Syria side of the border.
At least eight people were killed, and two were wounded in Iraq:
Three tribal fighters were killed when a bomb exploded in Dibs.
A bomb in Akashat wounded two policemen.
Security forces killed four militants in Riyadh.
In Kirkuk, security forces killed an ISIS security official.
In election news:
Seemingly conceding defeat after a poor showing by his al-Nasr list in Saturday’s parliamentary election, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that his government is ready to work with the winning parties.
A alliance led by Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr appears to have come out on top, even though Sadr himself did not run for a seat. The cleric gathered his followers and several secular groups, including Communists, to his alliance and is calling for a technocratic government that crosses political and sectarian lines. He will likely have great sway when it comes to organizing the new government, including picking a new prime minister, but the nature of Iraq’s system could still weaken his overall victory if other lists combine against him. Sadr’s calls for ending corruption and denouncing foreign influence may be what allowed the Sa’iroun list to rise to the top. However, many of Iraq’s poor simply want their poverty to end and services to return.
In second place was the Conquest Alliance, headed by Hadi al-Ameri and tied to the Shi’ite militias and Iran. Abadi came in third and only did well in Nineveh province. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was even further behind as early results were released.
The premier ordered a manual count of the ballots in Kirkuk province after Arab and Turkmen voters complained about irregularities there. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan received the most votes. Also, six Kurdish parties came together and called for a repeat of the election after complaining of irregularities in Kirkuk and throughout the official Kurdish region. The parties involved are Coalition for Democracy and Justice (C.D.J.), the Change Movement (Gorran), the Kurdistan Islamic League (Komal), the Kurdistan Communist Party, the Kurdistan Islamic Union (K.I.U.), and the Kurdistan Islamic Movement (I.M.K.).
The Metro Center for Journalists’ Rights and Advocacy said there were 45 reports of violations towards journalists, including attacks, during the election process. Most of the complaints came from Sulaimaniya province.