60 Killed in Iraq as Mosul Battles Commence

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Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that Iraqi
forces met their goals and are ahead of schedule on the first day of the
operations in Mosul. About 30,000 Iraqi troops, Peshmerga members, and Sunni
tribal fighters are involved;
some of them are women.

Although the operation is expected to take weeks or months, plans
are already in the works to handle the humanitarian crisis that will be
left after the battles are over. Thousands of Moslawis have already been spotted fleeing the
fighting. There are
already reports of deaths too.

Shi’ite forces are not expected
to enter Mosul due to sectarian
concerns
; however, that same promise was broken, to tragic ends, in
the operation to recover Fallujah. The militiamen are reportedly being sent
on to Hawija instead, which is a predominantly Sunni city of 200,000
that has the same sectarian issues.

The redeployment of Shi’ite forces may be to placate Turkey,
which has claimed
its interest in keeping its soldiers in the Mosul arena is due to sectarian
concerns. However, Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdoğan may have
other designs on Mosul that date back almost 100 years. 

On Monday, authorities in Anbar say that Shi’ite
militiamen kidnapped seven civilians from Garma and looted several
properties there.

Kurdish forces, which number about 4,000
participants, quickly retook several
villages they were targeting. The illages of Badana Bchuk, Badana
Gawre
, Baskhra, Bazgirtan, Karbali, Kharaba Sultan,
Shaquli
, Sheikh Amir, Tarjala, and a tile factory near Hasan
Shami
are
among them. Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani, who is the
commander of Peshmerga forces, is reportedly overseeing the
operations personally. Troops cleared
200-square km of territory on the first day.

Iraqi army forces liberated
the villages of Abbas Rajab, Adla, Ibrahim al-Khalil, Jadida,
and Kan Harami.

Coalition planes
are bombing
positions
inside Mosul city limits. At least one strike reportedly targeted Daesh
leader Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi
. He slipped away and may be heading toward Syria.
Mutineers reportedly captured
his wife. Separately, Rayan al-Kildani, the leader of the Babylon
Brigade, a Christian militia, expressed
his dismay that Coalition planes neglected to target the militant convoys
fleeing Mosul towards Syria.

Iraqi forces are fighting in the
villages of Hamidat, Houd, and Naifa of near Qayara.

Bashiqa was liberated.

At least 60 people were killed and 51 were wounded:

A suicide car
bomber at an army checkpoint in Yusufiya killed 10 people and wounded 17 more.
Four soldiers were among the wounded.

Six Peshmerga
were killed and 16 were wounded
at an undisclosed location.

Five Peshmerga
fighters were killed
, and at least one other was
wounded
in Nimrod. The one injured fighter named is the son of the
vice president of the Kurdistan region, Kosrat Rasul Ali.

In Kubaiba, a bomb killed
five refugees and wounded seven more
.

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