Rampant Executions in Mosul Theater; 244 Killed in Iraq

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Iraqi special forces have reached
a location just a little over two miles away from Mosul itself. The Counter
Terrorism Service
, taught by U.S. trainers, is now pausing to allow other
security forces to catch up to them and to consolidate the front lines before
the next phase. The front lines to the south are as far as 20 miles away. As
the troops draw closer to Mosul, it is expected that the fighting with Islamic
State
militants (ISIS/Daesh) will become heavier and, more importantly,
there will be more civilians to avoid and protect.

Sunni Arabs who sought refuge in Kirkuk
province say
they are being displaced yet again after a large-scale attack over the weekend.
Authorities believe sleeper cells came into the city along with the displaced
civilians. Now Kurdish authorities want the Arab refugees out, believing that there
may still be militants among them. The United Nations has expressed
its concern over this “collective punishment.”

The sectarian situation in Kirkuk province is complex. The
province was historically Kurdish, but Saddam instituted an Arabization program
to water down the proportion of Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrian Christians living
there. Kurds retook control of the province after Daesh moved through the
region in 2014.

Other Sunnis, however, are fighting
Daesh in Mosul.

Khazna was recaptured
on Monday. Correspondents saw evidence of house-to-house fighting. Snipers
remained on rooftops to surveil nearby desert areas. In recent days, militants
have snuck back in to some liberated villages and killed civilians.

Tob Zawa has been liberated.
Hundreds of residents from there have been evacuated
to a refugee camp to protect them from possible shelling.

Apparently, Rutba has been retaken.
Khorsabad has been liberated
as well.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu threatened
to launch a ground operation in Iraq to remove any threats to Turkey’s
security. The minister indicated that Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.)
involvement in the Sinjar region could be used as justification for such
an intervention, suggesting that recent chest-thumping by Turkey to involve
themselves in the Mosul operations might have little to do with defeating
Daesh.

At least 244 people were killed and 10 were wounded:

Seventy
bodies
were discovered inside homes in Telul Nasr.

Near Mosul, militants executed
50 former police officers
.

In Mosul, 23
prisoners were executed
. Four militants were
killed
at home where they kept explosive materials. Nine militants were executed for
desertion by being thrown into burning oil.

Fifteen
people were executed
, and their bodies were dumped in a river in Safina.
Militants dragged
six men
behind a car and then beat them; they are or were relatives of a
tribal elder fighting Daesh. Their fate is unknown.

Militants killed
six females
, three of them children, and wounded
four more children
because they were trailing behind…

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