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
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.
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
At least 244 people were killed and 10 were wounded:
bodies were discovered inside homes in Telul Nasr.
Near Mosul, militants executed
50 former police officers.
people were executed, and their bodies were dumped in a river in Safina.
six men behind a car and then beat them; they are or were relatives of a
tribal elder fighting Daesh. Their fate is unknown.