US Operations Kill 57 at Tal Afar, Fallujah
The US military conducted major operations against Tal Afar and Fallujah on Thursday, in the course of which 57 persons were killed and dozens wounded.
National Public Radio reports that fighters have infiltrated the largely Turkmen Shiite [actually mostly Sunni, it seems] city of Tal Afar and chased hundreds of families from their homes. The US maintains that many of these are foreigners infiltrating from Syria. This narrative may or may not be true, but at least it makes some sense. More Turkmen are leaving the city because of the US bombing. In Tal Afar, 45 were killed and 80 wounded.
In Fallujah, US warplanes hit what they believed was a safe house used by the al-Tawhid terrorism group. The Gulf Daily New writes:
‘ Twelve Iraqis, including five children and two women, were reported killed in the airstrike, a doctor said. Nine others were wounded.
Iraq’s Health Ministry said at least 16 people had been killed in fighting in Fallujah in the past 24 hours. ‘
Some sort of deal, which has been in the works for some time, seems to have been struck with tribal shaikhs in Samarra, allowing Iraqi National Guards and US troops to enter the city for the first time in months. New municipal officers have been appointed. It remains to be seen if the truce holds.