Today in Afghanistan As usual, the reported death toll varies somewhat, but a suicide bomb attack on a Shiite mosque in Kabul killed at least 27 people and injured 64. The worshipers were observing Arbaeen. The UN gives the death toll as 32.
The so-called Islamic State claims responsibility, in a statement issued in Arabic. The Taliban denies involvement.
Having taken the Tal Afar airport, Shiite militias converge on the town with the intention of surrounding it. The Turkish government is concerned about how they may treat the Turkmen population of Tal Afar; it is not clear what the composition will be of the force that ultimately enters the town.
A U.S. air strike a few weeks ago in Fadiliya, northeast of Mosul, is said to have killed 7 civilians. The U.S.-led coalition says it is investigating.
Iraqi forces in eastern Mosul are conducting house-to-house searches for car bombs and other threats. Meanwhile a U.S. airstrike has destroyed a bridge over the Tigris, apparently to limit the ability of IS to support its fighters in eastern Mosul from its stronghold on the west side of the city. Presumably once the east is secured, the army will use pontoon bridges to cross the river.
Efforts continue to extinguish the oil well fires in Qayyara, slowed by mines.
I have so far resisted covering incidents outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, simply because mission creep could end up overwhelming me. However, the theater is wider of course, and Syria is an integral part of the same war that is happening in Iraq. U.S. troops are stationed around the regionin support of the effort, including in Jordan. Three American soldiers were killed in Jordan earlier this month. At the time, Jordanian authorities claimed that they had failed to stop at a checkpoint entering the military base where they were stationed. However, it now appears they were murdered. The shooter, a Jordanian soldier, is in a medically induced coma and has not been questioned. Today in Afghanistan