Mass Graves Found in Iraq Could Contain up to 400 Bodies...

Mass Graves Found in Iraq Could Contain up to 400 Bodies
12 Nov.`17 - Iraqi security forces have found mass graves in an area recently retaken from the Islamic State group that could contain up to 400 bodies, an Iraqi official said Sunday.
The bodies of civilians and security forces were found in an abandoned base near Hawija, a northern town retaken in early October, Kirkuk governor Rakan Saed said. He didn't say when authorities will start exhuming the bodies from the mass graves. Iraqi security forces speak to shepherd Khalaf Luhaibi next to bones on the ground at an abandoned base near the northern town of Hawija, Iraq, Nov. 22, 2017.

Khalaf Luhaibi, a local shepherd who led troops to the site, said IS used to bring captives to the area and shoot them dead or pour oil over them and light them on fire. The area was strewn with torn clothing and what appeared to be human bones and skulls. Iraqi forces have driven IS from nearly all the territory it once controlled. Authorities have already uncovered several mass graves in other newly liberated areas.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have driven the extremists from nearly all the territory they once controlled, with some fighting still underway near the western border with Syria. Bones lie on the ground in an area recently retaken from the Islamic State group, at an abandoned base near the northern town of Hawija, Iraq, Nov. 11, 2017.

On Saturday, Iraq's prime minister announced an operation to capture a patch of territory on the western edge of the country near the border with Syria. Hours later, Iraqi Defense Ministry announced capturing Romana area, saying the troops will head to nearby town of Rawa. According to Ahmed al-Asadi, a spokesman for the Shiite-majority paramilitary forces, Rawa is the last Iraqi town held by IS who still control some scattered small villages in mainly desert areas.
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Anti-Daesh War Cost Iraq $100 Billion in Losses: PM
Sunday 12th November, 2017 | Losses from the war on the Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group have cost Iraq $100 billion, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said Saturday.
'Iraq has lost $100 billion in the anti-Daesh war, but we have achieved success in three battles; namely liberating the land, maintaining Iraq's unity and standing up to the threats,' al-Abadi said during a speech in the southern Karbala province, Anadolu Agency reported.

As for the crisis between Baghdad and northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), al-Abadi said 'we don't need mediation with our Kurdish people'. '[Kurdish] Peshmerga fighters enjoy patriotism, and we regret accusing those who did not fight against the Iraqi army of betrayal,' he said.

Tension escalated between the federal government in Baghdad and KRG following the Sept. 25 referendum on secession of the Kurdish region, which Baghdad insists is unconstitutional. The Iraqi premier said the country's parliamentary election would take place as scheduled in May.