1. Days after bombings killed at least 16 people in Baghdad, 22 people were killed during a suicide bombing training class after the instructor’s belt detonated.
The blast killed 22 members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and injured 15 others. Eight members of the group were captured while trying to escape.
The group has been targeting the Iraqi army, which is predominantly Shiite. The man teaching the class was described as “a prolific recruiter who was ‘able to kill the bad guys for once.’”
ISIS has had an established presence in Iraq since the beginning of the year.
2. From The New York Times:
ISIS militants drove into Falluja and the nearby city of Ramadi, both in Anbar Province, earlier this year with heavy weaponry, taking control of key intersections and offices of local authorities.
Local security forces and tribes have since re-established control in Ramadi.
But Iraq is developing a plan, with help from the United States, that would have Sunni tribes take the lead in ending the standoff with ISIS in Falluja, with the Iraqi Army in support, a senior State Department official told Congress last week.
The official, Brett McGurk, said that ISIS had about 2,000 fighters in Iraq, and that its longer-term objective is to establish a base of operations in Baghdad, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has been officially designated as a global terrorist by the State Department.