Monday, October 19, 2009

Low Level Violence Persists in Anbar

Anbar was once the center of the Sunni insurgency. After the Awakening movement and the Surge however, violence there dropped dramatically. Every time there’s a mass casualty bombing in the province however, there are concerns that militants are making a comeback. The latest incident was an October 11, 2009 attack on the provincial council building in Ramadi, which ended up killing 23, and wounding 65, while members of the National Reconciliation Committee were meeting with local Anbar officials. This led to stories like “Iraq: Insurgency fears rise as bombs kill 19 in Ramadi,” by the Associated Press, “Iraq bombings target reconciliation meeting, killing 26” in the Los Angeles Times, “Triple bombing kills scores in Anbar Province” by the Christian Science Monitor, and “3 Bombings Target Police in Iraq” in the Washington Post, all of which asked whether the attack was a sign that the security situation in Anbar was worsening.

As reported before, trying to read Iraq based upon mass casualty bombings gives a very distorted view of the situation there. A look at security incidents and casualties shows that Anbar has hardly changed in the last year, and violence there has followed national trends.

The last set of comprehensive security statistics released by the U.S. in July 2009 showed that Anbar was the sixth most violent governorate in Iraq out of eighteen. Attacks went through a steady decline there from April 2008 to March 2009, as they did throughout the country, correlating to the January 2009 provincial elections, and the negotiations that took place afterward to form new governments. After that attacks crept back up from April to July 2009. From April 1 to July 1, 2008 for example, there were 275 security incidents recorded by the U.S. military in Anbar, which then dropped to 53 from January 1 to March 20, 2009. From April to July they increased to 92. In comparison, Ninewa province, the home to Mosul, probably the least stable city in the country, had 454 for those same months.

Security Incidents Reported In Anbar Province By U.S. Military
4/1/08-7/1/08: 275
7/1/08-9/30/08: 209
10/1/08-12/31/08: 162
1/1/09-3/20/09: 53
4/1/09-7/21/09: 92

When going through press accounts of casualties, Anbar followed the same trend. There was a dip in January and February 2009 compared to the end of 2008, and then the number of dead and wounded slowly went back up for the rest of 2009. Quarterly averages for example, show that there were an average of 8.66 monthly incidents in Anbar for the last quarter of 2008 resulting in 25.33 deaths per month and 77.66 wounded. That dropped to just 3.66 attacks per month, 8.66 deaths, and 9.66 wounded for the first quarter of 2009. By the 3rd quarter, the number of average monthly attacks had risen dramatically to 20.66, but the resulting deaths, 24.33, and wounded, 84.00, were about the same as the 4th quarter of 2008.

Security Incidents In Anbar October 2008-September 2009

October 08
Attacks/Incidents: 11
Deaths: 11
Wounded: 30

November 08
Attacks/Incidents: 6
Deaths: 20
Wounded: 31 + 2 Americans

December 08

Attacks/Incidents: 9
Deaths: 45
Wounded: 170

January 09
Attacks/Incidents: 3
Deaths: 13
Wounded: 13

February 09
Attacks/Incidents: 3
Deaths: 3
Wounded: 2

March 09
Attacks/Incidents: 5
Deaths: 10
Wounded: 14 + 2 Americans

April 09
Attacks/Incidents: 11
Deaths: 31
Wounded: 64

May 09
Attacks/Incidents: 9
Deaths: 12
Wounded: 11

June 09
Attacks/Incidents: 24
Deaths: 29
Wounded: 53+

July 09
Attacks/Incidents: 22
Deaths: 33
Wounded: 126

August 09
Attacks/Incidents: 23
Deaths: 16
Wounded: 62

September 09
Attacks/Incidents: 17
Deaths: 24
Wounded: 64

Averages
4th Quarter of 2008: 8.66 Attacks/Incidents/month, 25.33 deaths/month, 77.66 wounded/month
1st Quarter of 2009: 3.66 Attacks/Incidents/month, 8.66 deaths/month, 9.66 wounded/month
2nd Quarter of 2009: 14.66 Attacks/Incidents/month, 24.0 deaths/month, 42.66 wounded/month
3rd Quarter of 2009: 20.66 Attacks/Incidents/month, 24.33 deaths/months, 84.00 wounded/month

Violence in Anbar is largely due to two factors. First, there are still Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent and tribal allies active in the province that are attempting to let the Awakening movement, and the Iraqi government know that they are still around. Second, the tribes that aligned themselves with the Americans have broken up into several factions, most of which are extreme rivals with each other. Divisions, feuds, and violence were common occurrences amongst the sheikhs in the past, so there’s no reason to believe that those same dynamics don’t still exist in Anbar today. Together, these two causes are likely to maintain the low level of attacks and casualties currently seen in the governorate.

SOURCES

Associated Press, “Iraq: Insurgency fears rise as bombs kill 19 in Ramadi,” Guardian, 10/11/09

Aswat al-Iraq, “2 cops wounded in Anbar blast,” 8/19/09
- “2 emergency personnel killed in blast near Ramadi,” 9/28/09
- “2 Iraqi soldiers wounded in blast in Falluja,” 8/16/09
- “2 Iraqi soldiers wounded in blast in Falluja,” 8/25/09
- “2 policemen wounded in blast near Anbar,” 9/8/09
- “2 roadside bombs defused, 4 suspects arrested in Falluja,” 8/25/09
- “3 cops injured in IED,” 3/31/09
- “3 policemen wounded in blast near Falluja,” 11/15/08
- “3 soldiers injured in eastern Falluja,” 9/23/09
- “4 killed in attack in Falluja,” 8/16/09
- “6 cops killed, wounded in 2nd Falluja blast,” 12/28/08
- “Blast hits Iraqi army patrol in Falluja,” 8/17/09
- “Car bomb seized in Falluja” 8/25/09
- “Cop killed, 3 wounded in accident in Anbar,” 10/17/08
- “Cop killed, 6 wounded in Falluja suicide bombing,” 12/28/08
- “Falluja blast kills, wounds 7,” 12/24/08
- “Falluja chieftain escapes attempt on his life,” 8/23/09
- “Gunman killed, 2 civilians injured in Ramadi,” 9/3/09
- “Gunman killed in blast in Falluja,” 9/17/09
- “IED defused in central Falluja,” 8/18/09
- “IED defused in Falluja,” 8/13/09
- “IED defused in Falluja without incident,” 10/27/08
- “IED wounds 3 civilians in Falluja,” 9/23/09
- “Police officer killed in Ramadi,” 11/13/08
- “Roadside bomb goes off in western Falluja,” 2/24/09
- “Roadside bomb wounds 3 cops in Falluja,” 8/11/09
- “Sticky bomb injures 2 civilians in Falluja,” 9/23/09
- “Suicide attack kills cop, injures 2 in Falluja,” 3/20/09
- “Tight security in Falluja after blasts,” 12/28/08
- “Toll from Falluja car bombing increases to 23,” 8/3/09
- “Toll of Anbar bombings increases to 8 dead, 22 injured,” 10/11/09
- “U.S. forces shoot mentally handicapped person in Falluja,” 9/16/09
- “URGENT/3 cops wounded in Falluja blast,” 10/18/08
- “Woman killed, 5 civilians injured in Falluja,” 9/16/09
- “Woman killed, 6 wounded in central Anbar,” 8/5/09

BBC, “Falluja car bomb blast ‘kills 13,’” 1/24/09

CNN, “7 prisoners, 6 officers killed in Iraqi jailbreak,” 12/26/08

DPA, “Iraqi tribal leader escapes assassination attempt south of Baghdad,” 3/22/09

Al Dulaimy, Mohammed, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 16 September, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 9/16/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Sunday 16 August, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/16/09

Hammoudi, Laith, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Friday 14 August, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/14/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Friday 21 August, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/21/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Sunday 27 September, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 9/27/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Tuesday 28 October, 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 10/28/08

Iraq Today, December 2008
- September 2009

Issa, Sahar, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Monday 28 September, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 9/28/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Saturday 6 December, 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 12/6/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Saturday 8 November, 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 11/8/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 19 August, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/19/09

Issa, Sahar and Kadhim, Hussein, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Tuesday 24 March, 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 3/24/09

Kadhi, Hussein “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Thursday 09 October 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 10/9/08
Kadhi, Hussein “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Thursday 19 February 2009,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/19/09

Kropf, Schuyler, “Mount Pleasant solder killed,” The Post and Courier, 11/7/08

KUNA, “Woman suicide bomber sets off explosives at hospital entrance in Iraq,” 11/9/08

McCary, John, “The Anbar Awakening: An Alliance of Incentives,” Washington Quarterly, January 2009

Al-Mokhtar, Uthman and Bakri, Nada, “3 Bombings Target Police in Iraq,” Washington Post, 10/12/09

Perth Now, “’Imad the killer’ shot dead by cops,” 12/27/08

Press TV, “Car bomber kills 5, wounds 13 in Iraq,” 1/24/09

Reuters, “Double suicide bombing kills 8 in western Iraq,” 11/8/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Aug 12,” 8/12/09
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Feb 19,” 2/19/09
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Jan 3,” 1/3/09
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, March 20,” 3/20/09
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Nov 3,” 11/3/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Nov 13,” 11/13/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 17,” 10/17/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 18,” 10/18/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 25,” 10/25/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 26,” 10/26/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 29,” 10/29/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 3,” 9/3/09
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 28,” 9/28/09
- “Gunmen attack, burn ballot station before Iraq vote,” 1/27/09

Shadid, Anthony, “In Anbar, U.S.-Allied Tribal Chiefs Feel Deep Sense of Abandonment,” Washington Post, 10/3/09

Sly, Liz, “Iraq bombings target reconciliation meeting, killing 26,” Los Angeles Times, 10/12/09

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, - "Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report to the United States Congress," 1/30/09
-"Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report to the United States Congress," 7/30/09
- "Quarterly Report to the United States Congress," 10/30/08
- "Quarterly Report to the United States Congress," 4/30/09

Williams, Timothy, “Bombings Outside Iraq Reconciliation Meeting Kill 23,” New York Times, 10/11/09

Xinhua, “Iraqi police foil suicide car bomb attack in W Iraq,” 8/12/09
- “Suicide bomber kills 2 security members in W Iraq,” 8/15/09
- “Up to 15 killed, 147 injured in Fallujah twin suicide attacks,” 12/4/08

Yusuf, Huma, “Triple bombing kills scores in Anbar Province,” Christian Science Monitor, 10/12/09

No comments: