Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Attacks On Iraqi Forces And Infrastructure Dominate Anbar Violence November 2013

 
The number of attacks remained high in Iraq’s Anbar for November 2013. As usual most of those were concentrated in the province’s cities especially Fallujah and Ramadi. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), the power system and transportation were the main targets. Despite that the number of fatalities was dramatically lower than the previous two months.

Levels of violence in Anbar remained the same in November, but the overall number of casualties was down. There were a total of 75 reported security incidents in the press. That was roughly in line with previous months such as October when there were 101 attacks, 72 in September, 48 in August, and 77 in July. Fallujah saw the majority of insurgent activity last month with 20 incidents closely followed by Ramadi with 17. The remaining violence was scattered along a number of other cities and towns such as Garmah, Hit and Rutba all with four attacks each, and Ana, Haswa, Qaim, and Rawa with three each. For the month there were 46 killed and 91 wounded. The latter were around the same numbers as previous months such as October when there were 131 wounded and August with 92. However fatalities were far lower. In comparison there were 136 deaths in October, 73 in September, 57 in August, 83 in July, 89 in June, and 133 in May. Anbar has not seen such a low death count since February.


Violence In Anbar Jan-Nov 2013

Attacks
Killed
ISF Killed
Awakening
Killed
Civilians Killed
Wounded
ISF Wounded
Awakening
Killed
Civilians Wounded
Jan.
44
35
20
3
12
50
33
1
16
Feb.
26
15
6

9
25
8
-
17
Mar.
36
83
18
1
18
27
10
-
16
Apr.
72
62
26
2
34
71
34
3
34
May
73
133
66
19
48
116
51
7
58
Jun.
52
89
49
5
31
52
28
-
24
Jul.
77
83
45-63
2
27
102
69
-
33
Aug.
48
57
27

30
76
23-49
-
27-53
Sep.
72
73
22
9
41
92
50
9
33
Oct.
101
136
80

55
131
75-83
-
48-56
Nov.
75
46
31
1
14
91
71
3
17

(Al-Mada)


The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) constituted the majority of casualties last month. There were 23 police deaths and 54 wounded, and 8 soldiers killed and 17 wounded. Most of these occurred in low-level attacks such as a November 1 shooting at a police checkpoint in Fallujah that left one officer dead and one wounded. The next day there was a similar incident at a checkpoint in Shuhada, which is just outside of Ramadi that resulted in four police being wounded. Then on November 5 a suicide car bomber struck a checkpoint in Amiriya Fallujah killing two police and wounding 3. The ISF are a main target of militants across Iraq as they attempt to undermine government authority and security. One member of parliament’s security committee claimed that the security forces in Anbar were so intimidated that they had cut local truces with insurgents so that they would not be attacked. Al Qaeda in Iraq especially with its new Soldiers’ Harvest campaign is attempting to take territory in places like Anbar as well, and need to erode the security forces before they can achieve that. The result is that the police and soldiers are half or more of the death toll almost every month in Anbar.
(Al-Rayy)

Militants also targeted Anbar’s power and transportation infrastructure last month. On November 11 a railway station in Dulab was bombed followed by a similar incident at a train station in Haditha on November 14. Bridges have also been favorite targets this year with two blown up in Ramadi, one on November 14 and another on November 18, and three all on that same day in Rutba. Finally on November 11 a power station in Hit was bombed, and there was an explosion at some electricity towers in Rawa on November 14. Again, these were attempts to cut off and isolate certain areas in the province as well as deny services, which challenge the government’s ability to run Anbar.

The Iraqi forces have been unable to stem this wave of violence in the province. As with past months there were mass arrests carried out and small operations launched, but to no effect. After the mayor of Fallujah was assassinated on November 19 for example, up to 400 were arrested and held for up to two weeks with no charges according to the Washington Post. At the very end of the month the army also went into Ana and Rawa looking for Al Qaeda elements. The detention of so many, few of which are likely involved in any violence only angers the population and reduces their willingness to cooperate with the ISF. The government has also continuously focused upon the desert and border regions of Anbar such as Rawa and Ana when the vast majority violence is in the heart of the province such as Fallujah and Ramadi.

Anbar is a province where Al Qaeda in Iraq is attempting to make a comeback. It is not as a violent as some areas such as Baghdad or Ninewa, but there is a concerted campaign going on to breakdown security and governance there. The border region is important to AQI because it can bring in supplies and fighters from Syria and run ad hoc training camps there. The real focus is upon the major cities however such as Fallujah and Ramadi. Those were once strongholds of the insurgency and AQI would like to return to those times. This is a growing concern of both the local government and Baghdad, which has led to reconciliation moves between the two so that they can focus upon security. Even if that were to happen things might not improve any time soon as the tactics of the ISF are ineffective and counterproductive. Perhaps that could be alleviated if the tribes and Awakening were once again brought into the fray, but as for now there looks to be little change in violence for the foreseeable future.

SOURCES

AIN, "4 civilians injured eastern Fallujah," 11/13/13
- "IP: 2 Car bombs, 3 suicide bombs attacked IP station in Anbar," 11/27/13
- "Urgent …. Bridge detonated western Ramadi," 11/14/13
- "Urgent….Car bomb explodes in western Ramadi," 11/27/13

Aswat al-Iraq, "7 gunmen killed along Syrian borders, Interior Ministry," 11/18/13

Iraq Body Count

Iraq Times, "Martyrdom 30 people by targeting two police stations near Ramadi," 11/27/13

Al-Mada, “Anbar: officers “hold truce” with the militants .. And the targeting of 3 train stations “cut supplies” for the army,” 11/17/13

National Iraqi News Agency, "2 Houses blown in southern Falluja," 11/16/13
- "Two policemen injured in Ramadi," 11/17/13
- "2 Policemen wounded in Falluja," 11/9/13
- "2 Policemen wounded north Ramadi," 11/30/13
- "2 Soldiers wounded in western Anbar," 11/21/13
- "2 suicide attacks on the Police Directorate of Saqlawiyah north of Fallujah foiled," 11/11/13
- "3 Border guardsmen wounded in western Anbar," 11/3/13
- "3 Policemen, one civilian wounded in Fallujah," 11/11/13
- "3 Sahwa members wounded in Ramadi," 11/6/13
- "3 SWAT members wounded in southern of Falluja," 11/9/13
- "Armed elements destroy power Station in Anbar," 11/11/13
- "An army base under attack Western Anbar," 11/27/13
- "Army regiment headquarters became under mortar attack western Anbar" 11/30/13
- “Army troops carried out a security crackdown in different parts of Anbar province,” 11/30/13
- "BREAKING NEWS 2 Policemen killed, 3 wounded in Amiriyat Falluja," 11/5/13
- "BREAKING NEWS 3 Blasts, armed clashes in Falluja," 11/15/13
- "BREAKING NEWS Armed attack against house of a Dawa party member in Falluja," 11/6/13
- "BREAKING NEWS. Fallujah mayor assassinated," 11/13/13
- "BREAKING NEWS Gunmen attack the house of regiment commander in northern Ramadi," 11/22/13
- "BREAKING NEWS. Gunmen blow up three bridges in western Anbar," 11/18/13
- "BREAKING NEWS Senior military officer escapes assassination attempt in Falluja," 11/15/13
- "A car bomb explosion west of Anbar," 11/15/13
- "Civilian killed, another wounded in Hit, west of Anbar," 11/4/13
- "A civilian wounded, west of Anbar," 11/19/13
- "A contractor killed, west of Anbar," 11/12/13
- "Four policemen injured in Fallujah," 11/2/13
- "Gunman killed, another injured in clash with border guards in west of Anbar," 11/26/13
- "Gunman killed,seven others arrested, three boats destroyed west of Anbar," 11/1/13
- "Gunman wounded, 2 captured north of Ramadi," 11/8/13
- "Gunmen abduct police officer in Anbar province," 11/9/13
- "Gunmen blow up 2 policemen' houses, kill 4 and wound 7," 11/13/13
- "Gunmen blow up a bridge under construction and two houses in Ramadi," 11/18/13
- "Gunmen blow up a train station west of Anbar," 11/11/13
- "A member of Sahwa forces killed and a civilian wounded, east of Fallujah," 11/8/13
- "Military base in western Anbar mortared," 11/18/13
- "Military officer wounded in Falluja," 11/18/13
- "An officer, a soldier wounded in Fallujah," 11/6/13
- "Policeman killed, 2 wounded southeast Falluja," 11/10/13
- "A policeman killed, another one wounded, east of Fallujah," 11/8/13
- "A policeman killed,another one wounded west of Falluja," 11/1/13
- "A policeman killed ,east of Falluja," 11/26/13
- "Policeman killed in Ramadi," 11/24/13
- "Policeman killed in Ramadi," 11/30/13
- "Policeman killed, two others wounded in wester of Anbar," 11/24/13
- "A policeman killed, two others wounded, southeast of Fallujah," 11/20/13
- "Policeman killed, two wounded in Fallujah," 11/26/13
- "A policeman wounded ,central Fallujah," 11/16/13
- "Policeman wounded in Fallujah," 11/17/13
- "Soldier killed, 2 wounded in western Anbar," 11/27/13
- "A soldier killed and two others wounded,southeast of Fallujah," 11/5/13
- "A soldier killed, another one wounded east of Falluja," 11/23/13
- "Sticky bomb kills the driver, wounds another in Fallujah," 11/10/13
- "Train station in western Anbar blown," 11/14/13
- "Two mortar shells on a police station in Fallujah," 11/16/13
- "Two policemen killed. Four others injured in clashes in Ramadi. Ramadi /NINA/--Two policemen killed and four others wounded in clashes that occurred central Ramadi today," 11/11/13
- "Two soldiers killed another one wounded west of Anbar," 11/12/13
- "Urgent…Suicide bomber attacks checkpoint in western Anbar, kills two ,wound five," 11/7/13
- "Urgent…Two police stations in Ramadi subjected to suicide attacks," 11/27/13

Radio Nawa, "Bombing of the house of one of the elders of the province of Anbar," 11/27/13

Al Rayy, "The 4 pressure Towers bombing high between Rawah and him," 11/15/13
- "Bombing of the house of one of the employees of SWAT forces west of Anbar," 11/23/13
- "The death of a policeman blew up a building under construction in Fallujah," 11/23/13
- "Martyrdom of leading an armed attack on the police northern Anbar," 11/25/13
- "Survival of one of Anbar sheikhs and cousin of the attempted assassination of western Anbar," 11/25/13

Van Heuvelen, Ben, “Next door to Syria, an al-Qaeda-linked group is also gaining ground in Iraq,” Washington Post, 12/7/13

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