Iraq’s Ninewa, and specifically the provincial capital Mosul has once again become a hotbed for insurgent activity. Many different militant groups operate there including Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Baathist Jaish Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshibandi, and Ansar al-Sunna. One major target of these groups has been public employees. Recently 200 guards from the Badush prison quit after a concerted campaign to threaten and intimidate them. That followed the assassination of several district mayors in Mosul that shut down their local councils. This was just the latest attempt to undermine the administration in the governorate.
Guards at the Badush prison have been one of many victims of insurgents in Ninewa province. On March 11, militants broke into the house of a guard just outside of Mosul and killed him as he attempted to flee. April 1 a unit commander at the prison was gunned down. July 23 militants caught up with two guards, as they were heading to work killing one and wounding the other. August 27 two more prison workers were murdered in Mosul. On September 21 insurgents killed two other guards in separate shootings, and wounded one of their mother’s. Then on November15 an inspector at the prison was assassinated in northern Mosul. Plenty of other threats were probably involved as well. The result was that at the beginning of December 200 guards put in their resignations to the Justice Ministry. Aswat al-Iraq noted that many of the guards were not showing up to work due to the assassination campaign against them. Badush prison is one major institution in the Mosul area, and has therefore been targeted by insurgents in their attempt to undermine the local government and assert their control in Ninewa.
Earlier in the year district mayors in Mosul faced a similar campaign. May 18 Abied Absi Romi the mayor of the al-Jamasa neighborhood in Mosul was shot and killed. June 24 the mayor of the Hermat neighborhood was gunned down. Finally, on September 29 insurgents carried out a coordinated series of hits killing five neighborhood mayors from one area in the south, two in the north, and two in the east. Afterward 18 others resigned, and the city suspended the work of the remaining mayors. These attacks have been blamed on Al Qaeda in Iraq. Again, this was an attempt to shut down the government in Mosul, and happened to succeed as the district administrations were temporarily closed due to these assassinations.
The insurgency is carrying out more of these targeted attacks to subvert the government in Ninewa. The killings of prison personnel and district mayors in the Mosul area resulted in scores of guards quitting at the Badush detention facility and the suspension of district councils in the city. The security forces have not been able to stop this deadly routine of violence in the province. Instead Mosul has re-emerged as a militant center of the country. That means that more victories like these are going to happen in the future as Ninewa continues to deteriorate under the constant bombings and shootings.
AIN, "2 among Badosh Prison guards killed in Mosul," 8/27/13
- "2 Guards of Badosh prison killed, wounded in Mosul," 7/23/13
- "2 security elements killed, civilians wounded in Mosul," 9/21/13
- "Guard of Badosh prison killed in Mosul," 3/11/13
- "Mayor killed in western Mosul," 5/18/13
Aswat al-Iraq, “200 Badush prison guards resignation confirmed,” 12/3/13
Lewis, Jessica, “AQI’s “Soldiers’ Harvest” Campaign,” Institute for the Study of War, 10/9/13
National Iraqi News Agency, “Badush Prison inspector assassinated,” 11/15/13
- “Fifth neighborhood Mayor killed in Mosul,” 9/29/13
- “Gunmen kill local mayor, an IED injures two officers in Mosul,” 9/29/13
- "Gunmen kill Mukhtar (mayor) in Mosul," 6/24/13
- “Two (Muhktars) killed in Mosul,” 9/29/13- "Unit commander in Niniveh's Badush Prison assassinated," 4/1/13