Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Musings On Iraq Security Report For Feb 1-7, 2014

 
The first seven days of February 2014 saw a huge amount of violence. There were just over 200 reported security incidents and almost 300 deaths. Baghdad, Ninewa, Salahaddin, and Anbar were the main focus of insurgent activity, while Tamim and Diyala saw a mid-level of attacks. There were also scattered incidents in southern Iraq. The beginning of February showed that the insurgency was maintaining the same pace of operations as seen in January.
Scene of a car bombing in Camp Sara, Baghdad Feb 6, 2014 (AFP)

The press reported 204 attacks, 296 deaths, and 700 wounded in the first week of February. There were an averaged of 29.1 security incidents per day. That was just below January’s average of 33.2. February 1, 3, 4 and 5 had over 30 attacks per day with 36, 32, 34, and 35 respectively. February 7 was the quietist with just 18 reported attacks. January 5 was the most violent with 89 deaths and 169 wounded. In comparison on February 4 only 20 people were killed and 77 wounded and on February 7 there were 20 deaths and 54 wounded. 


Attacks, Deaths and Wounded in Iraq Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
36
35
94
Feb. 2
28
28
28
Feb. 3
32
54
116
Feb. 4
21
20
77
Feb. 5
34
89
169
Feb. 6
35
50
162
Feb. 7
18
20
54
TOTALS
204
296
700

 
Broken down by province were 65 attacks in Baghdad, 41 in Ninewa, 37 in Salahaddin, 25 in Anbar, 16 in Tamim, 14 in Diyala, 3 in Basra, 2 in Babil, and 1 in Wasit. That has been the same pattern of violence seen over the last year or so. Baghdad is the center of government and the top target of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Salahaddin appears to be the only province where insurgents have picked up their attacks since the fighting in Anbar started, while in Ninewa attacks were about the same as previous months. Anbar likely had far more incidents than were reported. Tamim and Diyala have been relatively quiet in recent weeks, while the violence in the south could be the work of various groups not just insurgents.


Attacks And Casualties By Province Feb. 1-7, 2014
Province
Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Anbar
25
30
79


15 ISF, 15 Civilians
35 ISF,
4 Sahwa,
40 Civilians
Babil
2
0
0
Baghdad
65
148
347


17 ISF, 3 Sahwa,
128 Civilians
39 ISF,
1 Sahwa,
307 Civilians
Basra
3
3
0


3 Civilians

Diyala
14
13
27


4 ISF,
9 Civilians
13 ISF,
1 Sahwa,
13 Civilians
Ninewa
41
41
94


21 ISF,
20 Civilians
52 ISF,
42 Civilians
Salahaddin
37
57
125


28 ISF,
9 Sahwa,
20 Civilians
31 ISF,
37 Sahwa,
57 Civilians
Tamim
16
4
25


3 ISF,
1 Civilian
15 ISF,
10 Civilians
Wasit
1
0
3



3 Civilians


There were an average of 9.2 incidents a day in Baghdad. That was topped off by February 5 when there were nine attacks including a suicide bomber on a restaurant in Karrada, two car bombs in the Green Zone near the Foreign Ministry, a car bomb near some shops in Khilani Square in central Baghdad, three car bombs near Diyala Bridge in Tarmiya, a car bomb in Zafaraniya, and the final one in Dora. To go along with that rockets fell on Haifa Street, an IED went off in a café in Dora, and a drive by shooting in Hurriya. In total that left 53 dead and 112 wounded. Before that on February 3 there were 16 reported attacks led by six car bombings in Mahmudiya, Hurriya, Baladiyat, and Abu Dashir. A suicide bomber also targeted a checkpoint in Taji and another in Meshahda. There were eight other smaller incidents including five shootings, two sticky bombs, and a grenade thrown at the president of Iraqiya University. All together those led to another 41 killed and 87 wounded. In total there were 25 car bombings and four suicide bombers in just those first seven days. This has become the daily routine in Baghdad. In total 148 people were killed in Baghdad from February 1-7, made up of 128 civilians, 17 members of the security forces, and 3 Sons of Iraq/Sahwa. There were also 347 wounded including 307 civilians, 39 police and soldiers, and 1 Sons of Iraq. Baghdad has been the main focus for ISIS. It is likely responsible for the car and suicide bombings. It is attempting to use them to incite a new sectarian conflict, and make the government look weak. That was the reason why the overwhelming number of casualties was civilians.


Attacks And Casualties In Baghdad Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
9
3
16
Feb. 2
7
10
10
Feb. 3
16
41
87
Feb. 4
10
13
39
Feb. 5
9
53
112
Feb. 6
11
23
75
Feb. 7
3
5
8
TOTALS
65
148
347

Ninewa was the second most violence province in the beginning of February. There were 41 attacks leading to 41 deaths, and 94 wounded. That showed the small scale of insurgent operations there. Most were shootings and IEDs that only killed and wounded a few people. February 6 was the most violent with 10 incidents, 11 killed, and 30 wounded the worst of which was an attempt to break into Badush Prison that killed one guard, three prisoners, and wounded three guards, five prisoners, and 5 civilians. The other incidents that day were more the norm such as a shooting at a checkpoint in Rifai that killed one soldier and wounded another. ISIS is the main group operating in Ninewa’s capital of Mosul where they act like a mafia extorting money from businesses, and carry out targeted attacks upon the ISF and local notables. The point of many of their attacks is to maintain their financial operations as well as undermine the local security forces.


Attacks And Casualties In Ninewa Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
6
4
8
Feb. 2
5
5
5
Feb. 3
5
5
3
Feb. 4
5
7
25
Feb. 5
6
7
22
Feb. 6
10
11
30
Feb. 7
4
2
1
TOTALS
41
41
94

Salahaddin has been the only other province that has seen an uptick in insurgent activity since the fighting in Anbar started. There were 37 reported attacks there leading to 57 killed and 125 wounded. The deadliest day was February 1 when suicide bombers attacked Tikrit and Baiji, IEDs went off in Tikrit, Tuz Kharmato, and two in Shirqat, along with shootings in Balad, Awja, Samarra, and south of that city accounting for 17 fatalities and 48 wounded. That amount of casualties was almost met by February 6 when a car bomb went off in Tuz Kharmato killing ten and wounding 23. A number of small incidents added another 4 deaths and 20 wounded. For the seven days there were 57 deaths and 125 wounded. ISIS, Ansar al-Islam, and the Baathist Naqshibandi are all active in the province. The later two like to portray themselves as national groups fighting against the government and claim they only attack the security forces. That’s likely why the ISF and the Sahwa were the main victims.


Attacks And Casualties In Salahaddin Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
10
17
48
Feb. 2
3
3
1
Feb. 3
3
2
1
Feb. 4
3
0
8
Feb. 5
8
18
17
Feb. 6
6
14
43
Feb. 7
4
3
7
TOTALS
37
57
125

Unlike those first three governorates Tamim and Diyala have only seen mid level violence. In Tamim there were just 16 attacks and 14 in Diyala. The latter only saw 13 killed and 27 wounded, while Tamim had 4 deaths and 25 wounded. That didn’t mean that insurgents weren’t carrying out bold operations there. On February 5 for example ISIS were reported to have seized four villages in the Sulaiman Bek area in Tamim, and on February 7 a candidate for Mutahidun had his house bombed in Baquba, Diyala. Still the two provinces have been relatively quite recently perhaps showing that militants are concentrating upon other areas of the country.


Attacks And Casualties In Tamim Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
1
0
3
Feb. 2
8
4
9
Feb. 3
2
0
8
Feb. 4
1
0
5
Feb. 5
4
0
0
Feb. 6
0
0
0
Feb. 7
0
0
0
TOTALS
16
4
25

Attacks And Casualties In Diyala Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
0
0
0
Feb. 2
2
6
3
Feb. 3
4
4
10
Feb. 4
0
0
0
Feb. 5
0
0
0
Feb. 6
6
2
14
Feb. 7
2
1
0
TOTALS
14
13
27
  
In Anbar, the fighting appears to be deadlocked. Reports mention attacks in the same areas for the last several weeks. In the beginning of February Albu Faraj, Albu Jabar, Saglawiya along with sections of Fallujah and Ramadi were the sites of most of the violence. The fact that ISIS has increasingly used suicide bombers there shows that it has become a major focus for the group. There were seven suicide attacks in just the first week with two attacking a checkpoint northeast of Fallujah on February 1, a suicide bomber hitting a checkpoint in Niamiya on February 5, and four being killed as they attempted to attack some soldiers in Ramadi on January 7. The press reported 25 security incidents, 30 killed, and 79 wounded from February 1-7 but the actual number is likely much higher. The government has also been responsible for some of these casualties with shelling being blamed for eight deaths and 29 wounded on February 7.  


Attacks And Casualties In Anbar Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
10
11
19
Feb. 2
3
0
0
Feb. 3
1
2
4
Feb. 4
1
0
0
Feb. 5
4
8
18
Feb. 6
1
0
0
Feb. 7
5
9
38
TOTALS
25
30
79
  
Finally there was only sporadic violence in the south. There were two shootouts with insurgents in Babil resulting in no casualties on February 4 and 6. In Basra three bodies were found in various parts of the province on February 5. Finally in Wasit there was a car bomb that wounded three on February 3. That was the first vehicle delivered explosive device in the south since November. Again, ISIS has been putting its focus upon Baghdad and Anbar, and attacks in the south have declined as a result. It’s not even clear whether all of these incidents were the result of insurgents. Militias and criminal gangs are active in the south and might have carried out some of these incidents.


Attacks And Casualties In Babil, Basra, Wasit Feb. 1-7, 2014

Attacks
Deaths
Wounded
Feb. 1
0
0
0
Feb. 2
0
0
0
Feb. 3
1
0
3
Feb. 4
1
0
0
Feb. 5
3
3
0
Feb. 6
1
0
0
Feb. 7
0
0
0
TOTALS
6
3
3

The beginning of February marks the pattern of violence that is likely to be seen for the foreseeable future. In Anbar, ISIS, Ansar al-Sunni, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, and others are operating openly in Fallujah and Ramadi and the surrounding villages. In Baghdad ISIS continues to carry out mass casualty bombings. In Salahaddin the Islamic State and the Naqshibandi are going after the security forces, while in Ninewa ISIS continues with its low level attacks to maintain its control of Mosul as it has for years. That has left Diyala, Tamim, and the south relatively quiet in recent months. Even with insurgents focusing upon just a few provinces they are still wreaking havoc. The amount of death and destruction they were able to sow in just seven days showed how much each group has been able to rebuild its networks. ISIS especially has shown the ability to strike in any part of the country and shift its fighters and resources to different areas. With this newfound strength and flexibility it will be especially hard for the militants to be subdued, and there’s a great possibility that violence might even increase in the country.

SOURCES

A note about sources. Usually all of the articles consulted are listed in the bibliography. Since this report is based upon over 400 of them it is impossible to have them all in the piece. For the sake of space then only the reports that were linked are included here.

AIN, "3 Corpses discovered in Basra," 2/5/14
- "12 guards, prisoners killed, injured in attack on Badush prison," 2/6/14
- "Bombings of MoF headquarters, Karada area result in killing, injuring 19 persons," 2/5/14
- "Suicide bomber killed, car bomb detonated central Tikrit," 2/1/14

Alsumaria, "Civilian killed in an armed attack northwest of Baghdad," 2/5/14

Al-Ani, Ammar, "Gunman killed and six others were arrested when security forces clashed within Salahaddin," Alsumaria, 2/1/14

Associated Press, "Car bombings in Iraq kill at least 23 people," 2/3/14

Buratha News, "The bombing of the home of a candidate for united," 2/7/14
- "Champions of the Iraqi army killed four suicide bombers tried to storm the center of the military forces in Ramadi," 2/7/14
- "Found the body of a member of the internal affairs of the son of a senior officer slain and dumped a few hours after he was kidnapped south of Tikrit," 2/1/14

Al Forat, "Death toll of three bombings in Baghdad hit 42 deaths, injuries," 2/5/14
- "IED went off near school in Sharqat," 2/1/14
- "Shirqat: IED blast injures Police Captain's 2 sons," 2/1/14

Hamid, Ghassan, Shafiq, Mohammed, "The outcome of the end of the bombing north of Tikrit at nine dead and 29 wounded," Alsumaria, 2/2/14

Iraq Times, "martyrs and injured in bombings in central Baghdad 48," 2/5/14

Karim, Ammar, "7 bombs hit Baghdad as US lawmakers slam Maliki," Agence France Presse, 2/6/14

Al Mada, "Injury, a police captain in armed attack south of Tikrit," 2/1/14
- "Killing and wounding 11 people in a car bomb south of Baghdad," 2/5/14
- "Killing and wounding 11 people in bombing south of Baghdad," 2/5/14
- "Killing and wounding 11 soldiers in a suicide bombing that targeted an army checkpoint north of Baghdad," 2/3/14
- "Killing and wounding 18 civilians from "indiscriminate bombing" of the army on Fallujah," 2/7/14

Al Masalah, "Final outcome of the explosion of a booby-trapped car 10 dead and 23 wounded," 2/7/14
- "Killing four civilians and wounding 16 in blast in the district of Tuz," 2/1/14
- "Killing nine civilians and wounding 16, the explosion of two car bombs in the area of Abu Dshir," 2/3/14

National Iraqi News Agency, "/3/ Civilians Injured by a Car Bomb North of Wasit," 2/3/14
- "3 Elements of al-Qaeda killed in Jurf al-Sakhar in Babylon," 2/6/14
- "8 Soldiers Killed and Wounded in a Suicide Attack on a Checkpoint North of Baghdad," 2/3/14
- "/34/ Civilians Killed and Wounded in Fallujah Today as a Result of Bombing," 2/7/14
- "Acting head of Iraqiya University escapes an assassination attempt in Baghdad," 2/3/14
- "Army kills two suicide bombers north of Fallujah," 2/1/14
- "Interior Ministry: Victims of the two suicide bombings, near ministry of foreign affairs, up 20 dead, 28 wounded," 2/5/14
- "Six civilians wounded in central Baghdad," 2/5/14
- "A soldier killed and another wounded , west of Mosul," 2/6/14

Radio Nawa, "Killing 8 soldiers and wounding 18 others, an explosion of two car bombs at checkpoints in Fallujah," 2/5/14

Al Rayy, "Found the body of a government employee after less than 24 hours he was kidnapped south of Tikrit," 2/1/14
- "Gunmen in control of four villages in the area east of Solomon Beck Salahuddin," 2/5/14
- "The killing of three Daash and the escape of a leader in the organization in the north of Babylon," 2/4/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding nine people near a popular café bombing south of Baghdad," 2/5/14

Al-Tamimi, Aymenn Jawad, “Musings of an Iraqi Brasenostril on Jihad: Comprehensive Reference Guide to Sunni Militant Groups in Iraq,” Jihadology, 1/23/14

No comments: