Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Collapse At Army Base In Iraq’s Anbar Keeps Casualties High 3rd Week of September 2014

 
Violence has been going down in Iraq for the last month and a half. The third week of September saw some of the fewest attacks of 2014. Casualties have remained high however. The Islamic State has been carrying out massacres in the areas under its control. Only one of those occurred during the third week of September, but the fall of an Iraqi army base outside of Fallujah kept the number of dead and wounded up. The Islamic State also launched a multi-faceted attack upon a neighborhood in Baghdad showing that they still hold some of the initiative despite the end of their large charge through the north.

From September 15-21, 2014 there were 164 security incidents. This was up from the 150 of the week before, but on par with the first week of September’s 168. The third week had the third fewest attacks of the year. This downward trend started in the beginning of August as fighting settled into a rough stalemate. Salahaddin had the most attacks for the week with 45, followed by 44 in Baghdad. After that there was a decided drop with 26 in Anbar, 16 in Ninewa, 14 in Diyala, 10 in Babil, 8 in Kirkuk, and one in Karbala.

Despite the drop in attacks the number of dead and wounded remained high from September 15-21. For the week there were 614 killed. That was down from last week’s 896, but on par with the first week of September’s 616. The previous two weeks casualty figures have been high due to executions by the Islamic State and mass graves being discovered. There were hardly any of those from September 15-21 accounting for the drop. The 614 were made up of 353 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 4 Sahwa and 257 civilians. There were also 736 wounded consisting of 60 ISF, 3 Sahwa, and 673 civilians. That figure was roughly the same as the last few weeks.


Violence In Iraq By Week 2014
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
244
363
736
Jan 8-14
272
364
683
Jan 15-21
205
358
616
Jan 22-28
236
305
618
Jan 29-31
57
93
237
JAN
1,014
1,483
2,890
Feb 1-7
204
296
700
Feb 8-14
226
258
505
Feb 15-21
264
346
703
Feb 22-28
251
374
618
FEB
945
1,274
2,526
Mar 1-7
253
412
702
Mar 8-14
206
324
612
Mar 15-21
216
423
736
Mar 22-27
211
279
580
Mar 28-31
110
168
271
MAR
996
1,606
2,901
Apr 1-7
238
259
550
Apr 8-14
223
362
646
Apr 15-21
251
406
786
Apr 22-28
226
347
744
Apr 29-30
61
82
179
APR
999
1,456
2,905
May 1-7
198
246
483
May 8-14
257
469
752
May 15-21
183
256
426
May 22-28
204
407
817
May 29-31
63
90
132
MAY
905
1,468
2,610
Jun 1-7
224
588
1,021
Jun 8-14
227
658
887
Jun 15-21
170
729
564
Jun 22-28
170
720
775
Jun 29-30
56
127
236
JUN
877
2,822
3,483
Jul 1-7
200
511
622
Jul 8-14
211
577
625
Jul 15-21
225
398
1,000
Jul 22-28
223
549
801
Jul 29-31
65
162
230
JUL
924
2,197
3,278
Aug 1-8
265
951
885
Aug 9-14
178
709
1,152
Aug 15-21
150
348
499
Aug 22-28
179
542
815
Aug 29-31
58
118
289
AUG
830
2,668
3,640
Sep 1-7
168
616
751
Sep 8-14
150
896
662
Sep 15-21
164
614
736


As with every week this month the Islamic State launched a car bomb wave. The last one went from September 17-19 and consisted of 10 car bombs striking Anbar, Babil, Baghdad, Karbala and Salahaddin costing the lives of 67 people and injuring a further 162. For the month there have been 34 such attacks resulting in 189 deaths and 643 wounded. IS has been able to maintain a huge rate of these types of operations recently due to all the captured explosives they acquired during their surge across northern Iraq. There appears to be no end in sight to these bombings.

Car Bombs In Iraq Sep. 2014
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Sep 1
Baya x2, Baghdad
13
45
Sep 2



Sep 3
Samarra, Salahaddin
7
17
Sep 4
Albu Faraj, Anbar
Kadhimiya & Sadoun St, Baghdad
Kirkuk, Kirkuk
24
85
Sep 5
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar
Zafaraniya, Baghdad
Tikrit, Salahaddin
14
33
Sep 6
Samarra, Salahaddin

4
Sep 7



1st Wk Total
11
58
184
Sep 8
Dhuluiya x2, Salahaddin
20
168
Sep 9
Saqlawiya, Anbar


Sep 10
Saqlawiya, Anbar
New Baghdad & Ghadeer, Baghdad
19
57
Sep 11
Karbala, Karbala
Najaf, Najaf
Diwaniya, Qadisiyah
14
40
Sep 12
Ghadeer, Baghdad
Hammadi Shihab, Salahaddin
7
18
Sep 13



Sep 14



2nd Wk Total
11
60
283
Sep 15
Abu Dishr, Baghdad
4
14
Sep 16



Sep 17
Ramadi, Anbar
Tarmiya, Salahaddin
15
21
Sep 18
Kadhimiya x2 & Topchi, Baghdad
Karbala, Karbala
31
56
Sep 19
Mahmudiya, Babil
Baya, Karrada & Nahrawan, Baghdad
21
85
Sep 20



Sep 21
Saqlawiya, Anbar


3rd Wk Total
12
71
176
Totals
34
189
643

The siege of Haditha was broken with the ISF launching operations towards the Syrian border and in and around Ramadi. While the Islamic State took an army base in Saqlawiya during the 3rd week of September (New York Times)


In Anbar the ISF went on the offensive at the beginning of the week only to run into another fiasco by the end. For weeks, the Islamic State was trying to take Haditha in the western section of the province. It was repulsed, and then the security forces attempted to turn the tide. September 16 an operation was begun from Haditha into Rawa and Ana along the Syrian border, while sections of Haditha were cleared as well. Security operations continued in and around Ramadi too including 5 and 7 kilo, and the Tamimi section of the city. At the end of the week however the army suffered a major setback. A base in Saqlawiya, which is to the northwest of Fallujah, was surrounded and attacked for nearly a week by insurgents. The 820 odd soldiers there broke up into small groups and tried to escape. The siege was capped off by two suicide car bombs and three suicide bombers attacking the base on September 21 killing 40 soldiers and capturing another 68. Politicians said that 300 soldiers in total died at the camp. IS has also continued to try to assert its control over the province. September 16 it kidnapped 50 former soldiers from Fallujah, blew up 60 houses of Sahwa members and executed 20 former ISF members west of Ramadi the next day. These are the types of tactics IS has been carrying out for years to intimidate any of those who stand in its way. Finally, despite new Premier Haider Abadi’s promise to stop the shelling of civilian areas Fallujah was struck by government artillery for six out of the seven days of the week. That resulted in 27 killed and 118 wounded. These types of operations serve no military purpose, and should have been ended a long time ago. The fact that Abadi’s announcement did not lead to that showed that the new premier might be willing to talk about reconciliation, but not follow through with anything substantive yet. For the week there were 368 deaths and 136 wounded in Anbar. Most of those came at the army base in Saqlawiya. Its fall showed that the Islamic State maintains its ability to launch major operations despite the growing western air presence. It also highlights the inability of the Iraqi forces to coordinate and its commanders to lead. Such a long siege could have been broken up by air strikes, and American planes could have been brought in as well. Instead, the camp was allowed to fall after a weeklong operation.


Casualties From Government Shelling Sep 15-21, 2014
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Sep 15
Fallujah
6
22
Sep 16
Fallujah
4
21
Sep 17
Fallujah
3
20
Sep 18
Fallujah
4
24
Sep 19
Fallujah
2
9
Sep 21
Fallujah
8
22
Total
-
27
118

The ISF launched the 12th and 13th security operations in Babil's Jurf al-Sakhr and Yusifiya (IraqSlogger)

The ISF has faced continued frustration in northern Babil. September 16 the Babil, Anbar and Baghdad Operation Commands started the latest security operation in Jurf al-Sakhr and Yusifiya, which included militias. Four days later the 14th Division claimed success in Yusifiya, but then the Defense Ministry announced another sweep through the same areas on September 20. These represent the twelfth and thirteen such campaigns in the northern section of the governorate. None has been able to dislodge the Islamic State, which has increased its activity in other parts of the province, and used them as a launching pad to attack the southern sections of Baghdad. The authorities simply have no viable strategy on how to counter the militants there. In the third week of September 5 people died and 41 were injured in Babil.

Baghdad's Kadhiiya was struck by a multi faceted attack by IS including car bombs, RPGs, mortars and small arms fire on Sep 18 (BBC)

Baghdad was struck by a coordinated attack by IS in the Kadhimiya district. September 18 the insurgents used a car bomb, RPGs, mortars and small arms fire upon a prison there in a failed attempt to free some of its captives. Three suicide bombers were caught as well before they could use their devices. Another car bomb was set off in the district, while rockets were shot at Camp Justice and mortars were fired at a military intelligence building. In total 33 were killed and 58 wounded in the operation. Another car bomb went off in a market in Topchi that day followed by three more in Baya, Karrada and Nahrawan the next day with another 18 dying and 75 injured. The Baghdad Operations Command has also been worried about the southern regions of the province. September 15 for example the town of Madain, which borders Babil was hit by two IEDs, three sticky bombs, and a house was stormed. In response, the security forces have been carrying out more and more security sweeps in places like Yusifiya. The militants appear to be getting bolder in the south likely due to their successes in Babil, which can only mean bad news for the future. The ISF also shows no ability to slow the car bombs that strike the capital each week. That’s the reason why Baghdad had the most casualties for the week at 121 fatalities and 326 wounded.

The peshmerga moved into Qara Tapa in northern Diyala, while the ISF was trying to clear Mansuriya and Muqtadiya in the center of the province (Institute for the Study of War)

The ISF and peshmerga have been trying for weeks to clear the northern and central sections of Diyala. At the beginning of the month the security forces claimed they had cleared the Hamrin Mountains, which have long been an insurgent stronghold. They didn’t do a good job as the peshmerga went into the same area the second week of the month. On September 15 they claimed they controlled Qara Tapa in the region. The ISF has been no less busy. The 5th Army Division tried to clear the Mansuria region in the west of the province, while the police were working to free the water system in the Muqtadiya district from the Islamic State for the third week, with heavy fighting in Sensl for three days. Tensions remain high in the province along the disputed territories. The Tigris Operations Command is trying to organize locals to fight the insurgency. The peshmerga are suspicious of some of these groups as they worked with the militants before. Many of the Arabs in the area also resent the Kurds’ attempts to annex the northern sections of Diyala, so having the government arm them could lead to further conflicts in the future. There were 15 killed and 35 wounded in the governorate from September 15-21.

IS has launched terrorist attacks into Kirkuk city while attempting to assert control over Hawija (BBC)

In Kirkuk the Islamic State is trying to maintain its hold over its newly acquired territory while launching regular terrorist attacks into Kirkuk city. On September 19 for instance a motorcycle bomb was set off in the city killing 15 and wounding 25. In Hawija there are reports that the IS is being challenged. This accounts for its kidnapping of ten police and Sahwa members on September 21 to scare the locals. It’s likely that these people will end up dead. 21 died and 25 were injured for the week in Kirkuk.

The peshmerga continued to try to retake the territory it lost to the Islamic State in Ninewa, while the IS has been cracking down on the local population there as well. September 16 the Peshmerga Ministry said that it cleared 7 villages in Khazar to the north of Mosul with the support of U.S. air strikes. That same day, Yazidi forces, which have been under going training by the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG), said they were advancing on Sinjar from two axes. In and around Mosul itself the Islamic State continued to carry out its intimidation campaign to keep the populace in check. From September 15 to 21 it executed 12 people. September 16 it kidnapped 22 people from a small village to the north of Mosul. The next two days it blew up nearly 40 homes belonging to relatives of the Agriculture Minister and the mayor of Qayara. It also shelled a village outside of Mosul on September 19 using the artillery it captured from the Iraqi army. The Kurds are slowly pushing towards Mosul, but have not retaken any of the major towns they lost the previous month. It’s not known whether the Yazidis are well enough armed to force the IS out of Sinjar. On the other hand, a steady stream of killings can be expected from the Islamic State as well as more mass graves being discovered.

Heavy fighting continued in Salahaddin. September 19 a new security operation was launched, which involved Moqtada al-Sadr’s Peace Brigades to clear Ishaqi, which is to the south of Samarra. After the militias and peshmerga were able to liberate the town of Amerli they individually branched out to clear other areas of Tuz Kharmato in the eastern region of the governorate. The militants have been trying to blunt these advances with a regular dose of IEDs, rockets, and gunfire. The IS siege of Dhuluiya, which is to the east of Ishaqi continued for another week. On September 15 the insurgents fired chlorine filled mortar shells into the village killing one child and wounding 62. IS deployed its captured artillery on two villages, Khazraj and Albu Jwari on September 16. The Islamists have also been blowing up the houses of government workers and ISF members in Tikrit. From September 16-17 it destroyed 81 homes. Overall the security stalemate between the insurgents and the peshmerga, militias and ISF was maintained in Salahaddin for the week with 69 killed and 168 wounded.

Finally, a car bomb went off in Karbala on September 18. The press claimed there were casualties, but gave no numbers. This was the second time the city was hit this month. Hitting southern Iraq has been a mainstay of IS car bombs in its attempt to raise sectarian tensions and restart the civil war.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "Iraq bombings kill at least 22," 9/19/14

AIN, "ISIL blow up houses of security elements," 9/16/14

Alsumaria, "Fallujah Hospital announces receiving 28 dead and wounded in renewed shelling of the city," 9/15/14
- "Killing and wounding dozens of civilians in shelling on a village in Akbrb near Mosul," 9/19/14

Buratha News, "17 martyrs and 40 injured in bombings north of Baghdad," 9/18/14
- "20 bodies found of security elements and tribal fighters killed by firing squad west of Ramadi," 9/17/14
- "Daash terrorists kidnap 22 civilians including a candidate for parliamentary elections in northern Nineveh," 9/16/14
- “The island and the desert begins a military operation to clear Rawa from Daash,” 9/16/14
- "Sam Hardan: Daash kidnapped 50 officers of the former army," 9/16/14

Al Forat, "70 houses to be detonated by ISIL in Tikrit," 9/17/14
- “Diyala: Large areas of Sidor, Nofal , Bloor liberated,” 9/20/14
- "Human casualties due to Dhuluea terrorist attack reach 62 poisoned persons," 9/15/14
- “ISF carry out wide security operation in Jurf al-Sakher,” 9/20/14
- "Kirkuk's bombing initial outcome hits 40 deaths, injuries," 9/19/14
- "Nineveh: ISIL blows up 30 houses belong to minister relatives," 9/17/14

Hussein, Mohammed, Osgood, Patrick, Tahir, Rawaz, van den Toorn, Christine, “Sunni tribes turning on ISIS and Peshmerga,” Iraq Oil Report, 9/16/14

Independent Press Agency, "59 dead and wounded toll from bombing in Karrada district of central Baghdad this morning," 9/19/14
- "Killing and wounding 18 people by a car bomb south of Baghdad," 9/15/14

Iraq Times, “Kadhimiya bombings carried out by three suicide bombers in an effort to break into the justice ministry prison,” 9/18/14

Al Mada, "Dead and wounded in detonation of car bombing in downtown Karbala," 9/18/14
- "Killed and wounded 18 people by a car bomb in the area north west of Baghdad Topchi," 9/18/14
- "Killing and wounding 22 people the outcome of the mortar attack on Kazimiyah," 9/18/14
- "Killing and wounding 23 civilians in bombing of the army on Fallujah," 9/17/14
- “Launching a massive military operation to encircle and cleanse the area north of Babylon in Fadiliyah,” 9/16/14
- “Three kilometers shunned by soldiers and Daash to keep them in northern Babylon,” 9/17/14

Al Masalah, "6 martyrdom and 10 wounded of the security forces by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad," 9/17/14
- "Karrada bombing toll rises to nine martyrs and 52 wounded," 9/19/14

Morris, Loveday, "Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers missing or stranded after chaotic withdrawal," Washington Post, 9/21/14

New Sabah, “Purge Fadhiliya North Babylon and control over the desert road between Jurf al-Sakhr and Fallujah,” 9/19/14

NINA, "11 civilians killed, wounded in random bombardment on Fallujah," 9/21/14
- "/19/ Civilians killed and wounded by missile strikes on Fallujah," 9/21/14
- "/25/ people killed and wounded in Fallujah," 9/16/14
- “Anbar police chief: Liberating /7/ km area in Ramadi from the control of the IS,” 9/19/14
- “Baghdad Operations cleanse the village of Karaghol in Yusufiya,” 9/21/14
- “The cleansing of Albu Hayat of Haditha from Daash,” 9/17/14
- "Daash blow up /60/ houses belonging to Sahwa forces members western Anbar," 9/17/14
- "Daash blowing Mayor of Mosul home and the homes of his brothers south of Mosul," 9/18/14
- “Dozens of the IS killed and wounded in security operation south of Tikrit,” 9/19/14
- “Four employees of the security forces injured in the battles, northeast of Baquba,” 9/20/14
- "The IS executed three young men in Mosul, for unknown reasons," 9/15/14
- "Islamic State execute seven civilians in Mosul," 9/21/14
- "Islamic State (IS) kidnaps ten former policemen and awakening in Kirkuk," 9/21/14
- "Islamic State kills clan's head in Mosul," 9/21/14
- "Liberated the 80 km area east of Ratba, 12 people killed and wounded by bombing on Fallujah," 9/19/14
- “A military operation launched to clear areas of northeast Baquba from the control of the (IS),” 9/20/14
- "Nine civilians killed and wounded by the fall of dozens of shells fired by the IS on al-Dhuluiya," 9/16/14
- “Nujaifi Condemns /Daash/ crime in Saqlawiyah and Alsiger areas of Anbar,” 9/22/14
- “Peshmerga forces supported by American air liberate seven villages east of Mosul,” 9/16/14
- “Peshmerga liberates a village was under Islamic State’s control,” 9/15/14
- "Toll of Ramadi bombing up to 20 killed and wounded, mostly of army troops," 9/17/14
- “Yazidi Forces Begin Its Attack To Liberate Sinjar,” 9/16/14

Al Rayy, “Commander of the 14th Division announces cleanse areas and villages south of Baghdad Yusufiya,” 9/20/14
- "Daash slay a woman on the pretext that they were working as court inspector south of Mosul," 9/16/14

Shafiq, Mohammed, "Fallujah hospital: We received the bodies of four dead and 24 injured after the fall of mortars and rockets," Alsumaria, 9/18/14

Yacoub, Sameer, "Bomb attacks kill at least 31 people in Iraq," Associated Press, 9/19/14
- “Iraq officials say Baghdad car bomb has killed 12,” Associated Press, 9/22/14

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