Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Slight Uptick In Violence In Iraq Fourth Week of December 2014


The number of attacks and casualties went up a bit in Iraq in the fourth week of December 2014. That was due to an increase in fighting in Anbar and the discovery of a mass grave in Diyala. On the other hand the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), militias and tribes made major advances in the Balad district of southern Salahaddin. Overall, violence remains relatively low compared to the summer when the insurgents were on the offensive.

From December 22-28 there were a reported 160 attacks in Iraq. That was up from 133 the previous week. Security incidents went from an average of 19.0 per day to 22.8. The main cause for the increase was Anbar where attacks went from 19 to 38 in the last two weeks. Baghdad led the week with 46 incidents, followed by 34 in Salahaddin, 32 in Anbar, 18 in Ninewa, 13 in Diyala, 8 in Babil, six in Kirkuk, three in Basra, and one in Qadisiyah. Attacks are down from the first half of the year when there were regularly more than 200 incidents per week.

Casualties were also up for the 4th week of December. There were 558 deaths and 432 wounded up from 377 killed and 340 injured the third week of the month. The dead consisted of 40 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 45 Sahwa, 17 peshmerga, and 2 members of the Syrian YPG, and 454 civilians, while the injured were 72 ISF, 77 Sahwa, 54 peshmerga, and 229 civilians. The main reason why there were more fatalities was the discovery of three mass graves in northeast Diyala with approximately 250 bodies in them. That meant that province had the most dead with 271. After that 103 were killed in Baghdad, 50 in Anbar, 45 in Kirkuk, 41 in Salahaddin, 32 in Babil, 14 in Ninewa, and two in Basra. In total, from January 1 to December 28 Musings On Iraq counted 10,117 security incidents, 24,464 dead, and 37,360 wounded.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2014
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
244
363
733
Jan 8-14
272
364
676
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
211
306
706
Feb 8-14
229
258
505
Feb 15-21
264
347
703
Feb 22-28
251
374
617
FEB
955
1,285
2,531
Mar 1-7
252
412
702
Mar 8-14
205
323
610
Mar 15-21
216
423
736
Mar 22-27
211
279
580
Mar 28-31
108
169
261
MAR
992
1,606
2,889
Apr 1-7
238
259
550
Apr 8-14
224
362
646
Apr 15-21
241
406
805
Apr 22-28
226
347
744
Apr 29-30
61
82
179
APR
990
1,456
2,924
May 1-7
198
246
483
May 8-14
257
466
752
May 15-21
183
256
426
May 22-28
203
403
810
May 29-31
64
91
131
MAY
905
1,462
2,602
Jun 1-7
228
612
1,020
Jun 8-14
234
1,889
890
Jun 15-21
179
803
759
Jun 22-28
203
733
777
Jun 29-30
59
127
236
JUN
901
4,172
3,701
Jul 1-7
203
526
651
Jul 8-14
214
577
628
Jul 15-21
230
444
1,009
Jul 22-28
224
589
801
Jul 29-31
66
163
230
JUL
937
2,299
3,319
Aug 1-8
269
1,122
885
Aug 9-14
179
710
1,152
Aug 15-21
150
354
499
Aug 22-28
156
523
798
Aug 29-31
59
125
289
AUG
813
2,834
3,623
Sep 1-7
168
616
751
Sep 8-14
156
433
722
Sep 15-21
166
620
749
Sep 22-28
153
395
573
Sep 29-30
47
112
252
SEP
690
2,176
3,047
Oct 1-7
170
451
687
Oct 8-14
188
532
875
Oct 15-21
156
449
770
Oct 22-28
159
345
592 + 1,230
Oct 29-31
68
570
227
OCT
741
2,347
3,151 + 1,230
Nov 1-7
153
601
828
Nov 8-14
128
420
593
Nov 15-21
134
283
464
Nov 22-28
138
321
640
Nov 29-30
40
62
123
NOV
593
1,687
2,648
Dec 1-7
137
323
476
Dec 8-14
156
233 + 166
444 + 1,113
Dec 15-21
133
377
340
Dec 22-28
160
558
432
2014
10,117
24,464
37,360

Violence In Iraq By Province Dec 2014
Province
Dec 1-7
Dec. 8-14
Anbar
19 Incidents
84 Killed: 16 ISF, 68 Civilians
58 Wounded: 6 ISF, 52 Civilians
11 Shootings
1 IED
38 Incidents
79 Killed: 28 ISF, 51 Civilians
146 Wounded: 28 ISF, 118 Civilians
22 Shootings
1 IED
3 Mortar
5 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
Babil
5 Incidents
6 Killed: 2 ISF, 4 Civilians
20 Wounded: 4 ISF, 16 Civilians
4 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
2 Incidents
3 Killed: 1 ISF, 2 Civilians
10 Wounded: 2 ISF, 8 Civilians
2 IEDs
Baghdad
44 Incidents
97 Killed: 97 Civilians
262 Wounded: 7 ISF, 255 Civilians
11 Shootings
25 IEDs
1 Mortar
5 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
38 Incidents
49 Killed: 2 ISF, 47 Civilians
135 Wounded: 16 ISF, 119 Civilians
11 Shootings
18 IEDs
4 Stick Bombs
1 Mortar
3 Rockets
Basra
1 Incident
2 Stun Bombs
1 Incident
Diyala
8 Incidents
8 Killed: 2 Peshmerga, 6 Civilians
10 Wounded: 6 ISF, 4 Civilians
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
18 Incidents
18 Killed: 3 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 1 Peshmerga, 13 Civilians
28 Wounded: 1 ISF, 2 Peshmerga, 25 Civilians
6 Shootings
1 IED
1 Suicide Bomber
3 Mortar
Kirkuk
6 Incidents
18 Killed: 18 Civilians
22 Wounded: 22 Civilians
1 Shooting
3 Mortar
1 Suicide Car Bomb
9 Incidents
7 Killed: 7 Civilians
12 Wounded: 12 Civilians
3 Shootings
50 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Mortar
Ninewa
13 Incidents
15 Killed: 1 ISF, 4 Peshmerga, 10 Civilians
6 Shootings
6 IEDs
8 Incidents
7 Killed: 2 ISF, 5 Civilians
5 Wounded: 1 Peshmerga, 4 Civilians
3 Shootings
4 IEDs
Salahaddin
41 Incidents
95 Killed: 22 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 72 Civilians
104 Wounded: 4 ISF, 100 Civilians
24 Shootings
31 IEDs
3 Mortar
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Car Bomb
40 Incidents
69 Killed: 20 ISF, 49 Civilians
104 Wounded: 25 ISF, 79 Civilians
18 Shootings
11 IEDs
10 Mortar
3 Rockets
2 Suicide Car Bombs
Province
Dec 15-21
Dec 22-28
Anbar
22 Incidents
38 Killed: 5 ISF, 33 Civilians
28 Wounded: 5 ISF, 23 Civilians
18 Shootings
32 Incidents
50 Killed: 8 ISF, 42 Civilians
57 Wounded: 10 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 44 Civilians
26 Shootings
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
Babil
8 Incidents
22 Killed: 22 Civilians
27 Wounded: 2 ISF, 25 Civilians
2 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar
8 Incidents
32 Killed: 3 Sahwa, 29 Civilians
25 Wounded: 3 ISF, 22 Civilians
3 Shootings
3 IEDs
2 Car Bombs
Baghdad
51 Incidents
159 Killed: 8 ISF, 151 Civilians
192 Wounded: 18 ISF, 174 Civilians
14 Shootings
24 IEDs
5 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb
2 Mortar
1 Rocket
1 Grenade
46 Incidents
103 Killed: 19 ISF, 40 Sahwa, 44 Civilians
192 Wounded: 18 ISF, 70 Sahwa, 104 Civilians
13 Shootings
21 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Mortar
Basra
1 Incident
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
3 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
2 Shootings
Diyala
10 Incidents
12 Killed: 3 ISF, 9 Civilians
18 Wounded: 1 ISF, 17 Civilians
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
3 Mortar
13 Incidents
271 Killed: 3 ISF, 12 Peshmerga, 256 Civilians
24 Wounded: 1 ISF, 2 Peshmerga, 21 Civilians
5 Shootings
2 IEDs
6 Mortar
Kirkuk
3 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 IED
6 Incidents
45 Killed: 45 Civilians
2 Wounded: 2 Civilians
3 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Rocket
Ninewa
7 Incidents
77 Killed: 77 Civilians
24 Wounded: 24 Peshmerga
5 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
18 Incidents
14 Killed: 5 Peshmerga, 2 YPG, 7 Civilians
52 Wounded: 52 Peshmerga
11 Shootings
9 IEDs
Qadisiyah
-
1 Incident
1 Sound Bomb
Salahaddin
31 Incidents
68 Killed: 4 ISF, 64 Civilians
50 Wounded: 6 ISF, 44 Civilians
19 Shootings
63 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
34 Incidents
41 Killed: 10 ISF, 2 Sahwa, 29 Civilians
80 Wounded: 40 ISF, 4 Sahwa, 36 Civilians
12 Shootings
39 IEDs
1 Suicide Truck Bomb
6 Mortar
1 Rocket

Car Bomb Attacks In Iraq Dec 2014
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Dec 1



Dec 2
Mahmudiya, Babil

1
Dec 3



Dec 4
Shaab & Sadr City, Baghdad
Shorja, Kirkuk
39
97
Dec 5



Dec 6



Dec 7
Salman, Salahaddin
9
17
1st Wk Totals
5
48
115
Dec 8



Dec 9
Nikhaib, Anbar


Dec 10
Ramadi, Anbar
Dijla & Mutasim, Salahaddin
11
22
Dec 11
Ramadi, Anbar
2
4
Dec 12



Dec 13
Haditha & Ramadi, Anbar
15
33
Dec 14



2nd Wk Totals
7
28
59
Dec 15



Dec 16



Dec 17



Dec 18
Mahmuidya, Babil
Husseiniya, Baghdad
10
25
Dec 19
Samarra, Salahaddin
2
5
Dec 20



Dec 21
Makhmour, Ninewa

4
3rd Wk Totals
4
12
34
Dec 22



Dec 23
Yusifiya, Babil
Dhuluiya, Salahaddin
3
6
Dec 24



Dec 25



Dec 26



Dec 27
Outside Baghdadi, Anbar


Dec 28
Iskandiriya, Babil


4th Wk Totals
4
3
6

Like the previous week there were only four vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) from December 22-28. There were two in Babil, and one each in Anbar and Salahaddin. Those resulted in three dead and six wounded, but the actual numbers were much higher as no casualties were reported for the December 28 bombing in Iskandiriya. The two attacks in Babil were terrorist ones, but the other two were part of military operations against the ISF and militias. So far, there have only been 20 VBIEDs this month. That means December looks like it will end with the fewest number of car bombs in a single month since October 2012 when there were just 23.

Anbar continued to be one of the most violent areas of the country. The Islamic State (IS) remained focused upon taking Baghdadi and the neighboring Assad Air Base, Haditha and its dam, and the provincial capital of Ramadi. IS has brought in tanks and other armored vehicles, plus several hundred reinforcements from Syria in its assault upon Baghdadi and Assad. In Ramadi insurgents made more thrusts at the downtown government complex, the Anbar Operations Command headquarters, and the 8th Army Brigade base. Coalition air strikes have played a large role in blunting many of these attacks. IS was said to have suddenly withdrew from Qaim on December 22, while the ISF pulled out of 14 villages they had just taken in the Baghdadi area on December 27. The pro-government forces are still trying to clear towns around Hit in part of an offensive that started two weeks ago, and that has made very limited progress. This was also meant to relieve pressure on Baghdadi. December 25 the ISF claimed it had made major gains in Ramadi retaking Howaz, Andolus, Jamouri, Mualimin, and 20th Street. These have been contested areas since January, and have traded hands many times. Finally, on December 22 a mass grave was found in Amiriya Fallujah with 20 people in it executed by IS. Despite the concerted efforts of the insurgents they have made no real progress in Anbar lately. At the same time up to 85% of the province is under their control, and no real help appears to be coming from Baghdad, which has written off the province for other areas of the country.

In Diyala there is continued controversy over the Jalawla and Sadiya areas that were cleared by the Peshmerga and militias several weeks ago, along with renewed IS attacks upon the center of the province. Local leaders told Al Mada that Jalawla was a disaster area. Mosques and shops have been blown up and destroyed by both pro and anti-government forces. Local Arabs have had their homes destroyed to try to stop them from returning. A local sheikh blamed the Kurds for trying to stop people from returning to the town on the grounds that they supported the insurgents. In Jalawla and Sadiya three mass graves were also discovered on December 24 with 250 bodies of people executed by the Islamic State. Diyala’s governor warned of the deteriorating security situation in Muqtadiya. He said the northern section of the district was under insurgent control. For the last several weeks they have been hitting the area with mortar fire, which caused more than 60 families to flee. For the week Muqtadiya was hit six times by mortars killing three and wounding 19. Badr Organization head Hadi Ameri told locals that they should leave because Muqtadiya was going to be the next target of a security sweep. Violence in the province is not as bad as it was at the start of the year, but it remains a major base for insurgents. It has lost ground in the northeast to the Kurds and militias, but places like the Hamrin Mountains are an insurgent stronghold despite several operations there. That has allowed them to carry out attacks like those on going in Mutaqadiya.

During the week the peshmerga continued to make progress in the Sinjar district of Ninewa. They broke the siege of Mount Sinjar last week and moved into Sinjar itself. IS has been attacking the surrounding areas like Gwar and Makhmour to draw Kurdish forces away, but they have not been successful. On December 24 a peshmerga commander said that 30% of Sinjar had been cleared. These moves have caused concern that an offensive against Mosul is imminent. Reports have said that is causing foreign fighters to leave the city, and locals are hoarding supplies.

In Salahaddin the ISF and militias made big gains in the southern part of the province. That was part of an offensive in the Balad district that started at the end of the third week of December. On December 22 two towns near Dhuluiya, and Albu Handal near Aziz were cleared. That was followed by two parts of Yathrib and Dhuluiya Bridge on December 25, one town in Dhuluiya, and two in Yathrib the next day, and then Al-Atheem River and Albu Salabi in Diyala neighboring Dhuluiya, Dhuluiya airport, Rosasi River, and ten more villages the next day. Finally, on December 28 two more sections of Aziz were freed, along with four more areas of Dhuluiya. Securing the Balad district is important to ensure communication and supply lines between central Salahaddin and Baghdad. The Dhuluiya area has also been under siege since the summer and is in desperate need of relief. The government has finally decided to address this area.

SOURCES

AIN, “2 areas within Dhilo’aya district liberated from ISIL,” 12/22/14
- “Peshmerga control new areas western Mosul,” 12/28/14
- “Security forces liberate 5 areas in Anbar,” 12/25/14

Alsumaria, "Peshmerga repel Daash attack on two villages south of Irbil, killing 33 of its gunmen," 12/28/14
- “Source: tactical withdrawal of the army from 14 villages west of Ramadi,” 12/27/14
- "A suicide bombing destroys vital bridge linking al-Baghdadi to villages west of 14 gray," 12/27/14

Awara, Omar, "Three Mass Graves Found in Jalawla and Saadia," Bas News, 12/24/14

Berwani, Hawar, "Car bomb goes off southern Baghdad," Iraqi News, 12/23/14

Buratha News, “Ameri appeal to the people of Muqdadiyah to leave the region before a heavy blow to Daash terrorists,” 12/28/14
- “Interior announces purge of Albu Tuma area south of Tikrit,” 12/26/14

EFE, “Islamic State once again blockades Iraq’s Biyi oil refinery,” 12/21/14

Al Forat, “23 ISIL terrorists killed in western Anbar,” 12/27/14
- “Albo Asaf area liberated of ISIL,” 12/27/14
- “ISF liberate eastern part of Rusasi River southern Tikrit,” 12/27/14
- “Salah al-Din: ISF & volunteers entered Remelat , Albu Handal,” 12/28/14
- “Salah al-Din: ISF & volunteers liberate Um Rosas from ISIL,” 12/27/14
- “Tikrit: ISF & volunteers liberate Tal Dhahab from ISIL,” 12/27/14
- “Tikrit: ISF liberate Banat al-Hassan area from ISIL,” 12/27/14

Hawrami, Karzan Sabah, “Peshmerga Commander: %30 of Sinjar Under Our Control,” Bas News, 12/24/14

Independent Press Agency, "Killing and injuring eight people by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad," 12/23/14

Jasim, Ali, “Governor of Diyala warns of collapse of the security situation in Muqdadiyah after recording six assassinations,” Alsumaria, 12/28/14
- "Suicide truck bomb over the Dhuluiya concrete bridge," Alsumaria, 12/23/14

Joumah, Khales, “Effect Of Victory In Sinjar: Extremists On The Move in Mosul,” Niqash, 12/24/14

Lewis, Jessica, Ali, Ahmed, and Adnan, Sinan, “ISIS Offensives in Ramadi City and Al-Asad Airbase in Al-Anbar, Iraq,” Institute for the Study of War, 12/24/14

Al Mada, “Federal Police freed one part of Yathrib area and cleared the Dhuluiya bridge and the clearing of explosive devices in Mutasim,” 12/25/14
- “Jalawla officials describe it as “distressed city” and Daash burned mosques and buildings before withdrawal,” 12/24/14
- “Joint forces led by Ameri begin joint forces operation led by Ameri to clear area around Balad of Daash,” 12/26/14
- “Joint forces of the Federal Police and popular crowd freed nine areas of southern Salahuddin,” 12/28/14

Majid, Haidar, “Freed two areas south of Tikrit and killed 20 members of Daash,” Alsumaria, 12/25/14

NINA, “The fighting continues around Ein al-Assad base and the IS managed to control a nearby residential neighborhoods,” 12/21/14
- "Mass grave found north of Babil," 12/22/14
- “Military force liberates /4/ villages northwest of Heet,” 12/22/14
- “More than /60/ families displaced from Muqdadiyah because of the mortars of the IS organization,” 12/27/14
- “Security Source: Yathrib and Aziz Balad Liberated From The Control Of Daash,” 12/27/14
- “Source: Large Scale Military Operation Starts in The Areas Near Iraqi-Jordan-Syrian Border,” 12/27/14

Radio Free Iraq, “24 December 2014,” Daily Updates from Anbar, 12/24/14
- “25 December 2014,” Daily Updates from Anbar, 12/25/14

Al Rayy, “The arrival of military reinforcements to secure the perimeter of Dhuluiya,” 12/23/14
- “Cleared four areas in the south of Tikrit in Dhuluiya,” 12/28/14
- “Daash terrorists withdraw from Qaim, fleeing to an unknown destination,” 12/22/14

Shafaq News, "Car bomb explosion in a residential complex in Babil," 12/28/14
- "Commander of combat terrorism Regiment in Dohuk passes away," 12/25/14
- “ISIS reinforces its presence western Ramadi by 300 terrorists,” 12/23/14
- “Several areas in Tikrit resorted in the biggest military operation,” 12/27/14

Xinhua, “Iraqi forces launch offensives on IS,” 12/25/14

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