Monday, January 12, 2015

Insurgents Pick Up Attacks In Iraq But Casualties Remain Stable 1st Week Of 2015


In the first seven days of the new year there was a decided increase in operations by Iraq’s insurgents. They picked up attacks in Anbar, Salahaddin and Ninewa. They were also threatening central Diyala. That did not result in a jump in casualties however, which were in line with previous weeks.

Security incidents dramatically increased from January 1-7, 2015. There were 184 reported attacks. Incidents were going up in the last few days of 2014 as well with 133 from December 15-21, then 161 from December 22-28, and 91 from December 29-31. The recent jump was due to heavy fighting in Anbar with 43 attacks during the week, and Ninewa with 30, along with a step up in improvised explosive devices going off in Baghdad that contributed to 40 attacks there. There were also 11 incidents in Diyala, six each in Kirkuk and Babil, three in Basra, and one each in Maysan and Qadisiyah. Overall, violence has been going down since November. Attacks usually decline during the winter, and now that temporary dip may be ending.

Luckily there was not a concurrent uptick in casualties. Deaths actually went down from 558 in December 22-28 to 434 January 1-7. The latter consisted of 72 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 30 sahwa, 4 peshmerga, and 328 civilians. The number of injured stayed relatively the same with 464 during the week versus 432 from December 22-28. The former was made up of 135 ISF, three peshmerga, and 326 civilians.

Violence In Iraq By Week Jun. 2014-Jan. 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
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
206
510
NOV
593
1,831
3,035
Dec 1-7
137
323
476
Dec 8-14
156
233 + 166
444 + 1,113
Dec 15-21
133
377
340
Dec 22-28
161
558
432
Dec 29-31
91
117
233
DEC
678
1,774
3,038
Jan 1-7
184
434
464

When broken down by province Anbar was the deadliest. There were 129 fatalities there during the week. That was followed by 119 in Ninewa, 97 in Salahaddin, 58 in Baghdad, 13 in Diyala and Babil each, four in Basra, and one in Maysan. Those figures closely followed the number of attacks in each governorate.

Violence In Iraq By Province, Jan. 1-7, 2015
Province
Violence
Anbar
43 Incidents
129 Killed: 23 ISF, 30 Sahwa, 76 Civilians
146 Wounded: 45 ISF, 101 Civilians
30 Shootings
1 IED
2 Suicide Bombers
2 Suicide Car Bombs
3 Mortars
3 Rockets
Babil
6 Incidents
13 Killed: 2 ISF, 11 Civilians
44 Wounded: 4 ISF, 40 Civilians
2 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
Baghdad
40 Incidents
58 Killed: 6 ISF, 52 Civilians
147 Wounded: 1 ISF, 146 Civilians
12 Shootings
31 IEDs
5 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb
Basra
3 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
1 IED
Diyala
11 Incidents
13 Killed: 2 ISF, 11 Civilians
23 Wounded: 1 ISF, 22 Civilians
8 Shootings
3 Mortars
Kirkuk
6 Incidents
1 Mortar
Maysan
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
Ninewa
30 Incidents
119 Killed: 16 ISF, 4 Peshmerga, 99 Civilians
3 Wounded: 3 Peshmerga
20 Shootings
7 IEDs
2 Suicide Car Bombs
Qadisiyah
1 Incident
1 Sticky Bomb
Salahaddin
43 Incidents
97 Killed: 23 ISF, 74 Civilians
99 Wounded: 84 ISF, 15 Civilians
17 Shootings
9 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar


There may be more incidents occurring in Iraq, but that’s not true for car bombs. The number of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) continued to be low during the start of 2015. There were six car bombs in Anbar, Baghdad, Ninewa, and Salahaddin resulting in eight dead and 15 wounded. From December 22-31 there were just four VBIEDs, and December ended with 21, the fewest since 2012. Car bombs are one marker of the strength of the Islamic State. This recent decrease points to a major disruption of its networks.

Car Bombs In Iraq Jan. 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1
Habaniya, Anbar


Jan 2



Jan 3



Jan 4
Sadoun St, Baghdad
Outside Samarra, Salahaddin

5
Jan 5
Anaz, Anbar
4
7
Jan 6



Jan 7
Ayathiya x2, Ninewa
4
3
Totals
6
8
15


Despite the increase in attacks in Anbar, the fighting there has settled into a rough stalemate. Insurgents have not taken any serious ground since October. On the other hand, the ISF and allied tribes have either been unable or unwilling to make any real move upon major cities. January 5 was an exception when Hit was attacked on four axes, but nothing came of it. Instead, government aligned forces have been taking a series of small towns between Ramadi and Hit for the last several months. From January 1-7 they took Albu Nasir, Albu Hadid, and several other areas, while trying to clear Howaz, Mulamim, and Andalus in Ramadi. To show the back and forth nature of the conflict in Anbar, most of those same sections of Ramadi were said to have been cleared on December 25, but apparently fell out of government control since then. This will likely remain the status quo for at least the near future.

Casualties Government Shelling In Anbar Jan. 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jan 2
Fallujah
20
30
Jan 3
Fallujah
3
9
Jan 5
Fallujah
4
16
Jan 6
Fallujah
4
11
Total
-
31
66


Government shelling continued to be an issue in Anbar. For four days out of the week there were reports of indiscriminate artillery fire on Fallujah. That cost the lives of 31 people and wounded another 66. That was 24% of the week’s dead in the province, and 45% of the wounded. Prime Minister Haider Abadi twice said that this practice would end, but it hasn’t. The Iraqi forces have been carrying out these operations since January 2013. While originally insurgent positions were being targeted it has now become an almost daily practice to simply fire off artillery and mortar shells into the city because it is under militant occupation with civilians paying the price. This serves no military purpose.

Baghdad has consistently been the main target of IS car bombs, but they have fallen off during the current dip in VBIEDs. There was a bombing in Sadoun Street in the center of the city on January 4 with no reported casualties. That actually broke a drought as the last car bombing happened back on December 18 in Husseiniya to the north of the capital killing four and wounding 18. An attack had not occurred within the city itself since December 4 with one in Sadr City and another in Shaab. Insurgents tried to make up for the lack of car bombings by launching 31 IEDs during the week. That was highest amount in several years.

Insurgents have been harassing Muqtadiya in central Diyala for the last few weeks. From January 1-7 there were eight attacks there. Usually the area is hit with mortar fire, but this week there were also several shootings of civilians. The result has been a mini-exodus. On December 27 more than 60 families had left the area, and that had increased to 90 by January 7. IS has bases in the eastern section of the province that have gone largely undisturbed in places like Sensl and the Hamrin Mountains. It’s from these areas that IS fighters are likely emerging to hit Muqtadiya.

In the northeastern section of the province there are continued conflicts between the Kurds and militias. The Jalawla and Sadiya area was cleared in November in a joint ISF, militia, peshmerga operation. Since then the militias have seized control to the consternation of the Kurds who lay claim to the area as part of the disputed territories. The local Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) office has been trying to get a civilian administrator appointed to run Jalawla, but to no avail as there is no one to negotiate with. The Khorasani Brigade are said to be running the town, and have not responded to any of the requests for a meeting with the PUK. In the meantime there are continued confrontations between the two sides such as the peshmerga being stopped from entering Sadiya. The militias there are not only pushing for central government control, but are being used by Iran to send a message to the Kurds that they should not annex these areas and declare independence.

There were no reported attacks in Kirkuk at the start of January, but that didn’t mean IS wasn’t active there. Throughout the week it arrested members of the Jabour tribe in Hawija and Zab along with five imams. The Jabour tribe has been fighting the Islamic State in places like Salahaddin, and therefore have been a major target of the militants.

The Kurds’ offensive in Ninewa seemed to have stalled by the end of December leading into January. On December 31 a new operation was announced in Makhmour and Gwar. Four villages were said to have been cleared on January 1, but then IS launched a counter attack on January 4 retaking those same towns. At the same time, the peshmerga were still clearing areas of Sinjar after the siege there was ended in the middle of December.

IS continued to carry out executions in the areas that was under its control in the governorate. January 6 was a perfect example. That day five soldiers were killed in Ghazlani, 20 civilians were shot in Hamam al-Aleel, and three women lawyers were executed in Mosul along with eight police. A mass grave with the bodies of 20 Christians was also discovered in the Mosul area. The Islamic State has carried out a steady stream of killings since its summer offensive taking hundreds of lives. January 6 was a perfect example of what its rule is like.

In Salahaddin the ISF and militias were still on the move, but could not hold onto all of its recent gains. On December 9 pro-government forces entered Mutasim. Since then the area is still being cleared with three villages being freed on January 1. Similarly the siege of Dhuluyia was ended at the end of December, and now the security forces are heading into the surrounding rural areas. The main focus is now on Dujail heading south towards Baghdad. As part of that operation Nibai was cleared on January 7. That is a suspected VBIED base for the Islamic State. Conversely, on November 8 Baiji was cleared, but insurgents had moved back in by the start of 2015. Baghdad’s main focus has been upon Salahaddin for the last several months. That’s where most of the major operations have taken place. Despite some gains, insurgents are still active throughout most of the province, leading the governorate to consistently be at the top of the list for attacks and casualties.

SOURCES

Abdulrahman, Sangar, “Peshmerga capture two strategic villages, linking two frontlines,” Rudaw, 12/31/14

AIN, “2 thousand fighters, 2 brigadiers reach Ain al-Assad Camp in Anbar,” 12/31/14
- "5 IPs injured southern Tikrit," 1/4/15
- "7 Peshmerga elements killed, injured western Mosul," 1/7/15
- “MoD: 4 villages liberated southeastern Mosul,” 1/1/15
- “MoD announces liberating Al-Maamil area,” 12/31/14
- “Security forces liberate Alu Hadeed area eastern Ramadi,” 1/5/15
- “Security forces liberate village southern Samara,” 1/1/15
- “Security Forces start attacking ISIL terrorists in southern Tikrit,” 1/6/15
- “Security forces, volunteers liberate area eastern Ramadi,” 1/4/15
- “Urgent…ISF control Alous village of western Anbar,” 12/30/14

Alsumaria, “Interior announces purging all of Dhuluiya,” 12/29/14
- “Joint forces cleansed two areas close to the international road between Kirkuk and Nineveh,” 1/2/15
- "Killing and wounding 50 people in the fall of morta shells in Fallujah," 1/2/15
- “Raise the Iraqi flag over Quamamih and Dhuluiya municipality,” 12/29/14
- “South of Tikrit cleared and killed 27 elements of Daash,” 12/29/14

Associated Press, "2 car bomb attacks kill 21 people in Iraq," 12/4/14

Bas News, “Peshmerga Forces Advancing in Sinjar Town,” 1/7/15

Buratha News, “Security forces liberate Ishaqi district without resistance after the escape of Daash cowards,” 12/30/14
- “Security forces supported by the popular crowd begins to attack south of Tikrit area cleared of Daash cowardly terrorists,” 1/2/15
- “Tigris Operations kill five Daash while clearing roads and orchards in Dhuluiya,” 1/1/15

Al Forat, “27 Terrorists killed, 2 areas purged of ISIL in Sala-il-Din,” 12/29/14
- “55 Terrorists killed, wounded in Karma,” 12/30/14
- “ISF fully liberate Baiji district form ISIL terrorists,” 11/8/14,
- “ISF liberate Hawi area of ISIL,” 12/29/14
- “ISF wage security operation to purge Nebae area of ISIL,” 1/7/15
- “MoD declares eliminating terrorist shelters northern Salah-il-Din,” 12/31/14

Hendawi, Hamza and Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, “Iraqi general warns of military woes in fighting Islamic State militants,” Associated Press, 1/2/15

Iraq Times, "96 martyrs and injured in the bombings of Sadr City in eastern Baghdad," 12/4/14

Al Mada, “Defense announces clearing of area around Samarra and the killing of 51 Daash elements,” 12/9/14,

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "ISIS executes 20 men, 3 female lawyers in central Mosul," Iraqi News, 1/6/15

Mahmoud, Nawzad, “Jalawla, Sadia seethe in sectarian rivalries,” Rudaw, 1/2/15

Al Masalah, “Hardan: freed more than 30 villages near Hit,” 1/3/15

Millet Press, “Peshmerga Launch Massive Ground Assault on ISIS in Makhmour and Gwer,” 12/31/14

National Iraqi News Agency, "/12/ Civilians killed and wounded in mortar shells and rockets bombing in Fallujah," 1/3/15
- “/28/ terrorists killed near Heet of Anbar province,” 1/5/15
- "Break News. Battles ongoing between army and terrorists at Habbaniyah hills," 1/1/15
- "Break News. Battles ongoing between army and terrorists at Habbaniyah hills," 1/1/15
- "A car bomb explosion near the Palestine Hotel in central Baghdad without injuries," 1/4/15
- “Clashes resumed between security forces and Daash east and south-east of Fallujah,” 1/2/15
- "Four Soldiers Killed, Seven Wounded In Suicide Attack In A Border Post Between Iraq And Saudi," 1/5/15
- "The IS arrested imams and the commander of the awakening of al-Zab in Kirkuk," 1/3/15
- "The IS elements arrested dozens of people from al-Jabour tribe in Hawija in Kirkuk," 1/2/15
- "The IS executed eight policemen in Mosul," 1/6/15
- “The IS launch an attack on the axis of Al-Kuwyr and Makhmour south of Mosul,” 1/4/15
-“Kurdish Security Source: 60% of Sinjar Freed,” 12/29/14
- “More than /60/ families displaced from Muqdadiyah because of the mortars of the IS organization,” 12/27/14
- “Al-Ne-aim area in Salah Din liberated from the IS control,” 12/29/14
- “Several Southern And Western Parts of Mosul liberated,” 1/6/15
- “The Sons of the clans liberated two villages western Anbar from the IS elements,” 1/2/14
- “A village liberated in Dhuluiya in Salah al-Din of the IS control,” 12/29/14

Radio Free Iraq, "05 January 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 1/5/15
- "06 January 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 1/6/15

Al Rayy, "Found a mass grave containing the remains of Christians in Mosul," 1/6/15
- "Peshmerga thwart an attack by Daash and kill 21 militants northwest of Mosul," 1/7/15

Rudaw, "ISIS executes two Iraqi officers, three other soldiers," 1/6/15

Saad, Mustafa, “Joint forces launched a major offensive on the “Daash” south of Mosul and liberate large parts of Qayyarah,” Alsumaria, 12/31/14

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Iraq PM drops lawsuits against journalists," Associated Press, 12/18/14

Shafaq News, “Security elements and tribes wage an attack on ISIS in Ramadi and surround the terrorists inside homes,” 1/7/15
- “Security forces and fighters of popular crowd liberate northern Dujail fully and head towards al-Nibai,” 1/5/15
- “Security forces liberated Hawija last bastion of Daash in Dhuluiya,” Alsumaria, 1/2/15

Xinhua, “Iraqi forces recapture town in Salahudin province,” 12/30/14

No comments:

Mosul Campaign Day 156, March 23, 2017

Poor weather again hindered the Iraqi forces (ISF). The Federal Police halted their operations for the day because ai...