Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Violence Down In Iraq 1st Week Of February 2015

 
Attacks across Iraq took a dip in the first week of February 2015. January was marked by a number of offensive operations by the insurgents, which led to an increase in security incidents and casualties. At the start of February, however the number of incidents, dead, and wounded were what they were like in December showing the ebb and flow in the fighting in the country.

From February 1-7 there were 155 reported incidents. That averaged out to 22.1 per day, which was down from 26.1 in January. Attacks had been going up since the end of December and peaked in January, but then declined in February. Baghdad led the way with 57 incidents. There were 35 in Anbar, 25 in Salahaddin, 18 in Ninewa, 10 in Babil, 5 in Diyala, 4 in Kirkuk, and one in Wasit.

For the week there were 380 killed and 688 wounded. Deaths decreased from an average of 73.7 per day in January to 54.2 in February. The number of wounded increased from 93.3 last month to 98.2 this month. Baghdad was the deadliest province with 117 killed, followed by 107 in Ninewa, 75 in Salahaddin, 60 in Anbar, 10 in Diyala, 7 in Babil, two in Kirkuk, and one in Wasit.

Violence In Iraq By Week Jun. 2014-2015
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
Jan 8-14
170
730
493
Jan 15-21
182
390
515
Jan 22-28
189
466
894
Jan 29-31
90
288
529
JAN
815
2,308
2,895
Feb 1-7
155
380
688

Violence In Iraq By Province, Feb. 2015
Province
Violence
Anbar
35 Incidents
60 Killed: 9 ISF, 5 Sahwa, 46 Civilians
128 Wounded: 4 ISF, 8 Sahwa, 116 Civilians
14 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Suicide Motorcycle Bomb
2 Suicide Car Bombs
5 Mortars
1 Mine
Babil
10 Incidents
7 Killed: 2 ISF, 5 Civilians
27 Wounded: 7 ISF, 20 Civilians
5 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Grenade
Baghdad
57 Incidents
117 Killed: 2 ISF, 115 Civilians
355 Wounded: 10 ISF, 345 Civilians
19 Shootings
35 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
2 Suicide Bombers
3 Car Bombs
Diyala
5 Incidents
10 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 8 Peshmerga, 1 Civilian
2 Wounded: 2 Peshmerga
4 Shootings
1 IED
Kirkuk
4 Incidents
2 Killed: 1 Peshmerga, 1 Civilian
4 Wounded: 4 Peshmerga
1 Shooting
2 IEDs
4 Car Bombs
Ninewa
18 Incidents
107 Killed: 3 ISF, 104 Civilians
6 Wounded: 6 Civilians
11 Shootings
28 IEDs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
6 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
Salahaddin
25 Incidents
75 Killed: 34 ISF, 41 Civilians
165 Wounded: 38 ISF, 127 Civilians
14 Shootings
38 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
2 Suicide Car Bombs
Wasit
1 Incident
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting

Car Bombs In Iraq Feb. 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Feb 1



Feb 2
Khabaz x4, Kirkuk
Samarra, Salahaddin
21
26
Feb 3
Karrada x3, Baghdad
5
17
Feb 4
Haditha, Anbar

3
Feb 5
Ramadi, Anbar
Jazeera, Salahaddin
13
13
Feb 6



Feb 7
Tigris Axis x7, Ninewa


Totals
18
39
59


There was a decided increase in car bombs in Iraq. For the first seven days of February there were 18. After a two year low in December, the Islamic State picked up its use of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in January with 45. In the last three days of that month there were nine alone. From February 2-5 IS launched a wave of 11 VBIEDs across Anbar, Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Salahaddin. All but three of those were used in tactical attacks, such as on February 2 when four car bombs were launched at peshmerga who had just taken back the oil facility at Khabaz in Kirkuk. This has been the trend in recent months as IS has shifted its car bombs away from terrorist attacks upon civilians to hard targets like checkpoints, army bases, etc.

Insurgents continued to carry out attacks throughout Anbar, but to no avail. They attacked Amiriya Fallujah in the east by Babil, Haditha, Baghdadi, and Albu Hayat in the center, the Howaz and government complex districts in Ramadi, and Ana in the west. A member of the Anbar council said that the Islamic State (IS) controlled 60% of Ramadi, and several of the surrounding towns, but it has not made any real gains in several months now.

The security forces (ISF) and tribes in Anbar are undermanned and unable to hold much territory. That has led to repeated operations in the same areas for a year now. In February for example, there was a sweep around Albu Hayat, which was cleared in September and January. There were also operations in Baghdadi, Amiriya Fallujah to try to break the siege there, and Ramadi. Anbar is not a priority for the government and therefore the ISF and tribes have struggled there. Until that changes the deadlock in the province will continue.

Government shelling of Fallujah continued as well. The city was hit six out of seven days leading to 29 dead and 102 wounded. That was 33% of the total fatalities for the week, and 45% of the injured.

Casualties Government Shelling In Anbar Feb. 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Feb 1
Fallujah
9
44
Feb 2
Fallujah
2
7
Feb 3
Fallujah
7
12
Feb 4
Fallujah
2
6
Feb 5
Fallujah
4
16
Feb 7
Fallujah
5
17
Total
-
29
102


Baghdad led the country in attacks with 57. That was almost double that of Anbar that was second in incidents with 35. Instead of car bombs, which used to be the main driver of casualties in the capital, insurgents are now using more and more improvised explosive devices. There were 35 during the week. 22 of those were aimed at businesses like shops and markets to maximize casualties. There were three car bombs that all came on one day February 3 in Karrada in the center of the capital. All together that led to 117 killed and 355 wounded in the province.

Diyala had very few incidents. There were only five reported in the press at the beginning of February, which led to 10 dead and two wounded. It appears that the recent security operation in Muqtadiya in January has disrupted militant networks. At the same time the claim that the entire governorate has been cleared was premature. On February 1, Diyala’s governor warned that the Hamrin Mountains were still a security threat, and then on February 5 the peshmerga conducted a sweep through 17 villages in the Tabja area of Jalawla in the northeast. The Kurds claimed that IS was moving there after being pushed out of Muqtadiya. The peshmerga said that militants still had a presence in Hamrin as well. That area was never cleared even when the U.S. was in the country, and was one of the first places insurgents began regrouping back in 2012.

During the first week of February there was a clash between IS and the Baathist Naqshibandi in Kirkuk. That took place on February 6 in Hawija in the southeast. According to an eyewitness the fighting lasted for two hours and resulted in the deaths of 18 militants. Hawija was a Naqshibandi stronghold in 2013, and it ran the protest site there, which was attacked by government forces in April leading to the deaths of several demonstrators. After the summer offensive in 2014 however, the IS eventually pushed the Naqshibandi out as they’ve done in other sections of the country. The two have fought before in other parts of the country such as Diyala, but this is the first reported incident between the two in some time.

Ninewa witnessed a large number of casualties in February. That was due to a series of mass graves being discovered in areas recently cleared of IS. On February 2 the bodies of 30 Yazidis killed by the Islamists were found in Sinjar. Two days later another grave was found with 27 more Yazidis in it. February 5 23 people were found in Zummar, and then 16 more Yazidis in that area on February 6. Each time the Islamic State has been pushed out of an area similar sites have been found. There are probably many more to be found in the future.

In Salahaddin the ISF and militias carried out an extensive sweep of the Baiji area. This was the third time government forces cleared the area having been there before from October to November, and then in January. The security forces, tribes, and Shiite armed groups had a series of victories in the province towards the end of 2014, but they don’t appear to have the forces to hold these areas forcing them to carry out repeated security operations in the same areas.

SOURCES

AIN, "Mass grave seized western Mosul," 2/2/15
- "Security forces foil ISIL's attack on governmental complex in Ramadi," 2/6/15

eKurd, “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – February 5, 2015,” 2/5/15

Al Forat, "12 Terrorists killed, 30 IEDs dismantled northern Tikrit," 2/5/15
- "Anbar: ISF& volunteers completely liberate Albu Hayat from ISIL," 1/17/15
- "ISF, volunteers surround Albo-Hayat village western Anbar," 2/1/15

Iraq Times, "Martyrdom and wounding 22 civilians by a car bomb in central Baghdad's Karrada," 2/3/15

Al Mada, “Anbar Council: Daash controls 60% of Ramadi,” 2/1/15

Al Masalah, "3 children injured in a suicide bombing," 2/4/15
- "The killing of nine Daash in clashes with the security forces in southern Ramadi," 2/3/15
- "A mass grave with the remains of 23 people in Zammar," 2/5/15
- “Nostra: the hills of Hamrin source of concern for Diyala,” 2/1/15

Millet, "Peshmerga and Yazidi Mass Graves Found," 2/4/15

NINA, "/15/ Elements the army and the Awakening killed and wounded in the explosion of a Hummer bomb driven by a suicide bomber east of Ramadi," 2/5/15
- “/18/ Elements of the IS and Naqshbandi killed in clashes between them in Hawija and the IS executed 11 of its elements,” 2/6/15
- "/36/ Elements of the IS killed western Mosul," 2/7/15
- "Anbar Operations announces the killing of /26/ elements of the IS in different parts of the province," 2/3/15
- "Breaking News..7 Policemen Killed, Four Wounded In Suicide Bombing In Tikrit," 2/5/15
- "Clashes Erupt Near Amiriyat al-Fallujah," 2/1/15
- "The cleansing of Albu Hayat of Haditha from Daash," 9/17/14
- "Three Suicide Bombers Blow Themselves After Being Surrounded By Peshmerga, West Of Kirkuk," 2/1/15
- "Urgent….Car Bomb, Driven By Suicide Bomber, North Of Samarra Targets Security Forces And Popular Mobilization," 2/2/15

Radio Free Iraq, "01 February 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 2/1/15
- "02 February 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 2/2/15
- "04 February 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 2/4/15
- "05 February 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 2/5/15
- "07 February 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 2/7/15

Salama, Vivian, "Officials: Explosions in the Iraqi capital kill more than a dozen people," 2/3/15

Today Online, "Second Yazidi mass grave unearthed in Iraq this week," 2/7/15


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