Monday, March 30, 2015

Casualties Continue To Drop In Iraq 4th Week of March 2015


Casualties continued their downward trend in Iraq during the 4th week of March 2015. The number of dead and wounded has gone down each week of the month. That was despite a slight increase in attacks. On the battlefront fighting remained stalemated in Anbar. Diyala saw a large jump in violence, some of which might have been by the Hashd al-Shaabi forces. The Kurds continued their push south into Kirkuk, and the Iranian-Hashd plan for Tikrit failed as Baghdad asked for Coalition air strikes. The government forces have regained the initiative in the war, but the fighting shows how hard it will be to clear the insurgents out of their strongholds.

During the 4th week of March there were 170 reported attacks. That was up from 141 the week before. So far there have been a total of 616 incidents, which means that March will likely end up with roughly the same number as February when there were 655. Since there were fewer days in March however, that means the average number of attacks per day will likely be lower. So far there has been 22.0 attacks per day for March, down from 23.3 in February.

As usual, almost all of the violence was concentrated in the middle of the country. Baghdad led the way with 58 attacks. Then there were 34 in Anbar, 29 in Diyala, 24 in Ninewa, 16 in Salahaddin, 6 in Babil, two in Kirkuk, and one in Basra.

Casualties have been decreasing each week of March. The first week there were 372 deaths, followed by 348 the second, 299 the third, and 235 the fourth. The number of wounded did not follow such a straight line going from 587 the first week to 656 the next, before dropping to 503 the third and 406 the fourth. Like attacks, casualties have been declining as well. There have been 1,254 fatalities so far leading to an average of 44.7 per day, and 2,152 injured or 76.8 per day. In February there were 61.7 killed and 95.8 wounded. At the same time the real numbers are always higher than what gets reported in the press. There have been some very high figures mentioned for the fighting in Tikrit for example.

The 235 dead broke down to 1 peshmerga, 1 sahwa, 7 Hashd, 22 Iraqi Security Forces, and 204 civilians. The 406 wounded were made up of 1 peshmerga, 3 sahwa, 51 ISF, and 320 civilians.

By province Baghdad led the way again with 86 fatalities. There were 50 dead in Anbar, 39 in Salahaddin, 32 in Diyala, 19 in Ninewa, 4 each in Babil and Kirkuk, and one in Basra.

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
177
804
755
Jun 22-28
207
740
800
Jun 29-30
59
127
236
JUN
905
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
270
1,122
885
Aug 9-14
180
710
1,152
Aug 15-21
150
731
499
Aug 22-28
156
523
798
Aug 29-31
59
125
289
AUG
815
3,211
3,623
Sep 1-7
169
616
751
Sep 8-14
168
467
731
Sep 15-21
170
625
794
Sep 22-28
157
396
576
Sep 29-30
49
126
287
SEP
713
2,230
3,139
Oct 1-7
175
456
687
Oct 8-14
189
560
880
Oct 15-21
159
499
780
Oct 22-28
160
346
596 + 1,230
Oct 29-31
72
574
227
OCT
755
2,434
3,170 + 1,230
Nov 1-7
154
611
828
Nov 8-14
134
470
607
Nov 15-21
139
323
479
Nov 22-28
139
321
640
Nov 29-30
40
206
535
NOV
606
1,931
3,089
Dec 1-7
148
581
482
Dec 8-14
156
233 + 166
444 + 1,113
Dec 15-21
133
377
340
Dec 22-28
161
558
494
Dec 29-31
91
117
233
DEC
689
2,032
3,106
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
Feb 8-14
170
406
559
Feb 15-21
165
573
364
Feb 22-28
165
371
687 + 386
FEB
655
1,730
2,683
Mar 1-7
172
372
587
Mar 8-14
133
348
656
Mar 15-21
141
299
503
Mar 22-28
170
235
406

Violence By Province In Iraq March 2015
Province
Mar 1-7
Mar 8-14
Anbar
24 Incidents
71 Killed: 22 ISF, 31 Sahwa, 18 Civilians
77 Wounded: 31 ISF, 46 Civilians
14 Shootings
1 IED
1 Suicide Car Bomb
3 Mortars
1 Rocket
23 Incidents
58 Killed: 34 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 23 Civilians
147 Wounded: 26 ISF, 8 Sahwa, 113 Civilians
7 Shootings
1 IED
24 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Rocket
3 Mortars
Babil
5 Incidents
8 Killed: 1 Hashd, 7 Civilians
13 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 11 Civilians
1 Shooting
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
4 Incidents
8 Killed: 1 ISF, 7 Civilians
33 Wounded: 4 ISF, 29 Civilians
4 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
Baghdad
56 Incidents
75 Killed: 7 ISF, 4 Hashd, 5 Sahwa, 59 Civilians
229 Wounded: 16 ISF, 13 Sahwa, 16 Hashd, 184 Civilians
15 Shootings
30 IEDs
6 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb
3 Mortars
2 Rockets
47 Incidents
88 Killed: 5 ISF, 83 Civilians
245 Wounded: 10 ISF, 1 US Soldier, 234 Civilians
15 Shootings
25 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
Basra
5 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
3 Shootings
1 Sticky Bomb
-
Diyala
13 Incidents
17 Killed: 3 Hashd, 14 Civilians
23 Wounded: 3 ISF, 4 Hashd, 16 Civilians
6 Shootings
3 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb
2 Incidents
3 Killed: 2 ISF, 1 Civilian
3 Wounded: 3 ISF
1 Shooting
1 IED
Kirkuk
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 ISF
1 Shooting
12 Incidents
103 Killed: 1 ISF, 23 Hashd, 26 Peshmerga, 53 Civilians
105 Wounded: 10 ISF, 5 Hashd, 87 Peshmerga, 3 Civilians
8 Shootings
1 IED
1 Suicide Bomber
4 Car Bombs
1 Mine
Ninewa
31 Incidents
120 Killed: 2 ISF, 118 Civilians
12 Wounded: 12 Civilians
17 Shootings
11 IEDs
20 Incidents
18 Killed: 1 ISF, 17 Civilians
10 Wounded: 1 Peshmerga, 9 Civilians
12 Shootings
5 IEDs
Salahaddin
37 Incidents
76 Killed: 24 ISF, 28 Hashd, 24 Civilians
233 Wounded: 54 ISF, 122 Hashd, 57 Civilians
18 Shootings
14 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
6 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
3 Mortars
25 Incidents
70 Killed: 61 ISF, 3 Hashd, 6 Civilians
113 Wounded: 98 ISF, 6 Hashd, 9 Civilians
9 Shootings
12 IEDs
3 Suicide Bombers
3 Suicide Car Bombs

Province
Mar 15-21
Mar 22-28
Anbar
20 Incidents
50 Killed: 5 ISF, 45 Civilians
80 Wounded: 8 ISF, 72 Civilians
9 Shootings
2 Suicide Bombers
3 Suicide Car Bombs
4 Mortars
2 Rockets
34 Incidents
50 Killed: 6 ISF, 44 Civilians
74 Wounded: 14 ISF, 60 Civilians
21 Shootings
3 Suicide Bombers
7 Suicide Car Bombs
5 Mortars
1 Rockets
Babil
5 Incidents
4 Killed: 2 ISF, 2 Civilians
10 Wounded: 6 ISF, 2 Hashd, 2 Civilians
3 Shootings
1 IED
1 Sticky Bomb
6 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
17 Wounded: 3 ISF, 2 Hashd, 12 Civilians
1 Shooting
4 IEDs
1 Sound Bomb
Baghdad
51 Incidents
74 Killed: 6 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 1 Hashd, 66 Civilians
254 Wounded: 21 ISF, 5 Sahwa, 228 Civilians
13 Shootings
34 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
58 Incidents
86 Killed: 4 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 1 Hashd, 80 Civilians
241 Wounded: 17 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 221 Civilians
15 Shootings
27 IEDs
6 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Bomber
3 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
3 Rockets
Basra
1 Incident
12 Killed: 12 Civilians
30 Wounded: 30 Civilians
1 Truck Bomb
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
Diyala
7 Incidents
5 Killed: 5 Civilians
4 Shootings
3 IEDs
29 Incidents
32 Killed: 1 ISF, 31 Civilians
7 Wounded: 4 ISF, 3 Civilians
14 Shootings
11 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
Irbil
1 Incident
1 Rocket
-
Kirkuk
8 Incidents
24 Killed: 20 Peshmerga, 1 Hashd, 3 Civilians
59 Wounded: 50 Peshmerga, 8 Hashd, 1 Civilian
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
2 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
2 Shootings
Maysan
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 ISF
1 Shooting
-
Ninewa
19 Incidents
37 Killed: 12 Peshmerga, 25 Civilians
9 Shootings
4 IEDs
24 Incidents
19 Killed: 7 ISF, 12 Civilians
14 Shootings
19 IEDs
1 Mortar
1 Rockets
Salahaddin
28 Incidents
92 Killed: 48 ISF, 6 Hashd, 38 Civilians
70 Wounded: 23 ISF, 26 Hashd, 21 Civilians
15 Shootings
6 IEDs
3 Suicide Bombers
2 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Mortar
1 Rocket
16 Incidents
39 Killed: 4 ISF, 1 Peshmerga, 6 Hashd, 28 Civilians
67 Wounded: 13 ISF, 1 Peshmerga, 29 Hashd, 24 Civilians
9 Shootings
7 IEDs

Car Bombs In Iraq March 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Mar 1



Mar 2
East of Samarra, Salahaddin
4

Mar 3
South of Tikrit, Salahaddin
4
12
Mar 4



Mar 5
Abu Dishir, Baghdad
Alam & Tal Ksaiba x3, Salahaddin
7
37
Mar 6



Mar 7
Bastan, Anbar
Bani Saad, Diyala
Tuz Kharmato, Salahaddin
13
47
Total
10
28
96
Mar 8
Zoba, Anbar
Mahmudiya, Babil
Jamila, Baghdad
10
32
Mar 9
Mullah Ali x3, Kirkuk
5
30
Mar 10
Mullah Abdullah, Kirkuk
Baiji, Salahaddin
2
16
Mar 11
Ramadi x17, Anbar
Hurriya, Baghdad
Diom, Salahaddin
29
79
Mar 12
Saqlawiya, Anbar
3
5
Mar 13
Diom, Salahaddin
6
11
Mar 14
Ramadi x5, Anbar
11
14
Total
34
66
187
Mar 15
Ramadi, Anbar
5
7
Mar 16



Mar 17
Ramadi, Anbar


Mar 18
Um Qasr, Basra
12
30
Mar 19



Mar 20
Huiysh, Salahaddin

6
Mar 21
Ramadi, Anbar
Thar Thar, Salahaddin
2
8
Total
6
19
51
Mar 22



Mar 23
Husseiniya, Madain, Sadr City, Baghdad
12
31
Mar 24
Garma, Japanese Bridge, Khalidiya, Anbar x7
1
14
Mar 25



Mar 26



Mar 27



Mar 28



Total
10
13
45


After a huge surge in Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) the second week of March the number has evened out. There were ten the first week, six the third week, and ten the fourth. From March 22-28 all the car bombs occurred on just two days the 23 and 24. On the former there were three in Baghdad hitting Husseiniya, Madain, and Sadr City, and seven the next day in Garma, the Japanese Bridge, and Khalidiya all in Anbar.

Anbar remains the only province where the Islamic State continues to mass its forces and carry out major attacks. During the fourth week of March there was fighting throughout central and southern Ramadi as there has been for over a year now. Howaz was the main district under dispute, but the downtown area has also seen heavy fighting. The government forces have been focused upon re-taking Garma since March 5. Since then the center of the town has been surrounded but no move has been made to take it for several days now. Like Tikrit, it appears that either the ISF and tribes lack the manpower to take the downtown or will maintain or cordon and wait for the insurgents to be degraded over time. The struggle there and in Ramadi show the back and forth nature of the conflict in Anbar. Many of these areas have changed hands several times in the fifteen months since open fighting began there, and will continue to do so until the central government commits more forces there.

Diyala saw a large jump in incidents from 7 from March 15-21 to 29 from March 22-28. Most of these attacks occurred in the center of the province from Baquba to Muqtadiya. The town of Zagnah saw violence four out of the seven days. While the insurgents were responsible for the vast majority of the casualties, Iraq Oil Report found that Hashd al-Shaabi groups might have been carrying out attacks as well. For instance, Hashd forces were blamed for blowing up a house and executing four people on March 25, and then blowing up two houses in Jazeera on March 27. The Hashd claimed that the Islamic State did some of these attacks, some were done by rogue elements, and some were against supporters of the insurgents. Since Badr Organization head Hadi Ameri is in charge of security in the province, nothing will likely be done about these claims.

The Kurds continued their offensive in southern Kirkuk during the week. Twelve villages were cleared as a result. The ultimate goal is to free Hawija, which is the IS stronghold in the province. Otherwise there has been hardly any violence in the province throughout the month with only two reported incidents during the week.

In Ninewa IS continued it rule by fear, while carrying out harassing attacks upon the peshmerga. During the week 19 people were executed in Mosul, Qayara and Shura including five soldiers, two police and a reporter. IS also attacked Kurdish positions in Sinjar three times, Khazar twice, and then smaller towns in the Makhmour area as well. Otherwise the battlefield has not much changed in the governorate in the last few months.

The big news in Iraq during the week was that the stall in the Tikrit operation led the government of Haider Abadi to request U.S. air strikes. The Hashd and Iran planned the taking of Tikrit as a sign that they could take a major Iraqi city without American assistance. While there was steady progress initially, when the center of the city was reached, the advance halted for several days due to the defenses arrayed by the insurgents and mounting casualties. The ISF are now in the lead, which was part of the agreement to begin Coalition missions, while several Hashd forces said they would no longer participate as long as the Americans were involved. They does not mean they have withdrawn, but rather they are holding their positions around the city. Taking Tikrit may take many more days, but it is only a matter of time since there is only a small force of IS fighters defending it.

SOURCES

Al-Atbi, Adam and Van Heuvelen, Ben, “Militias oversee spiking violence in Diyala,” Iraq Oil Report, 3/29/15

Bas News, "Peshmerga Frees 12 Villages in Southern Kirkuk," 3/22/15,

Iraq Times, "A third car bomb explosion in Madain south of Baghdad," 3/23/15

Radio Free Iraq, "24 March 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 2/24/15

Salama, Vivina, "Iraq Officials: Baghdad Bombings Kill 19; Wound 36," Associated Press, 3/23/15

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