Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Violence Continues To Decline In Iraq In 1st Week of March 2015


Violence continued its downward trend in Iraq. From March 1-7, 2015 attacks were roughly the same as the previous week, but casualties were down overall. Pro-government forces also went on the offensive in Anbar and Salahaddin. In the former, ISF, tribes, militias and Hashd al-Shaabi/Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) first worked to clear Baghdadi of IS elements after it seized most of the city in February. They then went on to attack Garma to try to clean up sites used by IS to hit Baghdad’s suburbs with mortars and rockets. In Salahaddin, one of the largest operations to date was launched to try to secure the central part of the province. The problem as ever in both of those governorates is whether the government will be able to hold its gains as they have lacked the manpower to do that in the past.

There were 172 reported security incidents in the first week of March. That averaged out to 24.5 attacks per day. That was roughly the same as the previous two weeks when there were 165 attacks. Baghdad was the most violent with 56 incidents, followed by 37 in Salahaddin, 31 in Ninewa, 24 in Anbar, 13 in Diyala, 5 in Babil and Basra each, and just one in Kirkuk.

Casualties were down again at the start of March. There were 372 deaths and 587 wounded. Those averaged out to 53.1 fatalities per day and 83.8 injured. Those were below February’s 61.7 killed per day and 95.8 wounded. Ninewa had the most deaths with 120 due to new mass graves being discovered there. After that was Salahaddin with 76, Baghdad with 75, Anbar with 71, Diyala with 17, Babil with 8, Basra with 4, and one in Kirkuk. When broken down by group there were 56 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 36 Sahwa, 36 Hashd al-Shaabi, and 244 civilians killed along with 104 ISF, 13 Sahwa, 144 Hashd, and 326 civilians injured during the week.

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

Violence By Province In Iraq March 2015
Province
Mar 1-7
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
Babil
5 Incidents
8 Killed: 1 Hashd, 7 Civilians
13 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 11 Civilians
1 Shooting
3 IEDs
1 Sticky 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
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
Kirkuk
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 ISF
1 Shooting
Ninewa
31 Incidents
120 Killed: 2 ISF, 118 Civilians
12 Wounded: 12 Civilians
17 Shootings
11 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

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


The Islamic State continued with a high number of car bombs (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices) at the beginning of March. There were a total of ten across Anbar, Baghdad, Diyala and Salahaddin with seven alone. Seven of those VBIEDs were aimed at military targets such as checkpoints and convoys. That showed that IS remained focus upon fighting government forces rather than the usual terror attacks upon civilians. The 10 VBIEDs let to a total of 28 killed and 96 injured.

In Anbar the government went from counter offensive to offensive. In the middle of February the Islamic State (IS) seized most of Baghdadi in western Anbar between Haditha and Hit. By doing so it threatened Al-Assad base, which is just outside the city and the home to several hundred U.S. trainers. After many false claims the Iraqi forces were finally able to clear Baghdadi on March 7. At the same time, the ISF, tribes and PMUs went on the offensive in Garma, which is to the west between Fallujah and Abu Ghraib in Baghdad province. Baghdad officials have been complaining about mortar fire on western neighborhoods, which led to the new operation. Unfortunately, the ISF and tribes are overstretched in Anbar, and this is the eighth sweep through the area since Prime Minister Haier Abad took office in September 2014. On the other hand, despite the attack upon Baghdadi, IS has had no real success in Anbar since it took Hit in October.

Baghdad continued to be hit by a steady wave of bombings. Rather than car bombs, only one of which occurred during the week, the real threat now is Improvised Explosive Devices of which there were 30. That led to 40 deaths out of 75 total and 165 injured out of 229.

The most notable change in the country was another week of almost no violence in Kirkuk. One member of the ISF died there from wounds suffered weeks before. Otherwise there was just one IED in the province from March 1-7. Since the start of February there has been single digits in security incidents reported there each week. Insurgents are either regrouping in Kirkuk or have sent their forces south into Salahaddin to counter the government offensive there.

Ninewa led the way in deaths for the week because of the discovery of a new round of IS victims. March 2, 10 mass graves were found in Sinjar with 77 Yazidis killed by IS in them. IS executed another 27 people in Mosul from March 1-7. Along with that the group continued to press Kurdish forces with attacks in the Makhmour, Gwar, and Sinjar areas throughout the past several weeks.

By far the major event of the week was the start of the government offensive to clear central Salahaddin. The plan is to take Dour, Alam, Tikrit, while cutting off militant supply lines to neighboring Kirkuk. Roughly 30,000 soldiers, Federal Police, and Hashd supported by Iran were deployed for the operation, which saw steady progress nearly every day. The Dour area for example was cleared on February 6, and the assault upon Alam began the next day. The insurgents countered by carrying out harassing attacks in the south in places like Taji and Samarra, while launching six car bombs on pro-government forces. The momentum and numbers however were overwhelmingly with Baghdad.

SOURCES

AIN, "IA soldiers killed, injured eastern Tikrit," 3/5/15
- "ISF, volunteers attack Alam district eastern Tikrit," 3/7/15,

Alsumaria, "12 people dead and wounded by detonation of car bomb southwest of Baquba," 3/7/15
- "The killing of four of the security forces and wounding 28 others by three suicide bombers east of Tikrit," 3/5/15

BBC, “Iraq ‘seizes districts from IS’ in Tikrit advance,” 3/2/15

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - March 2, 2015," 3/2/15

Evans, Dominic, "Iraq launches attack to retake Tikrit from Islamic State," Reuters, 3/2/15

Al Forat, "7 Civilians killed, wounded in Abo Dasher," 3/6/15
- "41 Persons killed, wounded in Tuz Khormato," 3/7/15
- "Dour district fully purged of terrorists," 3/6/15,
- "Kirkuk: ISIL blow up shrine of Islamic thinker Nazim al-Asi," 3/4/15

NINA, "A police colonel in Kirkuk got Martyrdom, affected by his wounds after foiling an attempt to occupy a hotel in Kirkuk," 3/5/15

Reuters, "Iraqi troops battle to advance in towns on edge of Tikrit," 3/7/15

Salama, Vivian, "AP ANALYSIS: US on sidelines of key Iraqi battle against IS," Associated Press, 3/3/15

Shafaq News, "Iraqi forces clear Islamic State fighters from town near key base," 3/7/15,

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Definitely doesn't seem promising to me. I hope that the violence might potentially stop. But that won't happen soon with Daesh running amok.

Joel Wing said...

true but all the numbers are heading in the right direction, which is downwards.

Anonymous said...

True, true.

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