Thursday, April 2, 2015

March 2015 Casualties Increase In Iraq Due To Tikrit Operation


Reported violence in Iraq increased in March 2015 mainly due to the successful government operation to clear Tikrit and central Salahaddin. Before that the number of attacks, dead and wounded had all been going down in February. That now appears to be a temporary dip as March’s statistics are much more like December 2014 and January 2015. Despite March’s figures violence is still down from the height of the summer of 2014.

There were 688 security incidents reported in the press in March 2015. That was slightly up from February’s 655, but lower than January’s 817. The latter was a spike however as previous to that there were 606 attacks in November and 689 in December.

Violence In Iraq 2014-2015 By Month
Month
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 14
1,014
1,483
2,880
Feb
955
1,285
2,531
Mar
992
1,606
2,889
Apr
990
1,456
2,924
May
905
1,462
2,602
Jun
905
4,172
3,701
Jul
937
2,299
3,319
Aug
815
3,211
3,623
Sep
713
2,230
3,139
Oct
755
2,435
3,170 + 1,230
Nov
606
1,931
3,089
Dec
689
2,032
3,106
2014
10,276
25,602
38,203
Jan 15
817
2,308
2,895
Feb
655
1,730
2,298
Mar
688
2,434
2,521

Avg Violence In Iraq By Quarter 2014-2015
Quarter
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
1st Qtr 2014
32.9
48.6
92.2
2nd Qtr 2014
30.7
77.9
101.3
3rd Qtr 2014
26.7
84.1
109.5
4th Qtr 2014
22.2
69.5
115.1
2014
28.1
70.1
104.6
1st Qtr 2015
24.0
71.9
85.7



Despite March’s increase the number of incidents have been going down since the start of 2014. In the first quarter of last year there were an average of 32.9 incidents per day. January for example had 1,014 attacks alone. The second quarter there were 30.7 attacks per day, going down to 26.7 the third quarter, 22.2 the fourth, and 24.0 the first quarter of 2015. In the first half of 2014 the insurgency was ramping up its attacks to soften up targets in preparation for its summer offensive. Since then there have only been two big months of incidents in August 2014 and January 2015 when the Islamic State launched major operations against the Kurds and in Anbar and Salahaddin.

As usual almost all of the violence was concentrated in the middle of Iraq. Baghdad was the most violent in March with 235 attacks, followed by 122 in Salahaddin, 114 in Anbar, 100 in Ninewa, 59 in Diyala, 25 in Kirkuk, and 22 in Babil. There were also eight incidents in Basra and two in Maysan, which were probably not related to the insurgency, plus a rare attack in Irbil when the Islamic State (IS) fired rockets into the governorate. Otherwise southern and northern Iraq’s Kurdistan have largely escaped the violence from the militants in recent months. In the south what shootings and bombing do occur are largely due to political, tribal and criminal disputes.

Those attacks led to 2,430 deaths and 2,371 wounded. The former broke down to 43 Sahwa, 59 Peshmerga, 260 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 1,098 Hashd al-Shaabi, and 970 civilians. The latter was made up of 1 U.S. soldier, 38 Sahwa, 139 Peshmerga, 242 Hashd, 388 ISF, and 1,563 civilians. The American soldier was wounded at a training base in Baghdad when he was fired at on March 11. 1,060 of the Hashd dead were in Salahaddin due to the Tikrit operation.

Like attacks, casualties have been declining since the summer offensive. In the second quarter of 2014 for example, there was an average of 77.9 deaths per day. That went up to 84.1 in the next quarter before going down to 69.5 the fourth quarter and 71.9 the first quarter of 2015. The average number of injured have been going in the same direction. The fourth quarter had the highest average of 115.1, but that was because in October the Kurdistan Regional Government released figures for Peshmerga losses since June. Otherwise the quarterly averages would have been going down from the third quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015.

Salahaddin was the deadliest province during the month. There were 1,323 deaths there due to the fighting to retake Tikrit. That was followed by 358 in Baghdad, 254 in Anbar, 200 in Ninewa, 137 in Kirkuk, 114 in Diyala, 25 in Babil, 18 in Basra, and one in Maysan.

Violence In Iraq March 2015 By Province
Province
Violence
Anbar
114 Incidents
254 Killed: 70 ISF, 4 Hashd, 32 Sahwa, 148 Civilians
428 Civilians: 88 ISF, 8 Sahwa, 332 Civilians
59 Shootings
4 IEDs
8 Suicide Bombers
35 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
16 Mortars
5 Rockets
Babil
22 Incidents
25 Killed: 3 ISF, 1 Hashd, 21 Civilians
78 Wounded: 17 ISF, 6 Hashd, 55 Civilians
5 Shootings
13 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Sound Bomb
1 Car Bomb
Baghdad
235 Incidents
362 Killed: 26 ISF, 6 Hashd, 11 Sahwa, 319 Civilians
1,064 Wounded: 67 ISF, 1 US Soldier, 16 Hashd, 30 Sahwa, 950 Civilians
64 Shootings
128 IEDs
23 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Bomber
8 Car Bombs
6 Mortars
5 Rockets
Bara
8 Incidents
18 Killed: 18 Civilians
30 Wounded: 30 Civilians
5 Shootings
1 Sticky Bombs
1 Truck Bomb
Diyala
59 Incidents
114 Killed: 3 ISF, 3 Hashd, 108 Civilians
35 Wounded: 10 ISF, 4 Hashd, 61 Civilians
31 Shootings
19 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb
Irbil
1 Incident
1 Rocket
Kirkuk
25 Incidents
137 Killed: 2 ISF, 24 Hashd, 46 Peshmerga, 65 Civilians
164 Wounded: 10 ISF, 13 Hashd, 137 Peshmerga, 4 Civilians
18 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
4 Car Bombs
1 Mine
Maysan
2 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 ISF
2 Shootings
Ninewa
100 Incidents
200 Killed: 10 ISF, 12 Peshmerga, 178 Civilians
22 Wounded: 1 Peshmerga, 21 Civilians
54 Shootings
41 IEDs
1 Mortar
1 Rockets
Salahaddin
122 Incidents
1,323 Killed: 145 ISF, 1 Peshmerga, 1,060 Hashd, 117 Civilians
550 Wounded: 196 ISF, 1 Peshmerga, 203 Hashd, 150 Civilians
60 Shootings
48 IEDs
9 Suicide Bombers
11 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
4 Mortars
1 Rockets

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
Mar 29



Mar 30
Husseiniya, Baghdad x2
9
20
Mar 31
Ramadi, Anbar


Mar
63
135
399


IS has been steadily increasing the number of Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) after a two year low in December. That month there were 21 car bombs. After that there were 45 in January, 52 in February, and 63 in March. That averaged out to 2.0 VBIEDs per day last month. Many more were destroyed before they reached their targets. IS has been using these car bombs against both the government forces in offensive and offensive operations, as well as a return to terrorist attacks upon civilians. On March 23 and 30 for example shops and markets were bombed in Baghdad. Then on March 31, the 8th Army Division base in northeast Ramadi was hit. The intensity of these bombings was also highlighted on March 11 when 17 suicide car bombs went off across Ramadi during heavy fighting there. That occurred during the middle of a nine day stretch of at least one VBIED per day from March 7-15.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "IS attacks Iraq's Ramadi with seven car bombs: police," 3/11/15

Associated Press, "Officials; Twin car bombings in Baghdad kill at least 9," Rudaw, 3/30/15

Barnes, Julian, "U.S. Suffers First Soldier Injury in Renewed Iraq Military Action," Wall Street Journal, 3/13/15

Al Mada, "Killing and wounding 12 people in a second car bomb in eastern Baghdad," 3/23/15

Radio Free Iraq, "11 March 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 3/11/15
- "31 March 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 3/31/15

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

Shafaq News, "ISIS bombarding the western borders of Erbil with Katyusha mortar," 3/15/15

UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, “Iraq: UN Casualty Figures for March 2015,” 4/1/15

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