Monday, June 1, 2015

Fight For Iraq’s Anbar And Salahaddin, 4th Week of May 2015


For the fourth week of May 2015 the Islamic State (IS) and government forces were fighting for control of Anbar and Salahaddin province. The week before IS swept into Ramadi after struggling to take the Anbar provincial capital for seventeen months. The Hashd al-Shaabi announced a joint campaign to clear out both that governorate and Salahaddin.

The attention on Anbar and Salahaddin led to another week where there were very few attacks reported in the media. From May 22-28 there were only 109 incidents, the fewest in the last seventeen months. Baghdad had the most incidents with 36. Next was Anbar with 32, Diyala with 14, Salahaddin with 11, Ninewa with 7, Kirkuk with 6, Babil 2, and Dhi Qar with 1. Again, for the last two weeks the media has been focused upon the fighting in Anbar, which has led to less reporting on the rest of the country accounting for the low figures.

Musings On Iraq counted 341 killed and 348 wounded for the week. There was an additional report on peshmerga losses since June 2014 that after subtracting those already in the media added another 1,499 deaths. The week’s fatalities consisted of 3 sahwa, 7 peshmerga, 7 Hashd al-Shaabi, 83 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 241 civilians. The wounded were made up of 1 peshmerga, 8 sahwa, 10 Hashd, 99 ISF, and 230 civilians. Because of the fighting in Anbar it had the most fatalities with 221. Next was Baghdad with 59, Salahaddin with 30, Ninewa with 15, Diyala with 7, Kirkuk 5, and Babil and Dhi Qar with 2 each.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
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
142
1,299
503
Mar 22-28
170
235
406
Mar 29-31
72
205
219
MAR
689
2,459 + 4
2,371 + 150
Apr 1-7
121
212
422
Apr 8-14
133
626
525
Apr 15-21
169
722
714
Apr 22-28
160
483
483
Apr 29-30
50
162 + 7
182 + 299
APR
633
2,212
2,625
May 1-7
154
626
450
May 8-14
154
420
549
May 15-21
124
963
387
May 22-28
108
341 + 1,499
348

Violence In Iraq By Province May 2015
Province
May 1-7
May 8-14
Anbar
34 Incidents
75 Killed: 21 ISF, 30 Hashd, 24 Civilians
103 Wounded: 54 ISF, 49 Civilians
15 Shootings
19 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
2 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Mortars
2 Rockets
36 Incidents
74 Killed: 16 ISF, 2 Sahwa, 9 Hashd, 47 Civilians
176 Wounded: 62 ISF, 7 Hashd, 26 Sahwa, 81 Civilians
26 Shootings
14 Suicide Car Bombs
4 Mortars
Babil
-
8 Incidents
5 Killed: 5 Civilians
20 Wounded: 5 Hashd, 15 Civilians
1 Shooting
3 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
1 Sound Bomb
Baghdad
68 Incidents
105 Killed: 3 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 101 Civilians
234 Wounded: 7 ISF, 5 Sahwa, 222 Civilians
28 Shootings
28 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
2 Car Bombs
1 Rockets
46 Incidents
99 Killed: 2 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 94 Civilians
218 Wounded: 9 ISF, 2 Sahwa, 207 Civilians
15 Shootings
22 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Car Bomb
3 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
Basra
1 Incident
1 Shooting
-
Diyala
9 Incidents
23 Killed: 3 ISF, 1 Asayesh, 19 Civilians
23 Wounded: 8 ISF, 3 Asayesh, 12 Civilians
4 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
18 Incidents
89 Killed: 10 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 78 Civilians
66 Wounded: 7 ISF, 59 Civilians
7 Shootings
5 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
2 Suicide Car Bombs
Kirkuk
9 Incidents
10 Killed: 1 Peshmerga, 1 Hashd, 8 Civilians
17 Wounded: 4 Peshmerga, 13 Civilians
4 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Mortar
7 Incidents
13 Killed: 4 Peshmerga, 9 Civilians
6 Wounded: 5 Peshmerga, 1 Civilian
4 Shootings
1 IED
Ninewa
11 Incidents
342 Killed: 324 Civilians
5 Shootings
25 IEDs
17 Incidents
26 Killed: 2 ISF, 24 Civilians
2 Wounded: 2 Peshmerga
8 Shootings
20 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
Salahaddin
22 Incidents
89 Killed: 79 ISF, 8 Hashd, 2 Civilians
73 Wounded: 54 ISF, 10 Hashd, 9 Civilians
22 Incidents
113 Killed: 61 ISF, 52 Civilians
61 Wounded: 32 ISF, 8 Hashd, 21 Civilians
13 Shootings
1 IED
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar

Province
May 15-21
May 22-28
Anbar
46 Incidents
848 Killed: 321 ISF, 40 Sahwa, 488 Civilians
186 Wounded: 129 ISF, 57 Civilians
30 Shootings
8 IEDs
19 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Car Bombs
5 Mortars
2 Rockets
31 Incidents
221 Killed: 56 ISF, 165 Civilians
33 Wounded: 33 Civilians
23 Shootings
23 Suicide Bombers
12 Suicide Car Bombs
3 Car Bombs
1 Rocket
Babil
2 Incidents
3 Killed: 3 Civilians
11 Wounded: 11 Civilians
2 IEDs
2 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 ISF
4 Wounded: 4 ISF
1 Shooting
1 IED
Baghdad
44 Incidents
51 Killed: 4 ISF, 1 Hashd, 3 Sahwa, 43 Civilians
108 Wounded: 20 ISF, 3 Hashd, 3 Sahwa, 82 Civilians
17 Shootings
18 IEDs
7 Sticky Bobs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar
36 Incidents
59 Killed: 1 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 55 Civilians
194 Wounded: 6 ISF, 8 Sahwa, 8 Hashd, 172 Civilians
8 Shootings
27 IEDs
8 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
Basra
2 Incidents
7 Killed: 7 Civilians
4 Wounded: 4 Civilians
2 Shootings
-
Dhi Qar
-
1 Incident
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 IED
Diyala
5 Incidents
5 Killed: 5 Civilians
6 Wounded: 6 Civilians
1 Shooting
3 IEDs
14 Incidents
7 Killed: 7 Civilians
14 Wounded: 14 Civilians
4 Shootings
12 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
2 Car Bombs
Kirkuk
4 Incidents
16 Killed: 16 Civilians
1 Sticky Bomb
6 Incidents
5 Killed: 1 ISF, 4 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Peshmerga
3 Shootings
2 IEDs
Ninewa
8 Incidents
12 Killed: 12 Civilians
3 Shootings
7 Incidents
15 Killed: 7 Peshmerga, 8 Civilians
2 Shootings
1 IED
Salahaddin
12 Incidents
19 Killed: 10 ISF, 9 Civilians
65 Wounded: 13 ISF, 8 Hashd, 44 Civilians
3 Shootings
6 IEDs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
1 Rockets
11 Incidents
30 Killed: 23 ISF, 7 Hashd
101 Wounded: 89 ISF, 2 Hashd, 10 Civilians
4 Shootings
6 IEDs
1 Suicide Car Bomb

Car Bombs In Iraq May 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
May 1



May 2
Garma, Anbar
Karrada x2, Baghdad
29
66
May 3



May 4
Baiji Refinery, Salahaddin
3
5
May 5
Garma, Anbar
Karrada, Baghdad
6
13
May 6



May 7
Baiji x2, Dour, Hamrin x2, Salahaddin
57
39
Totals
11
95
123
May 8
Baladrooz & Kanaan, Diyala
22
59
May 9
Karrada, Baghdad
8
30
May 10
Fallujah x3, Anbar
Shaab, Baghdad
Taji & Tarmiya, Salahaddin
23
26
May 11



May 12
Sadoun St & Tahrir Sq, Baghdad
14
37
May 13



May 14
Dulab x9 & Jubba x2, Anbar
6
54
Totals
22
73
206
May 15
Ramadi x11, Anbar
10
7
May 16
Fallujah & Ramadi, Anbar
Baiji Refinery, Salahaddin
8

May 17
Ramadi x7, Anbar
Shurta, Baghdad
17
35
May 18



May 19
Haswar, Anbar
Abu Ghraib, Baghdad
8
14
May 20



May 21



Totals
24
43
56
May 22
Barwana x4 & Haditha x2, Anbar


May 23



May 24
Assad Air Base, Anbar
Baquba x2, Diyala

3
May 25



May 26
Fallujah x3 & Garma, Anbar
Baiji, Salahaddin
28
9
May 27
Garma x4, Anbar
30

May 28
Jadiriya x2, Baghdad
15
42
Totals
20
73
54


The number of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) went down from 24 the previous week to 20. There have been a total of 77 car bombs so far. That passed April’s 67 and is the most seen in one month this year. Anbar has been the main target with 21 the third week of May and 15 the next. There were also two car bombs a piece in Baghdad and Diyala, and one more in Salahaddin from May 22-28. 73 people were killed and 54 injured by these VBIEDs, but the real numbers were much higher as no casualties were reported for many of these attacks. The Islamic State has picked up these types of attacks as it attempts to make up for losses on the battlefield using them both in tactical strikes upon the government forces like in Anbar as well as a new wave of terrorist bombings on civilians in Baghdad.

Anbar remained the main battlefield in Iraq. After taking Ramadi IS continued pushing east seizing Husaiba and Albu Fahad on May 22, while threatening Khalidiya and Baghdadi. For example, on May 24 IS used 20 suicide bombers followed by an infantry assault upon that last town. The government responded by taking back Husaiba on May 23 as it pushed towards Ramadi. By May 25 government forces reached Anbar University outside of the city, and the next day the official operation to retake the city was announced by the spokesman for the Hashd. On May 28 the ISF, tribes and Hashd were attacking from three directions. There were also clearing operations in the Thar Thar area to the north where IS recently took three army bases, and in Garma where IS tried to push back by with 5 suicide car bombs against the ISF. Taking Ramadi will not be easy. First off there are still plenty of civilians there, which IS might use as human shields. The insurgents will also use their usual tactics of mass IEDs and snipers to hold up the attacking forces. Finally, the militants might be able to fade back into the population rather than fight to the end since it has plenty of hideouts in the city as they have been operating there for over a year and a half. That might mean that the government forces will be able to re-enter Ramadi, but may not establish control over all of it.

Attacks in Baghdad have been steadily going down after a sharp spike in April. The first week of April there were 44 incidents. Then there were 36 from April 8-14, followed by 50 April 15-21, topping off with 66 April 22-28. In the last two days of the month there were 21 attacks. That was followed by 68 May 1-7, before going down to 46 May 8-14, 45 May 15-21, and then 36 May 22-28. Casualties have gone down as well from 339 dead and wounded the first week of the month to 253 the last week of May.

Every other week there has been a jump in attacks in Diyala. The first week of May there were 9 attacks mostly consisting of shootings. Then that doubled the next week with a suicide bomber and two suicide car bombs. May 15-21 incidents went back down to 5, and then 14 the following week with another 2 car bombs. The Islamic State is obviously picking up its operations in the province, but it is still below previous levels.

Violence has been at a very low level in Kirkuk, but the new trend is extrajudicial killings. During the last week of May an imam and a government worker were found shot. The week before three bodies were dumped. The second week of May four bodies were discovered, and then four the first week. Whelan has been the main location for these murders, but they have occurred in other areas as well. It’s not clear what the purpose of these targeted killings are yet, but they are a new occurrence.

Salahaddin was the other major battlefront as the government was focused upon retaking the Baiji refinery and surrounding area. It is now apparent that IS attacked the facility to draw the Baghdad’s attention, while it was planning to take Ramadi. According to Iraq Oil Report, IS fighters began pulling out of the refinery the day Ramadi was taken. The stay behind force then set about blowing up as much of the infrastructure as possible. It’s now estimated that it might take up to five years or more to rebuild the refinery that once produced up to one-third of the country’s fuel production. During the last week of May the government had broken the siege of the refinery and was concentrating on kicking out the militants from the district. There were also new operations launched in Shirqat, Dujail, and Ishaqi in the very north and south of the province.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "Eight bomb blasts rock Iraq's Diyala province," 5/24/15

BBC, "Islamic State suicide bombings kill troops in Iraq's Anbar," 5/27/15

Damon, Arwa, Hanna, Jason, and Alkhshali, Hamdi, "Iraqis launch counter-attack against ISIS near Ramadi," CNN, 5/23/15

Daragahi, Borzou and Solomon, Eika, “Iraq launches operation to retake Ramadi from Isis,” Financial Times, 5/26/15

Al Forat, "PMU achieves first victory in Ramadi, liberates Hasibah," 5/23/15,

Iraq Oil Report, “Baiji refinery devastated by IS scorched earth tactics,” 5/26/15

Al Mada, "Anbar Council: Daash dominates Albu Fahd and Husaiba east of Ramadi, the situation in other regions is very dangerous," 5/22/15
- "Cleared parts of Anbar University and the killing of 18 Daash south of Ramadi," 5/25/15,

Naji, Jamal and Van Heuvelen, Ben, "After seizing Ramadi, IS presses Anbar campaign," Iraq Oil Report, 5/23/15

NINA, "Urgent…..Suicide Bombing Kill 11, Wound 9 Others Of The Federal Police In Baiji," 5/26/15

Radio Free Iraq, "24 May 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 5/24/15
- “28 May 2015,” Daily Updates from Anbar, 5/28/15

Al Rafidayn, "Ameri announces freeing Jabber facility lifting the siege on ninety trapped soldiers," 5/28/15,

Reuters, “Islamic State fighters overrun Iraqi govt lines east of Ramadi,” 5/21/15

Shafaq News, "Dozens of dead in suicide attacks and clashes near al-Karma," 5/27/15
- "The fight in Haditha and detonation of two car bombs," 5/22/15
- "A local official: 150 terrorists, including 20 suicide bombers, carried out Al-Baghdadi attack," 5/24/15

Yacoub, Sameer, "Iraqi authorities raise death toll from Baghdad hotel car bombings to 15," Associated Press, 5/29/15

Yeranian, Edward, "Suicide Bombings Kill Pro-Iraq Forces in Anbar," Voice of America, 5/27/15

2 comments:

amagi said...

Love the new banner, Joel. Love it.

Joel Wing said...

Thanks. Spent the weekend messing around with a bunch of different formats and just tweaked the original one.