Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Iraq Government Forces Trying To Retake Lost Ground In Anbar & Salahaddin


The Iraqi press seemed to get back to its normal level of reporting on security in Iraq during the first week of June 2015. The number of attacks and casualties in the media were back to what they were after a two week dip when all the attention was focused upon the fall of Ramadi. During the week the government’s forces were on the offensive in Anbar and Salahaddin to retake territory that had been lost the month before.

During the start of June there were 131 security incidents in the news. That was above previous numbers for the end of May when there were 124 attacks from May 15-21 and 108 from May 22-28. Those low numbers seemed to be due to all the media being focused upon the fall of Ramadi and neglecting the rest of the country as a result. Baghdad had the most incidents with 51, followed by 31 in Anbar, 17 in Salahaddin, 13 in Ninewa, 10 in Diyala, 4 in Kirkuk, 3 in Babil, and 2 in Basra.

431 people were reported killed and 476 wounded from June 1-7. The former was made up of 42 Sahwa, 59 Hashd al-Shaabi, 75 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 255 Civilians. The injured included 1 Peshmerga, 6 Sahwa, 51 Hashd, 95 ISF, and 323 civilians. Anbar had the most fatalities because of the on going fighting there with 181. Ninewa had 96 due to a mass execution by the Islamic State (IS). Then there were 73 in Baghdad, 50 in Salahaddin, 23 in Diyala, 4 in Babil, 3 in Kirkuk, and 1 in Basra. As for the wounded there were 185 in Baghdad, 162 in Anbar, 68 in Salahaddin, 41 in Diyala, 13 in Babil, 3 in Ninewa, and two each in Basra and Kirkuk.

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
May 29-31
38
66
164 + 646
MAY
578
2,416 + 1,499
1,898 + 646
Jun 1-7
131
431
476

Violence In Iraq By Province, June 2015
Province
Jun 1-7
Anbar
31 Incidents
181 Killed: 64 ISF, 23 Hashd, 40 Sahwa, 54 Civilians
162 Wounded: 77 ISF, 4 Sahwa, 7 Hashd, 74 Civilians
12 Shootings
3 IEDs
5 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Artillery
4 Mortars
2 Rockets
Babil
3 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
13 Wounded: 13 Civilians
1 Shooting
2 IEDs
Baghdad
51 Incidents
73 Killed: 6 ISF, 2 Sahwa, 65 Civilians
185 Wounded: 13 ISF, 2 Sahwa, 170 Civilians
12 Shootings
28 IEDs
5 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
1 Grenade
Basra
2 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
2 Wounded: 2 Civilians
2 Shootings
Diyala
10 Incidents
23 Killed: 1 ISF, 22 Civilians
41 Wounded: 41 Civilians
1 Shooting
4 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
Kirkuk
4 Incidents
3 Killed: 3 Civilians
2 Wounded: 1 Peshmerga, 1 Civilian
2 Shootings
2 IEDs
Ninewa
13 Incidents
96 Civilians: 1 ISF, 95 Civilians
3 Wounded: 3 Civilians
8 Shootings
8 IEDs
Salahaddin
17 Incidents
50 Killed: 3 ISF, 36 Hashd, 11 Civilians
68 Wounded: 5 ISF, 44 Hashd, 19 Civilians
9 Shootings
5 IEDs
4 Suicide Bombers
1 Grenades

Car Bombs In Iraq, June 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jun 1
Fallujah & Thar Thar x3, Anbar
58
57
Jun 2
Palestine St, Baghdad
6
13
Jun 3



Jun 4
Thar Thar, Anbar
Baya, Baghdad
5
14
Jun 5



Jun 6
Baladrooz, Diyala
14
37
Jun 7



Totals
8
83
121


There were eight successful vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) during the week. That was the lowest amount since April 1-7 when there were only 3. The Islamic State has been launching more and more car bombs each month of the year to make up for its losses on the battlefield. Another 16 VBIEDs were destroyed during the week before reaching their targets. Anbar was the main target again with four in Thar Thar and one in Fallujah, and another nine blown up by the government’s forces.

The major fighting in the country took place in Anbar during the beginning of June. The government forces continued to press into Garma to the northeast of Fallujah. That started at the end of May just after the area was declared cleared. Another push was being made to clear Thar Thar, which is to the north of Fallujah and Ramadi by the Salahaddin border. The last operation was surrounding Ramadi and going through all the local villages. The Hashd forces are taking part along with Anbar tribes and the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). The Islamic State responded with the 14 car bombs mentioned before and launching several small counter attacks. The question as always is whether the government can hold these areas because the pattern has been reinforcements are sent in after a crisis, and are then transferred elsewhere to deal with a new situation, and then IS retakes those places. There are far more forces committed to Anbar this time than before, and it appears that the Hashd have plans to take all of the major areas in the central and eastern half of the province so perhaps this time things will play out differently.

Attacks picked up again in Baghdad. There were 51 total for the week, an average of 7.2 per day. May 22-28 there was just 36, and 45 the week before that. Two car bombs went off during the week, which was about the average, while IEDs, 28 total, remained the major driver of casualties.

About every other week IS has been setting off car bombs in Diyala. The first week of June was one of those times as a VBIED was detonated in Baladrooz in a market killing 14 and wounding 37 on June 6. That area is suspected of being a new car bomb base for IS, so it is no surprise that one would go off there.

Ninewa saw a big jump in casualties because of a mass execution. There were 96 total deaths there, but 80 of those came from a Yazidi mass grave discovered in Badush. The sixteen other fatalities during the week all came from IS executions. The militants also attacked Kurdish forces in Mount Bashiqa, Sinjar, and Makhmour. These areas have been attacked for months with no success and are usually turned back with the help of coalition air strikes.

Salahaddin was where the government was continuing on with its other major offensive. That was focused upon the Baiji Refinery and surrounding district. The government reached the refinery at the end of May, but IS was still in control of part of the facility. By June 7 it was announced that downtown Baiji was reached. Like Anbar, the government has had difficulties holding onto these areas as they have changed hands several times this year.

SOURCES

BBC, "Iraq: Islamic State bomb attack 'kills 45 police officers,'" 6/1/15

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - June 1, 2015," 6/1/15
- "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - June 3, 2015," 6/3/15

Fox News, "41 killed in ISIS suicide attacks at police base in western Iraq," 6/1/15
- "Iraqi troops reportedly advance against ISIS in key refinery town," 6/7/15

Al Mada, "Killing 12 elements of Daash and the destruction of 12 vehicles in base in Garma," 6/1/15,
- "Killing and wounding 11 people in car bomb detonation in Baya," 6/4/15

NINA, "11 elements of Federal Police killed and wounded in north of Fallujah," 6/2/15
- "Peshmerga Foils An Attack By Daash North Of Mosul," 6/2/15
- "Peshmerga Repulses An Attack For ISIS On Makhmour, Southeast Of Mosul," 6/7/15

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, "Deadly Car-Bomb Blast in Iraqi Shi'ite Town," 6/6/15

Shafiq, Mohammed, "Ameri announced the free of the Nazim area and lifting siege of trapped soldiers," Alsumaria, 6/5/15,

Xinhua, "Security forces repel suicide attacks, clashes continue with IS in central Iraq," 6/5/15

Yacoub, Sameer, "Car Bomb Near Restaurant Kills 6 People in Iraqi Capital," Associated Press, 6/2/15

4 comments:

Warren Peese said...

What is the Iraqi government actually doing to undisenfranchise Sunnis? Instead of casualty report, isn't that the real issue here?

Joel Wing said...

The government has been reluctant to arm some Sunni tribes because feel like they are with the insurgents. The reform bills in parliament that affect Sunnis like the National Guard and revised deBaathification have not passed, but that's largely because the Sunni parties. Some large Sunni towns and cities that have been cleared like Tikrit are empty because government forces have not let anyone return. There are some other complaints but those are some of the main ones.

Warren Peese said...

This Sunni outreach sounds like really small beer, Joel. I don't see how it will do anything to bring them under the Iraqi government umbrella. From what I can see, the Iraq as we knew it is no more.
BTW, I read your blog semi-regularly and I appreciate all of your efforts. It's not easy to pull all those sources together and weave them into a single post, and I say that from experience.

Joel Wing said...

Hi Warren,

Thanks for the kind words. There are plenty of Sunnis who want the governments help to fight IS. The government has worked for some but others were with the insurgency and then flipped on IS and Baghdad doesn't trust them. It's a complicated and very situational matter.