Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Violence Unchanged Last 5 Weeks In Iraq


For the last five weeks the number of attacks have remained relatively stable in Iraq. This is another sign that the war in Iraq has largely stabilized and become deadlocked. The government is on the offensive in several parts of Anbar province along with Salahaddin, but showing mixed results, while bombings continue unabated in Baghdad. The rest of the country remained relatively quite.

Musings On Iraq counted 122 security incidents from September 15-21, 2015. That was lower than the previous weeks, which witnessed 144 attacks September 8-14, 139 from September 1-7, 136 from August 22-28, and 135 from August 15-21. Baghdad led the country with 50 attacks, followed by 21 in Salahaddin, 18 in Anbar, 16 in Ninewa, 8 in Kirkuk, 5 in Diyala, 3 in Babil, and one each in Kurdistan and Wasit.

There were 323 deaths and 488 wounded reported in the press during the week. That broke down to 2 Sahwa, 20 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 55 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and 246 civilians killed, and 2 Hashd al-Shaabi, 5 Sahwa, 44 ISF, and 437 civilians injured. Baghdad had the most fatalities with 88. After that there were 82 in Salahaddin, 55 in Kurdistan, 45 in Ninewa, 30 in Anbar, 9 in Diyala, 6 in Babil, and 4 each in Kirkuk and Wasit. Overall casualties have crept up slightly from 699 August 15-21, to 638 August 22-28, to 637 September 1-7, to 762 September 8-14, and 811 September 15-21. Since losses are so underreported due to government silence it’s impossible to tell whether this was a real increase or just better coverage.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
189
466
464
Jan 8-14
172
733
518
Jan 15-21
189
403
528
Jan 22-28
195
492
899
Jan 29-31
91
306
568
JAN
836
2,400
2,977
Feb 1-7
155
408
688
Feb 8-14
177
443
566
Feb 15-21
169
592
383
Feb 22-28
171
391
705
FEB
672
1,834
2,342
Mar 1-7
176
373
595
Mar 8-14
137
398
656
Mar 15-21
146
1,304
505
Mar 22-28
174
273
406
Mar 29-31
72
205
219
MAR
705
2,553 + 4
2,381 + 150
Apr 1-7
127
218
422
Apr 8-14
137
676
542
Apr 15-21
172
729
717
Apr 22-28
163
497
483
Apr 29-30
50
162 + 7
182 + 299
APR
649
2,282
2,346
May 1-7
154
627
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
2,417 + 1,499
1,898 + 646
Jun 1-7
132
431
476
Jun 8-14
126
522 + 405
394
Jun 15-21
141
365
373
Jun 22-28
162
306
474
Jun 29-30
61
122
189
JUN
622
1,804
2,012
Jul 1-7
161
435
719
Jul 8-14
140
384
570
Jul 15-21
109
359
597 + 4,024
Jul 22-28
145
527
590
Jul 29-31
53
453 + 8
603
JUL
608
2,166
3,079 + 4,024
Aug 1-7
154
650 + 760
298
Aug 8-14
132
726
645
Aug 15-21
135
345
354
Aug 22-28
136
342
296
Aug 29-31
59
112 + 5
169
AUG
616
2,180 + 760
1,762
Sep 1-7
139
285
352
Sep 8-14
144
368
394
Sep 15-21
122
323
488

Violence In Iraq Sep 2015 by Province
Provinces
Sep 1-7
Sep 8-14
Anbar
25 Incidents
52 Killed: 5 Civilians, 10 Hashd, 13 ISF, 24 Sahwa
45 Wounded: 8 Civilians, 10 Sahwa, 12 ISF, 15 Hashd
10 Shootings
4 Suicide Bombers
3 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Mortars
19 Suicide Bombers Killed
20 Car Bombs Destroyed
24 Incidents
29 Killed: 4 Civilians, 8 Hashd, 17 ISF
57 Wounded: 13 Hashd, 19 ISF, 25 Civilians
10 Shootings
2 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
2 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Mortars
4 Suicide Bombers killed
5 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
1 Motorcycle Bomb Destroyed
13 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
2 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
5 wounded: 5 Civilians
1 IED
5 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
14 Wounded: 4 ISF, 10 Civilians
1 Shooting
3 IEDs
Baghdad
58 Incidents
73 Killed: 2 ISF, 71 Civilians
199 Wounded: 8 ISF, 191 Civilians
11 Shootings
28 IEDs
8 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
1 Grenade
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
57 Incidents
65 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 2 Hashd, 4 ISF, 58 Civilians
154 Wounded: 14 ISF, 140 Civilians
14 Shootings
22 IEDs
10 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb
2 Grenades
Basra
-
3 Incidents
1 Wounded: 1 ISF
2 IEDs
1 Sound Bomb
Diyala
8 Incidents
14 Killed: 5 ISF, 9 Civilians
24 Wounded: 1 ISF, 23 Civilians
4 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar
12 Incidents
16 Killed: 3 Hashd, 4 ISF, 9 Civilians
20 Wounded: 1 ISF, 1 Asayesh, 3 Hashd, 15 Civilians
5 Shootings
5 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
Karbala
1 Incident
2 Sound Bombs
1 Incident
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
Kirkuk
4 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Wounded: 1 Hashd
2 Shootings
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
6 Incidents
29 Killed: 9 Civilians, 20 Peshmerga
121 Wounded: 6 Civilians, 115 Peshmerga
2 Shootings
3 IEDs
KRG
-
2 Incidents
95 Killed: 95 PKK
2 Turkish Air Strikes
Ninewa
21 Incidents
116 Killed: 8 Peshmerga, 108 Civilians
22 Wounded: 2 Peshmerga, 20 Civilians
10 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Rocket
1 Mortar
13 Incidents
104 Killed: 8 Peshmerga, 32 ISF, 64 Civilians
4 Shootings
1 IED
1 Mortar
Qadisiyah
1 Incident
-
Salahaddin
19 Incidents
27 Killed: 6 ISF, 21 Civilians
56 Wounded: 21 ISF, 35 Civilians
7 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Mortar
12 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
21 Incidents
26 Killed: 6 Hashd, 9 Civilians, 11 ISF
27 Wounded: 7 Hashd, 9 ISF, 11 Civilians
11 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
2 Suicide Bombers Killed
9 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
1 Motorcycle Bomb Destroyed
1 Car Bomb Destroyed

Provinces
Sep 1-7
Anbar
18 Incidents
30 Killed: 4 ISF, 26 Civilians
56 Wounded: 6 ISF, 50 Civilians
9 Shootings
1 IED
1 Rockets
2 Mortars
3 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
3 Incidents
6 Killed: 6 Civilians
19 Wounded: 19 Civilians
3 IEDs
Baghdad
50 Incidents
88 Killed: 2 Sahwa, 6 ISF, 80 Civilians
303 Wounded: 5 Sahwa, 9 ISF, 289 Civilians
13 Shootings
19 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Bomber
3 Car Bombs
2 Rockets
2 Suicide Bombers Killed
Diyala
5 Incidents
9 Killed: 1 ISF, 8 Civilians
11 Wounded: 2 ISF, 9 Civilians
3 Shootings
1 IED
1 Sticky Bomb
2 Motorcycle Bombs Dismantled
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
KRG
1 Incident
55 Killed: 55 PKK
1 Turkish Air Raid
Kirkuk
8 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
3 Wounded: 1 Civilian, 2 Hashd
2 Shootings
1 Rocket
Ninewa
16 Incidents
45 Killed: 5 ISF, 40 Civilians
9 Shootings
21 IEDs
1 Rocket
Salahaddin
21 Incidents
82 Killed: 4 ISF, 78 Civilians
96 Wounded: 27 ISF, 69 Civilians
15 Shootings
4 IEDs
2 Suicide Car Bombs
3 Mortars
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
Wasit
1 incident
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
1 Shooting
 
The Anbar offensive that started on July 13 continued to show mixed results. The government forces are stuck in the rut of clearing towns and then having to go back into them again and again, something that the current campaign as supposed to solve, but hasn’t. The third week of September was a perfect example. On September 13 Husaiba that is to the east of Ramadi was declared cleared for the fifth time, and then a new operation started on September 15. The joint forces have been stuck on East Husaiba as well, which was said to be freed on August 30 for the third time, and then the sixth operation there started on September 16. September 17 the joint forces went back to Shihabi in the Fallujah area after it was cleared on July 14. September 17 the sixth operation since the start of August began in Khalidiya Island, which is in between Ramadi and Fallujah. The government forces also had to go back into southern Ramadi’s Tamim neighborhood on September 18, which was freed back on July 30, 5 Kilo that is right outside of the city on September 19 after it was freed a month before, and Humaira also south of Ramadi on September 19 when it was said to be cleared on August 8. The joint forces have also been drawn into sweeps through the Haditha district during the week, which is in western Anbar, and Amiriya Fallujah in the east, while continuing with its attempt to re-take the Garma area.

So far the Anbar offensive has suffered from three major shortcomings. First, there is a massive manpower shortage. After Ramadi fell in May the Hashd complained that they were being kept out of the province, and that if they were allowed in they would rectify the situation. Unfortunately the Hashd have not committed many fighters. There are approximately 10,000 total men focused upon Ramadi and Fallujah compared to 30,000 that took Tikrit. Part of the reason for the shortage is the fact that the government continues to give into diversionary attacks by the Islamic State in other parts of Anbar and Baiji in Salahaddin, which spreads out its forces. The third issue is the lack of unity of command. Many Hashd forces act independently of Baghdad. For instance, the government wanted to take Ramadi after it fell, but then IS posted a video of an execution of a soldier from Sadr City in Fallujah, and the Hashd unilaterally decided to take that area instead. Now the joint forces are spread out across the entire corridor between the two cities. That is going to drag out the operation for several more weeks and even months when a quick strike on Ramadi back in May might have been able to re-take it.

Security Operations In Anbar Sep 15-21, 2015
Husaiba
East Husaiba
Shihabi
Khalidiya Island
Ramadi, Tamim
7/13/15 center cleared
7/19/15 operation
7/14/15 cleared
8/4/15 operation
7/26/15 operation
7/18/15 center reached
7/21/15 cleared
9/17/15 operation
8/12/15 operation
7/30/15 cleared
7/19/15cleared
7/26/15 operation

8/16/15 operation
9/18/15 operation
7/27/15 cleared
8/2/15 operation

8/29/15 operation

7/29/15 operation
8/6/15 cleared

9/5/15 operation

8/16/15 operation
8/10/15 operation

9/17/15 operation

8/17/15 cleared
8/25/15 operation



8/31/15 operation
8/30/15 cleared



9/10/15 operation
9/16/15 operation



9/13/15 center cleared




9/15/15 operation





5 Kilo
Humaira
Albu Hayat
Haditha
Amiriya Fallujah
7/20/15 operation
7/14/15 cleared
7/21/15 operation
7/21/15 operation
8/20/15 operation
7/22/15 cleared
8/2/15 operation
9/19/15 operation
7/30/15 operation
9/16/15 operation
8/19/15 operation
8/8/15 cleared

8/22/15 operation

9/19/15 cleared
9/19/15 cleared

9/21/15 operation


Shootings and bombings continued throughout Baghdad. There were 15 incidents in the east, 14 in the south, 10 in the north, 5 in the center, and 4 in the west. That included three car bombs, one in the south and two in the east, and three suicide bombers, one in the center, and two in the west. IEDs and sticky bombs were the main form of violence.

Attacks In Baghdad Sep 15-21, 2015
Center: 5 – 1 Attempted Kidnapping, 1 Kidnapping, 1 Shooting, 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 IED
East: 14 – 2 Car Bombs, 4 Kidnappings, 4 Shootings, 4 IEDs
Outer East: 1 – 1 IED
North: 5 – 1 Rocket, 2 Shootings, 2 Sticky Bombs
Outer North: 5 – 1 Shooting, 4 IEDs
South: 8 – 1 Car Bomb, 3 Shootings, 4 IEDs
Outer South: 6 – 1 Shooting, 2 Sticky Bombs, 3 IEDs
West: 3 – 1 Rocket, 2 Suicide Bombers
Outer West: 1 – 1 IED
Unknown: 2 – 1 Shooting, 1 IED

Diyala had very few incidents during the third week of September, with just five, but included another attempted car bomb. As part of IS’s new car bomb campaign it has tried to set off a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) at least once a week in the province. Otherwise, IS is using Diyala to carry out attacks upon eastern Baghdad.

Turkey conducted another wave of air strikes against Kurdistan. On September 15 Ankara claimed to have killed 55 PKK fighters as a result.

There were more executions in Ninewa. The Islamic State killed 45 people in Mosul, Qayara, and Hamam al-Alil during the week. That included an imam, a former candidate, two journalists, four mayors, and five police. IS also blew up 21 homes belonging to Christians on the Ninewa Plains, and made one attack upon the Kurds in the Sinjar district.

The fighting in Salahaddin’s Baiji district remains inconclusive. Propaganda is so heavy that progress is very difficult to discern there. Politicians, the security forces, and the different elements of the Hashd all make their own separate announcements about Baiji, which are often contradictory. That’s how 80% of Baiji can be declared freed in the middle of August and then a few days later it goes down to 50% and then up to 60% and then 70% in two days by the middle of September. Similar numbers have been given for the Baiji Refinery going from 70% controlled in the middle of August, down to 50% and then up to 60% on September 18. The government forces have also refocused upon the IS stronghold of Siniya, which is just outside of Baiji. On September 1, 5 and 19 the town was said to be surrounded, and then miraculously cleared in between all that even though fighting is still going on there. Again, the lack of unity of command causes all of this confusion about what is actually going on in the province not to mention that the district has no strategic value anymore. Instead, IS is using it to hold down government forces and distract from Anbar.

Security Operations Baiji District May-Sep 2015
Baiji
Baiji Refinery
Siniya
5/7/15 Operation
5/22/15 cleared
5/2/15 cleared
5/21/15 66% cleared
5/30/15 outskirts cleared
5/31/15 cleared
5/30/15 central Baiji entered
6/30/15 50% cleared
6/11/15 operation
6/10/15 60% cleared
7/6/15 40% cleared
8/11/15 operation
6/22/15 80% of Baiji district cleared
7/23/15 80% cleared
8/22/15 reached
6/29/15 operation
7/25/15 40% cleared
8/28/15 cleared
6/30/15 center cleared
8/3/15 40% cleared
9/1/15 surrounded
7/2/15 90% cleared
8/5/15 60% cleared
9/5/15 surrounded
7/6/15 operation
8/15/15 70% cleared
9/9/15 cleared
7/21/15 center reached
8/25/15 50% cleared
9/11/15 70% cleared
7/22/15 85% of Baiji district cleared
9/9/15 center cleared
9/19/15 surrounded
8/7/15 Baiji surrounded
9/18/15 60% cleared

8/16/15 80% cleared


8/24/15 50% cleared


8/25/15 90% of Baiji district cleared


8/31/15 operation


9/14/15 center cleared


9/17/15 60% cleared


9/19/15 70% cleared



Finally, one of the only good bits of news coming out of Iraq was a dramatic decline in car bombs from September 15-21. There were just 10 total VBIEDs launched during the week, with half of them being destroyed. That compared to 34 the week before, and 31 the first week of the month. The decline might just be a temporary dip since IS’s bombing campaigns usually last several months, and this is only the third.

Car Bombs In Iraq, September 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Sep 1
Haditha x3, Anbar
Khalis, Diyala
Sadoun St, Baghdad – 1 destroyed
16
26
Sep 2
Garma & Tal al-Mushahid, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Sep 3
Shaab & Shuhada, Baghdad
Garma, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Siniya, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
2
15
Sep 4
Haditha & Zoba, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Sep 5
Albu Aetha & Humaira Anbar– 5 destroyed


Sep 6
Bashir, Kirkuk – 2 destroyed


Sep 7
Albu Aetha, Anbar – 5 destroyed
Karrada, Baghdad – 1 destroyed


Totals
6 – 25 Destroyed
18
41
Sep 8
East of Ramadi, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Sep 9
Ain Assad, East Husaiba & Husaiba, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Sep 10
Albu Soda, Anbar
Jawaanh, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Siniya, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
9
14
Sep 11
Jaraeshi, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Sep 12
Albu Jwari, Salahaddin
Anbar Univ, East Husaiba – 7 destroyed
Hajaj, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed
3
8
Sep 13
Albu Aziz, Anbar
East Husaiba & Garma, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Albu Jwari & Baiji, Salahaddin – 5 destroyed
3
5
Sep 14
Nusour Sq, Baghdad
Khalis, Diyala
Ain Al-Tamur, Karbala – 1 destroyed
7
19
Totals
5 – 29 Destroyed
16
46
Sep 15



Sep 16



Sep 17
Wathbah Sq, Baghdad
West of Haditha, Anbar – 1 destroyed
South of Tikrit, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
11
57
Sep 18
5 Kilo, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Sep 19
Baiji Refinery x2, Salahaddin
Saqlawiya, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Baquba, Diyala – 1 destroyed
2
5
Sep 20



Sep 21
Amin & Shuhada, Baghdad
14
55
Totals
5 - 5 Destroyed
27
117

SOURCES

Alsumaria, "Security forces find booby-trapped car bomb and two motorcycle bombs in Baquba," 9/19/15

Independent Press Agency, "Security forces control more areas in Fallujah," 7/14/15

Al Mada, "12 elements of Daash killed in process of clearing south Ramadi," 9/18/15
- "Federal police kill 7 Daash in Ramadi," 9/17/15

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "24 dead, 121 wounded, the final outcome of 2 suicide bombers in Baghdad," 9/17/15
- "12 ISIS elements, including Saudi national, killed east of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 9/15/15

Al Masalah, "Control of the area around Ramadi," 8/30/15
- "The destruction of a car bomb west of Haditha," 9/17/15
- "Killed 20 Daash in battles clearing Ramadi, Fallujah and Garma," 9/17/15,

New Sabah, "Security file," 9/19/15

NINA, "Army force destroys armored vehicles for Daash south of Tikrit," 9/17/15
- "Dozens of terrorists killed, their equipment and vehicles destroyed in different parts of Anbar," 9/16/15,
- "Federal Police liberation of center of Husaybah," 9/13/15, - "The International Coalition destroys a car bomb driven by a suicide bomber west of Ramadi," 9/18/15
- "Security Forces, Supported By Tribal Fighters, Liberate Areas South Of Ramadi," 9/19/15,
- "Two people killed, nine others wounded in southwest Baghdad," 9/21/15

Al Rayy, "Media cell declares Humera area south of Ramadi cleared," 8/8/15

Reuters, "Turkish jets hit Kurdish militant camps in Iraq, at least 55 killed: sources," 9/19/15

Rudaw, "ISIS assault defeated in Hardan," 9/21/15

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Islamic State claims responsibility for 2 suicide attacks in Baghdad," Associated Press, 9/17/15

Sarhan, Amre, "Al-Hashed al-Sha'bi militia foils suicide attack by ISIS north of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 9/19/15

Shafaq News, "45 ISIS elements including a leader in ISIS in liberation of al-Tameem area south of Ramadi," 7/30/15

Sotaliraq, "Amin bombing toll rises to 58 dead and wounded," 9/21/15

Xinhua, "IS militants launch 4 suicide bombings in central Iraq," 9/19/15

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