Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bad Weather Halts Iraq Offensive In Ramadi Twice


After the re-capture of Baiji Iraq only has one major on going offensive, which is in Ramadi and Fallujah in Anbar. During the start of November 2015 that fight was halted twice due to bad weather. Despite that the joint forces still made progress into the latter city. On the other hand, the much talked about Kurdish operation to seize Sinjar was called off due to political differences. The Islamic State also tried striking back in Dibis, Kirkuk, but was repulsed. IS is still largely on the defensive, which accounts for the low level of violence across the country for the last several weeks.

There were 125 security incidents reported in the press during the first week of November. There were 47 in Baghdad, 29 in Salahaddin, 26 in Anbar, 7 in Diyala, 6 in Kirkuk, and 4 in Babil. The number of attacks has been steady for the last six months. That’s largely because IS has been thrown back on the defensive in both Anbar and Salahaddin. That has left the group to focus upon terrorist attacks in the capital, which is why Baghdad province leads the country in incidents each week.

There were 186 dead and 316 wounded from November 1-7. 70 died in Ninewa, 58 in Baghdad, 29 in Salahaddin, 9 each in Anbar and Kirkuk, 8 in Diyala, and 3 in Babil. By category there were 1 Sahwa, 12 Peshmerga, 16 Hashd al-Shaabi, 27 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 130 civilians killed, and 30 Hashd, 38 Peshmerga, 63 ISF, and 185 civilians injured. The 186 fatalities were the lowest recorded for any full week of 2015. While dozens of deaths are never reported, they do appear to be declining because attacks have gone down as well.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
205
466
464
Jan 8-14
176
733
518
Jan 15-21
193
403
528
Jan 22-28
197
492
899
Jan 29-31
91
306
568
JAN
862
2,400
2,977
Feb 1-7
159
408
688
Feb 8-14
178
443
566
Feb 15-21
175
592
383
Feb 22-28
178
391
730
FEB
690
1,834
2,367
Mar 1-7
186
373
595
Mar 8-14
156
398
656
Mar 15-21
170
1,304
505
Mar 22-28
186
273
406
Mar 29-31
76
205
219
MAR
774
2,553 + 4
2,381 + 150
Apr 1-7
130
218
422
Apr 8-14
140
674
531
Apr 15-21
175
729
717
Apr 22-28
167
497
483
Apr 29-30
51
162 + 7
182 + 299
APR
663
2,280
2,335
May 1-7
159
627
450
May 8-14
161
420
549
May 15-21
128
963
387
May 22-28
115
341 + 1,499
348
May 29-31
38
66
164 + 646
MAY
601
2,417 + 1,499
1,898 + 646
Jun 1-7
133
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 + 58
189 + 106
JUN
623
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
193 + 260
203 + 400
JUL
608
2,158
3,079 + 4,024
Aug 1-7
154
650 + 760
298
Aug 8-14
133
756
640
Aug 15-21
135
345
354
Aug 22-28
136
342
296
Aug 29-31
59
112
169
AUG
617
2,205 + 760
1,757
Sep 1-7
139
285
352
Sep 8-14
144
368
394
Sep 15-21
123
323
488
Sep 22-28
128
190
258
Sep 29-30
39
106 + 19
147 + 8
SEP
573
1,291 + 314
1,647 + 3,003
Oct 1-7
105
291
398
Oct 8-14
144
254
389
Oct 15-21
142
208
279
Oct 22-28
129
216
366
Oct 29-31
49
110
116 + 1
OCT
569
1,079
1,549
Nov 1-7
125
186
316

Security by Province Nov 2015
Provinces
Nov 1-7
Anbar
26 Incidents
9 Killed: 2 Civilians, 7 ISF
45 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 10 Civilians, 34 ISF
11 Shootings
3 IEDs
2 Mortars
19 Suicide Bombers Killed
24 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
4 Incidents
3 Killed: 3 Civilians
12 Wounded: 12 Civilians
4 IEDs
Baghdad
47 Incidents
58 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 3 ISF, 54 Civilians
156 Wounded: 1 ISF, 155 Civilians
14 Shootings
22 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
Diyala
7 Incidents
8 Killed: 2 Hashd, 2 Civilians, 4 ISF
4 Wounded: 4 Civilians
3 Shootings
1 IED
Kirkuk
6 Incidents
9 Killed: 1 ISF, 3 Civilians, 5 Peshmerga
16 Wounded: 4 ISF, 12 Peshmerga
3 Shootings
4 Suicide Bombers
1 Car Bomb
Ninewa
14 Incidents
70 Killed: 7 Peshmerga, 63 Civilians
30 Wounded: 4 Civilians, 26 Peshmerga
5 Shootings
1 IED
1 Car Bomb
2 Mortars
4 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
Salahaddin
21 Incidents
29 Killed: 3 Civilians, 12 ISF, 14 Hashd
53 Wounded: 24 ISF, 29 Hashd
7 Shootings
53 IEDs
3 Suicide Bombers
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
14 Suicide Bombers Killed
22 Car Bombs Destroyed

Poor weather led to the halting of the Ramadi offensive twice. Heavy rains hit Iraq and on November 1 and 5 that resulted in the operation being temporarily called off.  Despite that new progress was reported. On November 1 the joint forces crossed the Albu Faraj Bridge and started moving towards central Ramadi. It was reported that they were only 2 kilometers from the government complex. The joint forces also made advances on all sides of the city from Sherra, 7 Kilo, Warar, and Zankura road in the west, Madaiq in the east, Jeraishi Bridge in the north, along with Albu Mari. Another sweep was also reported in Husaiba to the east of Ramadi. Some of those areas like 7 Kilo and Husaiba have been heavily contested and traded hands several times since the Anbar offensive began in July, and will likely continue to be so in the future.

The government continued to fight for control of Haditha in western Anbar as well. Albu Hayat was cleared on November 3 and then a district wide operation was announced on November 4, the fifth since July. Major clashes continued in Albu Hayat despite the official claim. Haditha is one of the few areas that Baghdad still controls in that section of the province.

There were two other operations in Anbar that have not showed so much progress. One was in Fallujah that has seemingly stalled, and the other was in Garma in the east, which was called off at the end of October after seven months although fighting continues there.

Baghdad is now the most violent governorate in Iraq. It had the most casualties during the week with 58 dead and 156 wounded. The north and east had the most incidents with 12 each. While almost all of the attacks in the north were due to the Islamic State, in the east a mix of insurgents, criminals, vigilantes and Hashd elements were probably responsible since they included robberies and bodies being dumped.

Violence In Baghad, Nov. 1-7, 2015
Center: 6 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 IED, 2 Sticky Bombs, 2 Shootings
East: 10 – 1 Stabbing, 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 1 Sticky Bombs, 2 IEDs, 4 Shootings
Outer East: 2 – 1 Shooting, 1 IED
North: 8 – 1 Attempted Kidnapping, 3 IEDs, 4 Shootings
Outer North: 4 – 4 IEDs
South: 4 – 4 IEDs
Outer South: 5 – 1 Stabbing, 4 IEDs
West: 6 – 1 Robbery, 1 Kidnapping, 1 Shooting, 3 IEDs
Outer West: 2 – 1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed, 1 Shooting

After the fall of Baiji in October many were expecting IS to launch a counter attack, and that might have occurred in Dibis, Kirkuk. On November 3 a sleeper cell launched an attack upon the police station and government building in the city led by a car bomb and four suicide bombers. The Kurdish security forces were able to beat back the attack, but not before losing six members and having another 16 injured in the process.

In Ninewa the much expected effort to retake all of Sinjar was called off. On November 2 the operation was said to have started with a few advances, but then it was called off because of political disputes between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and Yazidi factions. All three are competing for political influence in the district, and that has gotten in the way of fighting the Islamic State. IS has also maintained its probing attacks against the Kurds in Mosul Dam, Hardan, Sinjar, and Tal Saqif that left 7 Peshmerga dead and 26 wounded. IS executed 57 people in Mosul and Hamam al-Aleel as well.

With Baiji retaken IS returned to attacks spread throughout the province. There were 2 suicide bombings in Balad in the south, 3 suicide bombers to the west of Tikrit, 7 car bombs at Siniya airport in the northeast, and 2 suicide bombers in Tarmiya just north of Baghdad amongst others. The government’s forces were still pushing north of Baiji and clearing up that area. There was also heavy fighting outside of Samarra between the joint forces and IS, and in the Makhoul Mountains in the northeast of the province by Baiji despite it being declared cleared at the end of October.

Finally, IS’s car bomb campaign entered its six month. There were eight straight days of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) attacks starting on October 31 to November 7. During the week there were 56 such incidents, but only three were successful. Anbar had the most VBIEDs with 29, all of which were destroyed. Salahaddin had 23 with only one getting to its target. There were another two in Ninewa, and one each in Baghdad and Kirkuk. IS probably started this new VBIED wave to make up for the fact that it is largely on the defensive now. It wants to keep up the pace of its operations until it launches another offensive.

Car Bombs In Iraq, November 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Nov 1
Subhait, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Obied, Baghdad – 1 destroyed
Rabia, Ninewa – 1 destroyed


Nov 2
Balad, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Nov 3
Dibis, Kirkuk
West of Ramadi, Anbar – 5 destroyed
Leine, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed

3
Nov 4
Hardan, Ninewa
Adil & Rashad, Anbar – 9 destroyed
1
15
Nov 5
Zankura, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Siniya, Salahaddin – 7 destroyed


Nov 6
Baiji, Salahddin
Albu Faraj & Jeraishi, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Sukker, Salahaddin – 13 destroyed
7
20
Nov 7
Albu Hayat – 9 destroyed


Totals
3 – 53 Destroyed
8
38


SOURCES

Bas News, "Peshmerga Forces Advancing in Sinjar," 11/2/15

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - November 3, 2015," 11/3/15

Khalid, Harman, "Peshmerga Repel Multiple IS Offensives Near Sinjar," Bas News, 11/8/15

Al Mada, "2 km separating the security forces from storming the government compound in central Ramadi," 11/1/15
- "Killing and wounding a Dozen Daash in military operation sin Anbar and Salahuddin," 11/4/15
- "The killing of dozens of Daash during separate security operations in Anbar and Salahuddin provinces," 11/3/15

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "Federal Police kills 12 ISIS elements in security operation east of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 11/3/15,
- "Joint forces cleanse Albu Hayat area west of Ramadi, kill 40 ISIS elements," Iraqi News, 11/3/15
- "Security forces cleanse al-Madaiq, kill 33 ISIS elements, says Khalidiya Council," Iraqi News, 11/3/15

Al Masalah, "80 terrorists killed and the destruction of 30 vehicles and explosives," 11/5/15
- "4 suicide bombers killed in battles clearing area around Haditha," 11/4/15,

Al-Najaf, Kamaran, Hussein, Mohammed, and Tahir, Tawaz, "IS attack in oil rich Dibis district," Iraq Oil Report, 11/3/15

NINA, "Albu Mar'I area and al-Shamiya Palace liberated and raising the Iraqi flag on the Palestine bridge in Ramadi," 11/4/15
-"A Car Bomb Goes off Northwest Of Mosul," 11/1/15
- "Daash Blows Up A Nunnery In Tall Afar In Nineveh," 11/7/15
- "Federal Police Defuse A Booby-Trapped House, 2 Betls, Kill A Terrorist In Tikrit," 11/1/15
- "Federal Police Kill 4 Terrorists In Ramadi And Baiji," 11/2/15
- "A large number of terrorists killed, and /13/ car bomb destroyed in Salah al-Din," 11/6/15
- "A Number Of Peshmerga Killed And Wounded In Sinjar," 11/4/15

 - "A number of terrorists killed, and their hideouts and vehicle destroyed in different parts of Baghdad and its outskirts," 11/1/15

Press TV, "Bomb attack kills 7 volunteer Iraqi fighters, injures 20 others," 11/6/15

Al Rayy, "Cleared Zankurah road wes of Ramadi of Daash," 11/4/15
- "Four car bombs driven by suicide bombers destroyed trying to attack checkpoint east Fallujah," 11/4/15
- "Iraqi forces storm Ramadi from the northern side and progress towards city center," 11/1/15
- "Killed more than 70 members of Daash in west Anbar," 11/3/15
- "Repelled an attack by Daash with seven car bombs in Siniya," 11/5/15
- "A security source: anti-terrorism unit enter Camp Warar in Anbar," 11/4/15

Sarhan, Amre, "8 security elements killed, wounded by suicide attack north of Baghdad," Iraqi News, 11/7/15

Shafaq News, "Breaking News..Iraqi forces kill 8 terrorists and storm 3 areas in Ramadi," 11/2/15
- ""For the Second time" weather conditions stop liberation of Ramadi," 11/5/15
- "Security forces control al-Jarashi bridge northern Ramadi," 11/3/15
- "Security forces liberate the entire area of 7 km western Ramadi," 11/3/15
- "Security forces resume military operations from all axes for the Liberation of Ramadi," 11/1/15

Sotaliraq, "23 people dead and wounded including four gunmen during a failed attempt to take police cener in Qaimmqamah," 11/3/15
- "Anbar operations announces repelling a Daash attack with four car bombs north of Ramadi," 11/6/15
- "Foiled an attempt by five car bombs targeting security forces in Garma," 11/4/15
- "Security forces repelled a Daash attack on west Anbar killing nine suicide bombers," 11/7/15
- "Thwarted suicide attack by a booby-trapped tanker in Garma," 11/1/15


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