Monday, December 28, 2015

Security In Iraq, Dec 15-21, 2015


The third week of December 2015 saw continued pushes by the government’s forces in Anbar and Salahaddin, and a new wave of attacks by the Islamic State in northern Iraq. The most successful of the former was in Ramadi where the joint forces were making their way towards downtown. The Fallujah operation led by the Hashd restarted after a 2 month hiatus. IS on the other hand went from probing actions against the Kurds to large scale attacks against them in Ninewa and Kirkuk. Despite that the momentum continued to be against the insurgents.

From December 15-21 there were 140 reported security incidents. There were 62 in Baghdad, 26 in Ninewa, 15 in Anbar and Salahaddin each, 7 in Diyala and 7 in Kirkuk, along with 6 in Babil and 2 in Basra. The 140 was up from 128 the second week of the month, and 118 the week before that, but not different from other weeks in recent months.

Those attacks led to 242 dead and 326 wounded. There were 20 Sahwa, 23 Peshmerga, 25 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 33 Hashd, and 145 civilians killed, and 2 Sahwa, 11 Peshmerga, 23 Hashd, 34 ISF, and 178 injured. By province there were 74 fatalities in Anbar, 64 in Ninewa, 62 in Baghdad, 20 in Salahaddin, 17 in Kirkuk, 8 in Babil and 1 in Diyala.

Ramadi was where the heaviest fighting in the country was taking place. From December 15-21 the government’s forces were trying to consolidate their control over the perimeter of the city. There were operations in the Palestine Bridge, Albu Faraj, and Albu Diab all north of the city. These areas have changed hands several times and remain contested. IS was fighting back in those areas with over a dozen car bombs.

After two months of being dormant the Fallujah offensive restarted. The joint forces said they cleared Maamer to the south of the city even though fighting continued there afterward, and attacked Niamiya for the third time since July. The pro-Iranian Hashd groups started the Fallujah operation unilaterally despite Prime Minister Haider Abadi saying that Ramadi was going to be the focus after it fell to IS in May. It was attacked in July the same time as Ramadi and after some initial success quickly got bogged down in the surrounding towns before being shut down in October. The operation was supposed to show what the Hashd could do on its own without U.S. support and was an open challenge to Abadi’s leadership. It has not worked out as planned.

In recent weeks the Islamic State has increased its terrorist attacks in Baghdad to make up for its lack of offensive operations in the rest of the country. During the third week of December there were 62 incidents in the capital province, the most since the first week of May. The eastern section of the province had 19 incidents, followed by 17 in the south, 12 in the north, 8 in the west, and 6 in the center. In the east, there is always a mix of culprits. There were two sticky bombs that were probably the work of IS, but several bodies dumped in the district were probably done by vigilantes or Hashd groups. There was also a robbery by men in military uniforms showing the growing lawlessness in the country. That could have been common criminals or rogue elements of the ISF or Hashd. In the previous weeks the south had the most incidents. There IS has been more active with mortar fire on Arab Jabour, and sniper fire on a checkpoint in Dora. There was renewed activity in Abu Ghraib in the west as well with mortars on an army base, an IED on an army convoy, and a motorcycle bomb targeting a market. IS has attacked Baghdad for years hoping to stoke sectarian tensions and undermine the government.

Security Incidents In Baghdad, Dec 15-21, 2015
Center: 6: 1 - Grenade, 1 Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb, 3 IEDs
East: 16: 1 - Robbery, 2 Sticky Bombs, 5 IEDs, 8 Shootings
Outer East: 3 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs
North: 8 – 2 Shootings, 2 Sticky Bombs, 4 IEDs
Outer North: 4 – 1 Shooting, 3 IEDs
South: 10 – 2 Shootings, 2 Sticky bombs, 6 IEDs
Outer South: 7 – 1 Mortar, 1 Shooting, 5 IEDs
West: 3 – 1 Robbery, 1 Kidnapping, 1 IED
Outer West: 5 – 1 Mortar, 1 Shooting, 1 Motorcycle Bomb, 2 IEDs

Diyala has been relatively quite lately. In September and October IS was setting off car bombs there nearly every week and there was a slew of mortar fire as well. That eventually ended, but the third week there were two days of mortars again.

Kirkuk has been one of the more secure provinces in central Iraq, but that ended recently. Starting on December 17 IS attacked Turkmen Hashd in Bashir. The next day it attacked the Peshmerga in two towns in Dibis and Hawija leaving 12 dead and wounded.

IS also began attacking the Kurds in Ninewa. December 16 seven towns were assaulted with 14 car bombs, 4 suicide bombers and mortars killing 12 Peshmerga including a general and 6 Yazidi fighters. The next day three more towns were attacked. December 18 13 Peshmerga died and 4 were injured in fighting in another town. December 19 two suicide bombers were used in an assault leaving 28 dead and 4 wounded Peshmerga, and then finally on December 20 the 13th town was targeted leaving 11 dead Peshmerga and 9 wounded. During the last winter IS attempted similar operations using the foggy conditions to sneak up to the frontlines and hoping that it would hide their movements from Coalition air strikes. Despite the heavy fighting the Kurds held their positions. During the 2014-15 winter IS launched a similar offensive in the north. It appears they are doing the same thing now.

The Peshmerga were not the only ones in Ninewa targeted during the week, the Bashiqa camp, which housed Turkish soldiers was hit for two days. On December 16 IS launched a huge rocket barrage on the base killing seven volunteers, and wounding four Turkish trainers and eleven volunteers. Two day later it was hit again injuring three more volunteers. The camp had recently caused a huge controversy between Baghdad and Ankara when the latter sent in a large military force without informing the Iraqi government. IS tried to exploit that publicity by firing on the base. Ironically elements of the Hashd claimed they were the ones that attacked the camp since they had led the protests against the Turkish presence there. 

On December 21 a U.S. air strike was blamed for killing 16 civilians and wounding 5 more in Mosul. The Americans were allegedly targeting a building used by IS leaders. The U.S. has been increasing its attacks in Iraq lately, so it was probably inevitable that something like this would happen.

IS executed 38 people in the Mosul area and Tal Afar. That included two Peshmerga, three families, five traders, and one imam. They also pushed 12 people off a tall building on December 19. Some have speculated that these murders are occurring because IS feels threatened by an eventual Mosul operation. It appears that this is actually part of their governance and punishments to enforce their control over the population and how they are following their Salafi beliefs.

Salahaddin had its usual mix of harassing attacks up and down the length of the province. Tarmiya and Taji are constantly hit by IEDs and shootings. IS fired rockets at Samarra on December 19. The militants also made probing attacks upon Alam just to the south of Tikrit, and there was continued clashes to the west of Samarra. The government are still fighting in the Makhoul Mountains to the northeast of Baiji, and clearing operation are on going in that district as well. This is significant as before the ISF and Hashd were only capable of carrying out one major operation at a time due to logistics and transportation problems. They are now fighting in both Ramadi and the greater Baiji area.

Finally, November was the last month of the IS car bomb campaign. Before December there were over 50 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) per month. In the 1st week of December there were just 36, 37 the next week, and 49 the third. Another sign that the offensive was over was the fact that all the VBIEDs were in Anbar, 29, Ninewa, 15, and Salahaddin, 6, and used in military operations. Previously a number of governorates were hit in both military and terrorist attacks. The shift to the former accounts for the relatively low casualties these bombings caused during the week, 12 dead and 17 wounded. If those had gone off in civilian areas they would have left behind far more carnage. Another change is that despite the fewer VBIEDs being used, far more are hitting their target then before. From December 8-14 11 out of 26 found their targets, and then 12 out of 37 the next week. In previous months only 18% of the car bombs were successful.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
226
540
525
Jan 8-14
187
776
514
Jan 15-21
197
438
528
Jan 22-28
207
573
898 + 150
Jan 29-31
94
329
567
JAN
911
2,656
3,032 + 150
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
120
337
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
584
1,124
1,549
Nov 1-7
125
186
316
Nov 8-14
121
265
354
Nov 15-21
140
358
420
Nov 22-28
107
289
261 + 124 + 1,322
Nov 29-30
37
52 + 24
103 + 1
NOV
530
1,174
1,455 + 124 + 1,322
Dec 1-7
118
158
249
Dec 8-14
128
246
248
Dec 15-21
140
242
326 + 5,920

Security By Province Dec 2015
Province
Dec 15-21
Anbar
15 Incidents
17 Killed: 17 ISF
22 Wounded: 22 ISF
7 Shootings
1 IED
1 Rockets
1 Mortar
1 Suicide Car Bomb
3 Suicide Bombers Killed
28 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
6 Incidents
3 Killed: 1 ISF, 2 Civilians
22 Wounded: 5 ISF, 17 Civilians
5 IEDs
Baghdad
62 Incidents
66 Killed: 3 Hashd, 13 ISF, 50 Civilians
194 Wounded: 5 Hashd, 15 ISF, 174 Civilians
16 Shootings
31 IEDs
8 Sticky Bombs
1 Motorcycle Bomb
1 Grenade
2 Mortars
Basra
2 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
1 IED
Diyala
7 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
2 IEDs
2 Mortars
Kirkuk
7 Incidents
8 Killed: 3 Peshmerga, 5 Civilians
10 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 9 Peshmerga
6 Shootings
Ninewa
26 Incidents
131 Killed: 6 Yazidi Fighters, 7 Volunteers, 52 Civilians, 66 Peshmerga
50 Wounded: 4 Turkish Soldiers, 9 Civilians, 14 Volunteers, 23 Peshmerga
14 Shootings
15 IEDs
4 Suicide Bombers
2 Suicide Car Bombs
9 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
2 Rockets
4 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
3 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
15 Incidents
14 Killed: 3 Hashd, 5 ISF, 6 Civilians
27 Wounded: 7 Hashd, 9 ISF, 11 Civilians
7 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Mortar
1 Rockets
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
5 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
1 Car Bomb Destroyed

Car Bombs In Iraq, December 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Dec 1



Dec 2
Baghdadi & Ramadi, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Dec 3
Albu Aetha & Hamidiya, Anbar – 5 destroyed


Dec 4
110 Kilo, Albu Faraj & Jeraishi, Anbar – 6 destroyed


Dec 5
35 Kilo, Albu Faraj, Baghdadi, Ramadi, Anbar – 19 destroyed


Dec 6



Dec 7
Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed


Totals
0 – 36 Destroyed


Dec 8
Ajeel & Alas oil fields, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Dec 9
Albu Faraj & Warrar Bridge, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Shirqat, Salahaddin – 3 destroyed


Dec 10
Albu Diab, Albu Faraj, Albu Taiban, Anbar – 7 destroyed


Dec 11
Baghdadi & Kubaisa, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Dec 12
Nukhaib & Ramadi x3, Anbar
Aski, Ninewa
Albu Jassim & East Husaiba, Anbar – 3 destroyed
43
39
Dec 13
Kazak, Ninewa – 3 destroyed


Dec 14
Albu Faraj  x5 & Ramadi, Anbar
Central Baghdad, Baghdad – 1 destroyed
Sinjar, Ninewa – 2 destroyed
35
2
Totals
11 – 26 Destroyed
78
41
Dec 15
Tal al-Mushahid & Palestine Bridge, Anbar – 18 destroyed
2
6
Dec 16
Kaske x2 & Nawaran x9, Ninewa
Husaiba & Palestine Bridge, Anbar – 7 destroyed
Domuz Military Base & Baira, Ninewa – 4 destroyed
7
6
Dec 17
Hiyakil, Anbar
Hiyakil, Anbar – 3 destroyed
West of Samarra, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed
3
5
Dec 18



Dec 19



Dec 20
Baiji, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Dec 21



Totals
12 – 37 Destroyed
12
17

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "15 ISIS suicide car bombs targeting Iraq forces 'repelled,'" 12/15/15

AIN, "Freed Niamiya police station and the village of Ma'ameer southeast of Fallujah," 12/16/15

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - December 17, 2015," 12/17/15

Fantz, Ashley, "Kurds suffer losses against ISIS in Iraq," CNN, 12/16/15

Iraq Times, "12 martyrs and wounded by a bicycle bomb west Baghdad," 12/16/15

Al Mada, "14 Daash members killed and four car bombs destroyed repelling an attack east of Ramadi," 12/16/15
- "The joint forces liberated the police center in Niamiya southeast of Fallujah," 12/16/15
- "Killing and wounding six members of Daash and a member of the Turkmen popular crowd south of Kirkuk," 12/17/15
- "Killing seven Daash member north Anbar," 12/15/15
- "Two people injured in a rocket attack in Samarra," 12/19/15

New Sabah, "Security file," 12/15/15

NINA, "20 Elements Of Peshmerga Killed And Wounded In An Attack Carried Out By Daash Northwest of Mosul," 12/20/15
- "/21/ civilians killed and wounded, including women and children, in bombing by the international coalition east of Mosul," 12/21/15
- "32 Of The Peshmerga Killed And Wounded In An Attack Of Daash Southeast of Mosul," 12/19/15
- "Daash blow up ten houses belonging to Christians, and executed an officer in the Peshmerga in Mosul," 12/15/15
- "Peshmerga forces repulsed a terrorist attack on one of the villages of Tal Afar," 12/16/15

Al Rayy, "A Daash car bomb destroyed by rocket attack in Baiji," 12/20/15
- "Daash executed a preacher in front of a mosque in central Mosul," 12/20/15

Rudaw, "Peshmerga foil 9 car bombs on northern Mosul front," 12/16/15

Sarhan, Amre, "8 soldiers killed, wounded In two separate attacks in Baghdad," Iraqi News, 12/17/15
- "Anbar Operations announces liberating 50% of Albu Ziyab north of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 12/21/15
- "Iraqi army begins operation to liberate Albu Ziyab north of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 12/20/15

Shafaq News, "Breaking News..Peshmerga repel suicide attack of ISIS and kill 20," 12/16/15
- "ISIS Suicide attacks by four car bombs western Samarra foiled," 12/17/15
- "Killing and wounding 12 members of the Peshmerga in clashes with Daash northwest of Kirkuk," 12/18/15
- "Killing at least 40 Daash outcome of battles Friday," 12/19/15

Sotaliraq, "Daash executed 12 civilians throwing them from a high building in central Mosul," 12/19/15
- "Killing and injuring 21 Daash members in repelling attack west of Mosul," 12/18/15
- "Killing and wounding seven people in the fall of mortar shells south Baghdad," 12/19/15
- "Killing one soldier and wounding six others including an officer in the fall of mortar shells west Baghdad," 12/18/15
- "Renewed shelling of camp where Turkish troops are stations in Iraq wounding three," 12/18/15
- "Three car bombs destroyed in a second attack by Daash north of Ramadi," 12/16/15
- "Three soldiers killed and wounded by a sniper, south Baghdad," 12/21/15

Xinhua, "30 IS militants killed in clashes, 5 suicide car bomb attacks in Iraq," 12/17/15

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

the reason your numbers and stories are completely wrong is you uncritically report Iraqi media stories as facts without having the education or experience to understand that these media outlets are not independent and experienced media outlets with a commitment to factual reporting like you might find in the west, but vehicles for political propaganda that feel no compunction to adhere to facts and frequently report completely false events and lies

and then a supposedly independent analyst like you takes their lies and uses it to defame a group, IS, that you don't like, entirely skewing your and your readers viewpoints

Joel Wing said...

Yes because the last thing I would want to do is defame the Islamic State!