Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Security In Iraq, Jan 15-21, 2016


At the end of 2015 the Islamic State launched an offensive against the Kurds in Ninewa and Kirkuk. That was followed by some headline grabbing terrorist attacks in Baghdad and Diyala in January 2016. That all ended in the third week of the month as violence returned to its normal levels.

There were 135 security incidents reported in the press from January 15-21, 2016. Baghdad witnessed the most violence with 65 attacks, followed by 25 in Salahaddin, 17 in Anbar, 9 in Ninewa, 6 in Kirkuk, 5 in Babil and Diyala each, and one in Basra, Dhi Qar, and Sulaymaniya respectively.

Those attacks led to 275 deaths and 227 injuries. 4 Hashd al-Shaabi, 5 Peshmerga, 13 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 253 civilians were killed, and 4 Peshmerga, 30 ISF, and 193 civilians were wounded. By province, Anbar was the deadliest with 124 fatalities. After that there were 65 in Ninewa, 59 in Baghdad, 10 in Salahaddin, 8 in Kirkuk, 5 in Babil, and 4 in Diyala.

The heaviest fighting continued to occur in Anbar where the security forces were trying to clear the Islamic State out of the eastern suburbs of Ramadi. The government reported more progress in that effort declaring Albu Khalifa, Albu Mahal, Sufiya, and Albu Ghanam freed. Husaiba was also attacked during the week. In Sufiya’s case, this was the third time in January that it was called freed of IS, yet operations were still underway there afterward. This was also the eighth time the Iraqi forces had gone into Husaiba since July. Ramadi appears to be emptied of IS elements, and now the main focus is upon the suburbs to prevent the militants from re-infiltrating into the area.

Anbar had the most reported casualties out of Iraq’s 18 provinces during the week with 124 dead and 12 wounded. That was because the government reported that 120 civilians had been killed in the operation to free the city.

During the week there were constant reports of progress in southern Fallujah, but with no evidence. Instead the government talked about its operations in Thar Thar, which is to the north. That probably meant the Fallujah campaign had stalled once again. It was begun simultaneously with the Ramadi one in July by the Hashd, and then stopped in October. It was restarted in December, but once again doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. As for Thar Thar, the joint forces have carried out sweeps there on and off again for months. IS has been able to move its men in and out of the area into neighboring Salahaddin in response to government pressure leaving it a contested territory.

The Islamic State remained focused upon southern Baghdad. There were 23 incidents in that section of the governorate during the week. Three of those incidents were dead bodies being found, which could have been the work of insurgents, vigilantes or Hashd elements. The Dora district was also where American contractors were kidnapped. The rest of the attacks appeared to be the work of IS such as 12 improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In the east there were 15 incidents, but half of those could have been the work of criminals, vigilantes or Hashd such as two robberies and various dead bodies being dumped. Crime in fact has been on the increase in both Baghdad and southern Iraq during the instability generated by the war. Every few days a major robbery is reported in the capital for example. In the rest of the governorate there were 12 incidents in the north, 11 in the west and 3 in the center. IS is active in all the outer regions of Baghdad and the surrounding provinces. Its networks extend all the way into the middle of the city as well. As the group has shifted to the defensive it is concentrating upon the capital in an attempt to stoke sectarian tension by striking Shiite areas, as well as to undermine the public’s confidence in the government with constant bombings and shootings. IS really picked up its operations in the capital during the week, and there were 65 incidents total, which was the highest amount since the third week of July 2015.

Security Incidents Baghdad Jan 15-21, 2016
Center: 3 – 1 Kidnapping, 2 IEDs
East: 14 – 1 Grenade, 1 Sticky Bombs, 2 Robberies, 3 IEDs, 7 Shootings
Outer East: 1 – 1 Sticky Bomb
North: 9 – 1 Robbery, 1 Robbery/Shooting, 1 Grenade, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 Shootings, 3 IEDs
Outer North: 3 – 1 Beheading, 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 IED
South: 12 – 1 Kidnapping Americans, 1 Strangling, 1 Stabbing, 1 Sticky Bomb, 4 Shootings, 4 IEDs
Outer South: 11 – 1 Stabbing, 2 Shootings, 8 IEDs
West: 10 – 1 Robbery, 1 Robbery/Shooting, 2 Shootings, 2 Sticky Bombs, 4 IEDs
Outer West: 1 – 1 IED

After a huge surge in violence in Diyala during the second week of January topped off by a double IS bombing in Muqtadiya that led to Hashd retaliatory attacks upon Sunnis, things de-escalated the following week. There were only five incidents reported from January 15-21. Three of those however were clashes with IS, which have not happened for quite some time in the province. Usually attacks in Diyala are isolated shootings and IEDs with some mortar fire sprinkled in. IS is definitely up to something in Diyala, but what it’s goals and purposes are not known yet.

Dead bodies continued to appear throughout Kirkuk province. 8 bodies were found in four different locations during the week. The week before one body was discovered in the governorate, 8 the first week of January, and then 2 at the end of December. Who is responsible for these incidents is unknown, but it is definitely a change from what was seen in Kirkuk the previous months.

At the end of December the Islamic State launched a winter offensive against the Kurds in Ninewa, and to a lesser extent in Kirkuk. Every day IS hit a different part of the line looking for a week point. That ended during the third week of January. There was only one incident in Kazar with a mortar attack that killed five Peshmerga and wounded four others. An air strike was blamed for killing 11 civilians and injuring 6 in Mosul on January 18. The Islamic State was also accused of executing 49 people in Mosul and Bashiqa.

Heavy clashes continued in Salahaddin. Samarra Island in the center and Tal Kasaiba, the Ajeel and Alas oil fields, and the Makhoul Mountains in the northeast saw large scale skirmishes throughout the week that included three bulldozer bombs, five suicide bombers and eight car bombs destroyed or killed. There was also fighting in Alam just south of Tikrit. IS launched these as counter attacks after the loss of Ramadi. IS has used Salahaddin for months now as a diversionary front to draw attention and manpower away from its main focus in Anbar, and that continues to the present.

The third week of January was another sign that IS’s car bomb campaign was over. There were only 14 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) launched during the week, the lowest amount for months. More importantly not a single one was successful with all of them destroyed in attacks upon the joint forces.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015-16
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
168
572
689
Feb 8-14
183
462
572
Feb 15-21
177
697
383
Feb 22-28
202
614
722
FEB
730
2,345
2,366
Mar 1-7
196
408
595
Mar 8-14
164
419
655
Mar 15-21
178
1,312
505
Mar 22-28
201
310
406
Mar 29-31
81
212 + 4
218 + 150
MAR
820
2,665
2,529
Apr 1-7
153
276
422
Apr 8-14
165
864
525
Apr 15-21
190
880
714
Apr 22-28
187
564
479
Apr 29-30
56
169
182 + 299
APR
751
2,753
2,621
May 1-7
176
651
448
May 8-14
167
450
542
May 15-21
149
996
390
May 22-28
131
362 + 1,499
344
May 29-31
49
87
164 + 646
MAY
672
2,546 + 1,499
1,888 + 646
Jun 1-7
155
534
475
Jun 8-14
146
649 + 405
389
Jun 15-21
153
403
373
Jun 22-28
186
407
474
Jun 29-30
66
126 + 22
189 + 106
JUN
706
2,141 + 405
2,006
Jul 1-7
161
436
718
Jul 8-14
141
385
570
Jul 15-21
109
359
597 + 4,024
Jul 22-28
148
559
590
Jul 29-31
53
193 + 260
203 + 400
JUL
612
2,192
3,078 + 4,024
Aug 1-7
154
650 + 760
298
Aug 8-14
133
756
640
Aug 15-21
136
348
354
Aug 22-28
138
366
296
Aug 29-31
59
112
169
AUG
620
2,239 + 760
1,757
Sep 1-7
141
293
355
Sep 8-14
146
387
394
Sep 15-21
123
323
488
Sep 22-28
128
190
258
Sep 29-30
40
110 + 19
147 + 8
SEP
578
1,303 + 314
1,650 + 3,003
Oct 1-7
120
340
398
Oct 8-14
144
254
389
Oct 15-21
142
208
285
Oct 22-28
129
216
366
Oct 29-31
49
110
116
OCT
585
1,127
1,554
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
Dec 22-28
127
292
346
Dec 29-31
40
203 + 14
83
DEC
553
1,155
1,252 + 5,920
Jan 1-7
150
808
421
Jan 8-14
140
408
417
Jan 15-21
135
275
227

Security By Province Jan 8-14, 2016
Province
Jan 8-14
Anbar
17 Incidents
124 Killed: 4 ISF, 120 Civilians
12 Wounded: 12 ISF
12 Shootings
1 IED
13 Suicide Bombers Killed
3 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
5 Incidents
5 Killed: 2 Civilians, 3 ISF
22 Wounded: 4 ISF, 18 Civilians
4 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
Baghdad
65 Incidents
59 Killed: 1 Hashd, 3 ISF, 55 Civilians
160 Wounded: 5 ISF, 155 Civilians
19 Shootings
26 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
2 Grenades
Basra
1 Incident
1 IED
Dhi Qar
1 Incident
1 Grenade
Diyala
5 Incidents
4 Killed: 1 Civilian, 3 Hashd
4 Shootings
Kirkuk
6 Incidents
8 Killed: 8 Civilians
4 Shootings
1 Grenade
Ninewa
9 Incidents
65 Killed: 5 Peshmerga, 60 Civilians
10 Wounded: 4 Peshmerga, 6 Civilians
3 Shootings
1 Mortar
Salahaddin
25 Incidents
10 Killed: 3 ISF, 7 Civilians
22 Wounded: 9 ISF, 13 Civilians
13 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Rockets
5 Suicide Bombers Killed
11 Car Bombs Destroyed
Sulaymaniya
1 Incident
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting

Car Bombs In Iraq, January 2016
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1
North of Ramadi x4, Anbar
35 Kilo, Haditha & North of Ramadi, Anbar – 11 destroyed
60
70
Jan 2
Albu Faraj, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jan 3
Camp Speicher x2, Slaahaddin
Barwana, Garma, Haditha Nazim & Ramadi, Anbar – 46 destroyed
20
17
Jan 4
Outside Haditha, Anbar
Wadi Horan, Anbar - 3 destroyed
Baya, Baghdad – 1 destroyed
11
30
Jan 5
Nikhaib x2 & Ramadi, Anbar
Barwana, Niamiya & Ramadi, Anbar – 13 destroyed
8

Jan 6
Ramadi, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Jan 7



Totals
10 – 77 destroyed
99
117
Jan 8
Barwana, Anbar – 5 destroyed


Jan 9



Jan 10



Jan 11
Nahrawan & New Baghdad x2, Baghdad
Muqtadiya, Diyala
69
118
Jan 12
Khalis, Diyala
Jazeera, Salahaddin – 8 destroyed
3
10
Jan 13
East of Ramadi & Jubba, Anbar – 9 destroyed
Mandali, Diyala – 1 destroyed


Jan 14
East & Tal Kasiba x2, Salahaddin
Ajeel, Makhoul Mountains, Tal Kasiba, Salahaddin – 5 destroyed
7
6
Totals
8 – 28 Destroyed
79
134
Jan 15
Tal Kasiba, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed


Jan 16
Thar Thar, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Jan 17



Jan 18
Leine & Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 3 destroyed


Jan 19



Jan 20
Leine & Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed


Jan 21



Totals
0 – 14 Destroyed



SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "Fatlawi: Albu Khalifa and Albu Mahal areas fully liberated," Iraqi Nes, 1/16/16

AIN, "Daash car bombs destroyed by air strikes in Samarra Island," 1/18/16

Buratha News, "Destroyed a Daash terrorist car bomb in Samarra Island," 1/20/16
- "Killing of 36 terrorists including sucide bombers and destroyed four car bombs south of Fallujah," 1/16/16
- "Popular crowd cleared areas south-east of Lake Thar Thar north of Ramadi," 1/16/16

Al Mada, "The fall of 120 civilians in Ramadi curing clearing operations against Daash," 1/19/16

Al Masalah, "Killing of eight Daash in west of Samarra," 1/20/16

NINA, "/17/ civilians killed and wounded in bombing by the international coalition east of Mosul," 1/18/16
- "Daash Shell Khazar Region And Execute 4 Police Officers In Central Mosul," 1/17/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Security forces liberate al-Sufiyah area, says Anbar Council," Iraqi News, 1/15/16

Sotaliraq, "The dismantling of four car bombs east of Tikrit," 1/15/16
- "Security forces are making progress in liberating Husaybah area east of Ramadi," 1/16/16
- "Security forces liberate Albu Ghanim and rescue 37 families east of Ramadi," 1/15/16

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