Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Security In Iraq, Jan 8-14, 2015


2015 ended with a decline in violence in Iraq, but that trend has not continued into the new year. The first two weeks of 2016 have been characterized by intense fighting across Iraq. The government’s forces were still clearing out Islamic State pockets from the Ramadi area with clashes in other parts of Anbar. IS hit Baghdad and Diyala with several car bombs. One set off a rampage by the Hashd al-Shaabi in Muqtadiya against local Sunnis. There was also a large number of insurgent attacks in Salahaddin, while IS’s winter offensive appeared to be puttering out in Ninewa.

There were 140 attacks in Iraq during the second week of January. That was slightly down from the previous week’s 150. Baghdad led the country with 53 incidents with 28 more in Salahaddin, 22 in Diyala, 14 in Anbar and Ninewa each, 5 in Babil, 2 in Kirkuk, and one each in Basra and Irbil. There are always more attacks then get reported in the press.

408 people were killed from January 8-14 with 417 injured. 3 Sahwa, 11 Peshmerga, 17 Hashd al-Shaabi, 120 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 257 civilians were killed, and 7 Sahwa, 26 Hashd, 53 ISF, and 331 civilians were wounded. Ninewa had the most fatalities with 214 due to a large number of IS executions. There were another 80 dead in Baghdad, 56 in Diyala, 38 in Salahaddin, 10 in Anbar, 9 in Babil, and 1 in Kirkuk. Casualties are heavily underreported due to government censorship.

Anbar dominated the headlines in Iraq with the operation in Ramadi. On January 9, 100% of central Ramadi was declared cleared. Several new areas of the city were reached including Malab, Marif College, the Security and Electricity Departments, and 40th Street in the eastern section. New towns in the suburbs were attacked as well including Albu Alwan, Sufiya, Sajariya, Albu Aetha, Albu Ghanam, Sura, and Albu Soda. Many of those the security forces had already gone through before. Albu Alwan for example was declared cleared at the end of December and then again at the start of January, and then a third time on January 10. Government propaganda was also clouding the situation. Sufiya for example was said to be cleared on January 3, January 7, and January 10, only to have the security forces call on all the residents to leave the area on January 11 for another impending operation there. It didn’t appear that the Iraqi forces entered major parts of Sufiya until January 13. Similar circumstances surrounded Albu Aetha and Albu Ghanam that were called freed in August. The Anbar operations command would later state that they hadn’t even reached Albu Athea until October and the day after Albu Ghanam was called liberated it was announced that IS was still in half the town. Despite the obfuscations major parts of Ramadi and its surroundings are being freed.

IS main response to the fall of downtown Ramadi was to continue to carry out counter attacks throughout Anbar, especially with suicide and car bombs. This included incidents in Barwana in the Haditha district in the west, around Ramadi, and Thar Thar in the northwest. The press reported 15 suicide bombers were killed and 14 car bombs destroyed during this period.

The government was also active in Fallujah and Garma. In the former, the renewed offensive there has appeared to stall once again. The joint forces report insurgents being killed almost everyday south of the city, but no real advances have been reported. The same can be said about Garma.

IS had not been able to set off a successful car bomb in the capital province since the end of November, but three went off at the start of January. On January 11 one went off in a market in Naharawan, a town in the eastern section of the governorate killing 5 and wounding 12. More importantly, that same day IS launched an assault upon the Jawhara Mall in New Baghdad in the east. Two car bombs and three suicide bombers were used, and several hostages were taken with three of them killed before the siege was ended. 18 people were left dead and another 50 injured in the aftermath. It was these types of attacks that marked IS’s return in 2012-2013. It had not conducted any after it switched to being a more conventional force and concentrated on taking territory in 2014. Now IS is using these types of incidents to make up for the fact that it is mostly on the defensive throughout Iraq.

Security Incidents In Baghdad, Jan 8-14, 2016
Center: 5 – 1 Motorcycle Bomb dismantled, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 3 IEDs
East: 13 – 1 Kidnapping, 3 Sticky Bombs, 3 Car Bombs, 3 Suicide Bombers, 4 IEDs, 4 Shootings
North: 3 – 1 IED, 2 Shootings
Outer North: 4 – 1 Kidnapping, 3 IEDs
South: 14 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 5 Shootings, 6 IEDs
Outer South: 5 – 1 Mortar, 1 Shooting, 3 IEDs
West: 7 – 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 2 Shootings, 3 IEDs
Outer West: 2 – 1 Mortar, 1 Shooting

IS carried out a similar operation in Diyala, which led to an explosion of sectarian violence. January 11 an IED and a car bomb went off at a café in Muqtadiya that killed  46 and wounded 55 more, many of which were Hashd fighters. They in turn attacked the Sunni areas of the city destroying homes, shops, and seven mosques. The Hashd in what many perceived to have been a warning to the media to not cover the story also killed two reporters. That succeeded as there was an almost total blackout on the story in the Iraqi media at first. After the Hashd reprisals ended Prime Minister Haider Abadi went to Diyala to meet with the Tigris Operations Command and demanded that the perpetrators of the attacks be persecuted. Later Grand Ayatollah Sistani condemned the violence as well. Nothing is likely to happen as Badr’s Hadi Ameri runs the province, and his power was the likely reason that so few said anything about the incident.

IS was very active in the rest of Diyala as well. For months there had only been an average of 1 attack or less per day in the province. From January 8-14 there were 22 incidents. That included another car bombing in Khalis on January 12, and one that was discovered and dismantled in Mandali the next day. IS also carried out a huge number of harassing attacks mostly using IEDs. The organization has mostly been using the province as a base for operations in other parts of the country, but perhaps because of the loss of Ramadi, it decided to carry out retaliatory attacks in Diyala.

Kirkuk has very few attacks, but witnessed a slew of dead bodies showing up throughout the province at the start of the year. From January 1-7 eight bodies were found in various locations. Most were shot, but one man was beheaded. Whether these were the result of local disputes, actions of IS or other groups is unknown.

In Ninewa there was a large number of executions. The press reported that IS killed 203 people during the week including 96 members of the ISF in the Mosul and Qayara areas.

The group continued attacks upon the peshmerga in Ninewa as well, but they appeared to be on the decline. There were assaults on Bashiqa, Kazar and Makhmour, and rocket fire on a town in Sinjar, but they lacked the intensity of previous weeks when IS was probing the Kurdish defenses up and down the front in the province. Nothing was achieved, so therefore the militants might be returning to simply harassing operations now.

IS was active up and down Salahaddin with major assaults in the north at the end of the month. There were the usual number of IEDs and shootings in the southern towns of Taji and Tarmiya. In the Ajeel oil field, Baiji area, to the north of there in the Makhoul Mountains, and Tal Kasiba IS launched 7 car bombs and 12 suicide bombers along with some intense infantry attacks. It also made an attempt upon the provincial security commander with a suicide car bomb. Again, these were likely carried out to make up for the losses in Ramadi.

During the week there were a total of 36 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). 8 were successful with the other 28 being destroyed or dismantled. 79 people were killed and 134 wounded as a result. While the vast majority of these were used in military operations in Anbar and Salahaddin, four were used in the terrorist attacks in Baghdad and Diyala.

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
182
366
474
Jun 29-30
66
126 + 22
189 + 106
JUN
702
2,100 + 405
2,006
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
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

Security By Province Jan 8-14, 2016
Province
Jan 8-14
Anbar
14 Incidents
10 Killed: 3 Sahwa, 7 ISF
46 Wounded: 7 Sahwa, 18 ISF, 21 Civilians
7 Shootings
2 Mortars
1 Rockets
15 Suicide Bombers Killed
5 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
9 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
5 Incidents
9 Killed: 1 ISF, 8 Civilians
20 Wounded: 2 ISF, 18 Civilians
2 Shootings
3 IEDs
Baghdad
53 Incidents
80 Killed: 5 ISF, 75 Civilians
216 Wounded: 6 ISF, 210 Civilians
17 Shootings
23 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
3 Suicide Bombers
3 Car Bombs
2 Mortars
1 Motorcycle Bomb Dismantled
Babil
1 Incident
2 Wounded: 2 ISF
1 Grenade
Diyala
22 Incidents
56 Killed: 2 Hashd, 3 ISF, 51 Civilians
86 Wounded: 5 Hashd, 13 ISF, 68 Civilians
3 Shootings
17 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Car Bomb
2 Mortars
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Irbil
1 Incident
1 Rockets
Kirkuk
2 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
Ninewa
14 Incidents
214 Killed: 11 Peshmerga, 96 ISF, 107 Civilians
8 Shootings
1 IED
1 Rocket
Salahaddin
28 Incidents
28 Killed: 8 ISF, 15 Hashd, 15 Civilians
47 Wounded: 12 ISF, 14 Civilians, 21 Hashd
14 Shootings
5 IEDs
3 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Rockets
12 Suicide Bombers Killed
11 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
2 Car Bombs

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

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "Anti-Terrorism forces enter Sofiya area east of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 1/13/16
- "Media officials announce liberation of Anbar security department," Iraqi News, 1/11/16
- "PMF foils ISIS attack in northern Salahuddin," Iraqi News, 1/14/16
- "Security forces liberate majority of Sofiya, advance to Sijariya and Albu Ghanem," Iraqi News, 1/14/16

Agence France Presse, "Bombings at Iraq café kill 20: Officials," 1/11/16
- "IS attack in Baghdad kills at least 12: officials," 1/11/16

AIN, "17 Daash killed including bombers in thwart attack on Ajeel fields," 1/14/16
- "Diyala: dismantled an explosive device inside a car in Mandali," 1/13/16
- "Freed all the areas around Sufiya east Ramadi," 1/10/16
- "ISF, PMU liberate Albu-Ghanm area, progress to center of Ramadi," 8/2/15

Alsumaria, "Commander Salahaddin operations survived a suicide bombing in east of province," 1/14/16

Buratha News, "Anti-terrorism forces regained control of all of Barwana area," 1/4/16
- "Security forces enter four regions of eastern Ramadi as part of liberation operation," 12/31/15
- "Security forces repel a massagive Daash offensive west of Tikrit killign 25 fighters," 1/12/16

Cunningham, Erin and Salim, Mustafa, "Militants mount deadly mall attack in Baghdad," Washington Post, 1/11/16

Al Forat, "7 Daash killed including car bombs and vehicles in Makhoul," 1/14/16
- "Cleared Albu Soda area east of Ramadi and raised the Iraqi flag," 1/14/16
- "Military advance towards East Husaiba to clear Daash," 1/13/16
- "Start of a military operation to purge western Barwana region," 1/9/16

Hussein, Mohammed, Mohammed, Araz, Ali, Amir, "After battlefield defeats, IS hits softer targets," Iraq Oil Report, 1/12/16

Independent Press Agency, "Anti-terrorism unit announces full control of the center of Ramadi," 1/9/16

Al Mada, "40th Street cleared in east Ramadi killing dozens of Daash," 1/14/16
- "Anbar operations: Purged regions and killed dozens of Daash south of Fallujah," 1/11/16
- "Cleared two near areas north of Ramadi, killing dozens of Daash militants," 12/27/15
- "Clearing all the areas in central Ramadi, killing dozens of Daash," 1/3/16
- "Death and injury of 11 members of the joint forces in Alam and police imposed a curfew," 1/14/15
- "Killing 6 Daash members north of Mosul," 1/14/16
- "Killing and wounding 10 members of the security forces in the New Baghdad attacks," 1/11/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "5 civilians killed in double bombing east of Baghdad," 1/11/16
- "16 ISIS elements killed, 700 families besieged east of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 1/13/16

Al Masalah, "Freed Anbar Electricity Department," 1/11/16
- "Freed Marif College east Ramadi," 1/9/16

NINA, "/6/ Vehicles for the enemy destroyed and two tankers addressed," 1/14/16
- "/11/ elements of the Peshmerga forces killed in rocket bombing by Daash organization northwest of Mosul," 1/14/16
- "Albu Atha Area Freed From Daash, Dozens Terrorists Killed," 8/21/15
- "Anti-terrorism device enters al-Sufiya area in Ramadi," 1/7/16
- "The Liberate of the occupied areas in Barwana from the control of Daash terrorists," 1/8/16
- "Peshmerga foiled an attack by Daash southeast of Mosul," 1/14/16
- "Ramadi General Hospital, 50% of Albu Ghannam Region Freed," 8/3/15
- "Security Forces Call On People Of Sufiah And Sajaria Regions To Leave Their Areas," 1/11/16

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, "At Least 18 Killed, As Gunmen Attack Baghdad Mall," 1/11/16

Rudaw, "Iraqi army reports more gains against ISIS," 1/4/16

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Iraqi PM vows to rout IS after mall bombing, mosque attacks," Associated Press, 1/12/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Security forces fully liberate al-Mallab in southern Ramadi," Iraqi News, 1/8/16

Shafaq News, "Spokesman of operations: Security forces reach two areas near Ramadi," 10/6/15

Sotaliraq, "Anbar operations command declres the liberation of all of Albu Aetha northeast of Ramadi," 1/13/16
- "Diyala Health: final outcome of the bombings in Muqdadiyah reached 85 people dead and wounded," 1/12/16
- "Gaood announced repelling a Daash attack upon Barwana," 1/8/16
- "Killing 16 Daash members east of Ramadi and help 700 families flee organization," 1/13/16
- "Peshmerga announce the killing of a number of Daash in repelling an attack on their positions," 1/9/16
- "Security forces liberated Sura area east of Ramadi," 1/14/16

Xinhua, "Security forces regain new ground from IS in Iraq's Ramadi," 1/13/16
- "Suicide bomb attack kills 3 in Iraq's Diyala," 1/12/16


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