Thursday, February 18, 2016

Security In Iraq, Feb 8-14, 2016


After very high levels of violence following the liberation of Ramadi, there was a dramatic decline in the second week of February. For example, there were the lowest reported deaths since 2013. It appeared that the Islamic State’s counter attacks after its recent loss subsided for at least a week.

There were only 119 reported security incidents from February 8-14, 2016. That averaged out to 17.0 per day. That compared to 19.5 from January 1-February 7, which was the highest rate in five months. The large number of attacks was due to IS picking up its operation following the Iraqi forces retaking Ramadi at the end of last year. It looked like those either took a temporary lull or were over by the second week of February.

During the week Baghdad as usual led the nation in incidents with 51. After that there were 20 in Salahaddin, 13 in Ninewa, 12 in Anbar, 9 in Kirkuk, and 7 each in Babil and Diyala.

146 people died and 323 were wounded from February 8-14. 1 Hashd al-Shaabi, 1 Sahwa, 40 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 104 civilians lost their lives, and 5 Hashd, 7 Sahwa, 44 ISF, and 267 civilians were injured. Baghdad saw the most deaths with 55. There were also 39 in Ninewa, 18 in Salahaddin, 15 in Anbar, 9 in Kirkuk, 8 in Babil, and 2 in Diyala. Those were the fewest reported fatalities in three years.

The Iraqi Security Forces continued their push to clear the areas outside of Ramadi, especially in the east. On February 9, all of Ramadi was declared freed of IS pockets along with Juwayba, Husaiba, and Albu Hythe. Eastern Husaiba was also moved on. Husaiba and Eastern Husaiba have been fought over for months and declared liberated several times before. Iraqi forces also went through two towns in the Saqlawiya area to the west of Fallujah, and were still trying to clear Garma in eastern Anbar. IS responded with eleven reported car bombs in Awasel, Garma, Kubaisa, and Wafaa, seven suicide bombers in Husaiba and Thar Thar, and two days of mortar fire on Amiriya Fallujah. The cost of this fighting on the area has been tremendous. A recent U.N. study using photo comparisons found that around 5,700 buildings in Ramadi and the surrounding area had been damaged in the fighting since 2014, 2,000 of those were completely destroyed. The center of the city was affected the most with every block showing some sort of effect from the battle.

At the end of January the Islamic State accelerated its attacks upon Baghdad, which led to over 60 incidents a week for a short period. From February 8-14 they went back to what they had been before with just over 50. As usual, the southern section of the province was hit the most with 18 incidents including 13 IEDs, 2 shootings, mortar fire, and a grenade thrown at a house. What has been odd is that IS has not launched its usual wave of car bombs against the capital. In the new year there has only been one such successful operation. There were also the usual mix of kidnappings, 2, and robberies, 3, and dead bodies left in the streets, 9, during the week.

Violence In Baghdad, Feb 8-14, 2016
Center: 6 – 1 Grenade, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 Shootings, 2 IEDs
East: 13 – 1 Power lines cut, 1 Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 4 IEDs, 6 Shootings
Outer East: 3 – 1 Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 IED
North: 4 – 1 Stabbing, 1 IED, 2 Shootings
Outer North: 3 – 1 Shooting, 2 IEDs
South: 12 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Mortar, 2 Shootings, 8 IEDs
Outer South: 6 – 1 Grenade, 5 IEDs
West: 4 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 IED, 2 Robberies

Kirkuk province saw the only successful vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) of the week. That went off in the town of Huzairan killing 2 police and wounding six. Otherwise there was the usual low level of violence in the governorate.

IS executed 39 people in Ninewa during the week. That included 14 policemen, one former candidate and a journalist.

There was another big flare up between the Hashd and Peshmerga in Salahaddin, this time in the Amerli area. That started when three of President Fuad Masum’s bodyguards were kidnapped, which the Kurds blamed on Shiite groups. They were later released. There were two other kidnappings, and five shootings there as well. The United Nations and other groups have recorded Hashd elements kidnapping people in the Tuz Kharmato-Amerli-Suleiman Beq area of Salahaddin, usually for ransom. There have also been confrontations and gunfights between the Hashd and Peshmerga in that section of the province in the past as well. This recent incident will just increase the tensions between the two. As Nathanial Rabkin from Inside Iraqi Politics recently noted in an interview with Musings On Iraq, this is part and parcel of the Hashd’s plans for the disputed territories. These constant confrontations are meant to show that the Hashd can turn violence off and on across the country as a way to assert its power.

As another sign of the decreasing violence in Iraq there were only 12 car bombs during the 2nd week of February. Eleven were destroyed in Anbar, with the one successful VBIED in Kirkuk. In comparison, the week before five car bombs hit their targets while the Iraqi forces reported 70 being destroyed. Again, the major cause of the change appears to be IS calling off its counter attacks following their defeat in Ramadi.


Violence In Iraq By Week 2015-16
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
JAN
911
2,656
3,032 + 150
FEB
730
2,345
2,366
MAR
820
2,704
2,529
APR
751
2,753
2,621
MAY
672
2,565 + 1,499
1,952 + 646
JUN
706
2,150
2,166 + 405
JUL
688
2,716
3,198 + 4,024
AUG
684
2,440 + 760
1,777
SEP
578
1,374 + 314
1,673 + 3,003
OCT
585
1,144
1,555
NOV
530
1,174
1,455 + 124 + 1,322
DEC
553
1,155
1,252 + 5,920
Jan 1-7
150
808
421
Jan 8-14
140
436
417
Jan 15-21
135
275
227
Jan 22-28
132
392
322
Jan 29-31
41
81
334
JAN
598
1,992
1,721
Feb 1-7
145
562
313
Feb 8-14
119
146
323

Security By Province Feb 2-14, 2016
Province
Jan
Anbar
12 Incidents
15 Killed: 1 Civilian, 14 ISF
64 Wounded: 22 ISF, 42 Civilians
7 Shootings
2 Mortars
7 Suicide Bombers Killed
3 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
8 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
7 Incidents
8 Killed: 8 Civilians
17 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 14 Civilians
4 Shootings
3 IEDs
Baghdad
51 Incidents
55 Killed: 1 Hashd, 1 Sahwa, 1 ISF, 52 Civilians
14 Shootings
24 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
2 Grenades
1 Mortar
Diyala
7 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
2 Wounded: 2 Sahwa
3 Shootings
1 IED
1 Mortar
Kirkuk
9 Incidents
9 Killed: 2 ISF, 7 Civilians
32 Wounded: 4 ISF, 28 Civilians
4 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
1 Rockets
Ninewa
13 Incidents
39 Killed: 14 ISF, 25 Civilians
5 Shootings
20 IEDs
1 Mortar
Salahaddin
20 Incidents
18 Killed: 9 ISF, 9 Civilians
38 Wounded: 16 ISF, 22 Civilians
13 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber Killed

Car Bombs In Iraq, February 2016
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Feb 1
Tal Kasaiba, Salahaddin
Jeraishi & Niamiya, Anbar – 9 destroyed
Alas and Ajeel, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed

2
Feb 2
Albu Diab, Anbar
Albu Diab, Jeraishi, Garma, Sjar, Thar Thar, Anbar – 10 destroyed
18

Feb 3
Albu Soda, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Kudila, Ninewa – 4 destroyed
West of Samarra, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Feb 4
Outside Fallujah, Anbar – 12 destroyed
Kudila, Ninewa – 3 destroyed


Feb 5
Baghdadi, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Alas, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Feb 6
Ain al-Assad, Fallujah, Ramadi, Anbar
Husaiba, Jubba, Thar Thar, Anbar- 8 destroyed
Kudila, Ninewa – 3 destroyed
Hamrin, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed
46
16
Feb 7
Albu Shajal, Jeraishi, west of Ramadi, Anbar – 7 destroyed
Mukashifa, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Totals
5 -  70 destroyed
64
18
Feb 8
Garma, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Feb 9



Feb 10
Huzairan, Kirkuk
Awasel, Anbar – 3 destroyed
2
6
Feb 11
Kubaisa & Wafaa, Anbar – 5 destroyed


Feb 12
Garma, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Feb 13



Feb 14



Totals
1 – 11 Destroyed
2
6


SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "22 ISIS members killed, 2 booby-trapped vehicles destructed west of Ramadi," 2/11/16
- "Security forces fully liberate Juwiba, raise Iraqi flag over its buildings," Iraqi News, 2/8/16
- "Security forces repulse ISIS attack on Awasel area west of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 2/10/16

Al Bawaba, “Iraq: UN report says 5,700 buildings damaged in Ramadi,” 2/15/16

Buratha News, "Security forces liberated areas of Albu Ali Fayad and Armelh northwest of Fallujah," 2/11/16

Al Forat, "The killing of a leader in Daash and destroy a car bomb and other vehicles in Garma near Fallujah," 2/12/16
- "Kornet missiles destroyed two car bombs in Fallujah," 2/8/16
- "Security forces cleared Alby Hythe area in Ramadi," 2/11/16

Al Masalah, "Daash bombards Amiriyah Fallujah with rockets," 2/9/16
- "Security forces enter Husaybah area in Ramadi," 2/8/16

NINA, "Breaking News..Six Policemen killed and wounded in a car bombing south of Kirkuk," 2/10/16

Al Mada, "Injuring eight people in car bombing south Kirkuk," 2/10/16

Reuters, "Iraqi forces make gains against Islamic State east of Ramadi," 2/9/16

Sattar, Sardar, "Three Iraqi Presidential Guards Kidnapped by Shi'ite Militias near Tuz Khurmatu," Bas News, 2/12/16

Xinhua, "23 IS militants killed, as security forces repel two attacks in Iraq," 2/11/16

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