Thursday, March 24, 2016

Security In Iraq, Mar 15-21, 2016


Security in Iraq remained relatively stable during the third week of March. Attacks were down from the previous two weeks, but casualties were relatively the same. Major fighting continued in Anbar, while protests in Baghdad led to a dip in attacks there. The Islamic State continued to probe the Kurdish lines in Kirkuk and Ninewa, while things were stalemated in Salahaddin.

Attacks have gone down each week of March. After a high of 183 incidents the first week, they decreased to 168 the second week, and then 130 the third. As usual Baghdad led the nation with 58, then there were 20 in Anbar, 14 in Kirkuk, 12 in Ninewa, 10 in Salahaddin, 8 in Diyala, 7 in Babil, and one in Kurdistan.

Those attacks led to 349 killed and 409 wounded. The dead broke down to 1 U.S. Soldier, 2 Turkish soldiers, 2 Hashd al-Shaabi, 3 Peshmerga, 5 Najafi Hashd, 34 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 45 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters, 84 Sahwa, and 173 civilians. The wounded were made up of 4 Najafi Hashd, 6 Hashd, 8 U.S. soldiers, 20 Peshmerga, 27 ISF, 57 Sahwa, and 287 civilians.

By province there were 118 dead in Anbar, 84 in Ninewa, 66 in Baghdad, 45 in Kurdistan, 17 in Salahaddin, 8 in Kirkuk, 6 in Babil, and 5 in Diyala.

Anbar remained the focus of the Iraqi forces. A new operation was launched this month in the Hit district. That caused approximately 10,000 people to flee the area. Mohammadi was attacked on March 16, and then cleared the next day. Hit itself was then surrounded, several neighborhoods were said to be cleared, and then Kubaisa, which is to the West was declared freed as well. Then the military told the press that no advances had been made into Hit, and that Kubaisa was still under IS control. By the end of the week the offensive was actually called off. The official cause was to allow civilians to evacuate the area, but then Agence France Presse reported that the protests in Baghdad actually led to troops being re-deployed from Hit back to the capital.

There were government operations in other parts of Anbar as well. Albu Obeid in the Ramadi district and two towns in the Garma district were cleared, the effort to free Albu Shijil outside Fallujah was on going, and a new sweep through Khalidiya Island was made. The government also announced that 100 ISF and Sahwa had died removing IEDs from the Ramadi area, and another 50 had been wounded.

The Islamic State responded with 17 attacks throughout Anbar. That included three car bombs. The Iraqi forces claimed they destroyed another 28 car bombs and killed 27 suicide bombers, but that was a huge exaggeration. For instance, on February 21 IS claimed it hit a checkpoint in Baghdadi with four suicide car bombs (SVBIEDs) and an infantry assault. The Iraqi press had the four SVBIEDs in the earliest reports, but as the day went on the numbers went up and up. The car bombs went from four to five and then eight, and then 3 dead suicide bombers were added to the mix, which eventually went to 25 by the day was done. This happens all the time as the security forces and Hashd exaggerate their victories in their propaganda war against IS.

There was a rare downturn in violence in Baghdad during the week. The apparent cause was the protests in Baghdad, which Moqtada al-Sadr called. The added security disrupted IS operations leading to only 58 total incidents from March 15-21 compared to 72 the week before and 80 the first week of March. As usual the south with 21 incidents was the most dangerous part of the province. That included 16 IEDs, 2 sticky bombs, and mortar fire.

Violence in Baghdad, Mar 15-21, 2016
Center: 3 – 1 Robbery, 1 Stabbing/Robbery, 1 Shooting
East: 9 – 2 Sticky Bombs, 3 IEDs, 4 Shootings
Outer East: 1 – 1 Sticky Bomb
North: 6 – 1 Grenade, 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting, 3 IEDs
Outer North: 8 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Shooting, 6 IEDs
South: 11 – 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting, 2 Sticky Bombs, 7 IEDs
Outer South: 10 – 1 Mortar, 9 IEDs
West: 6 – 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting, 2 Sticky Bombs, 2 IEDs
Outer West: 4 – 4 IEDs

IS launched 13 attacks in Kirkuk. That included another chemical rockets attack upon Taza that killed one. There were also a wave of infantry attacks upon the Peshmerga and Hashd that included two car bombs and 11 suicide bombers that were killed. 3 Peshmega were killed and 20 wounded along with 3 Hashd.

As terrorist attacks have picked up in Turkey, Ankara has increased its air attacks upon northern Kurdistan. In one such raid the Turks claimed they killed 45 PKK fighters.

As preparations for the Mosul operation have ramped up, IS has tried to disrupt them. It sent three suicide bombers against the 15th Division base at Makhmour, which wounded four soldiers. It launched rockets at a firebase that the U.S. set up in Makhmour that killed one U.S. soldier and wounded 8 more, and then attacked it with suicide bombers a few days later. Mortars hit the Zilkan camp where Turkey is helping former Governor Atheel Nujafi train fighters, which killed 2 Turks, 5 volunteers, and wounded 4 others.

There was other violence in Ninewa. A new mass grave of Yazidis killed by IS was also discovered with 70 bodies in it. There were reports that 90 Yaizdi homes were blown up in the Sinjar district, and 120 homes belonging to members of the security forces and relatives were destroyed by the militants in Qayara. A U.S. air strike was blamed for killing 10 civilians and wounding 13 in Mosul.

In Salahaddin things have not changed since Baiji and its refinery were freed. There is still fighting in that district, along with the Alas and Ajeel oil fields, and the Makhoul mountains. There were also three incidents in Tuz Kharmato. The Hashd were talking about clearing the entire province after Baiji fell, but their manpower has been depleted by Iran’s call for more fighters in Syria. Now no real moves have been made in the province, and things have become stalemated there.

During the week there were 40 reported car bombs, but that was an exaggeration. Three hit their targets in Anbar. 28 were said to have been destroyed in Anbar, 5 in Salahaddin, and 2 each in Kirkuk and Ninewa. The real figure was probably half that due to inflation by the Iraqi forces.

Violence In Iraq 2015-16
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
JAN
911
2,656
3,032 + 150
FEB
730
2,345
2,366
MAR
820
2,665
2,529
APR
751
2,753
2,621
MAY
674
2,565 + 1,499
1,952 + 646
JUN
708
2,153 + 405
2,174
JUL
688
2,716
3,198 + 4,024
AUG
684
2,440 + 760
1,777
SEP
649
1,731
1,668 + 3,003
OCT
589
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
2,052
1,721
Feb 1-7
146
575
313
Feb 8-14
119
146
323
Feb 15-21
130
225
239
Feb 22-29
153
371
690
FEB
549
1,281
1,566
Mar 1-7
183
321
478
Mar 8-14
168
404
415
Mar 15-21
130
349
409


Security By Province Mar 15-21, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
20 Incidents
118 Killed: 7 Civilians, 29 ISF, 82 Sahwa
72 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 16 ISF, 54 Sahwa
9 Shootings
1 Suicide Bombers
3 Suicide Car Bombs
27 Suicide Bombers Killed
19 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
9 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
7 Incidents
6 Killed: 6 Civilians
19 Wounded: 19 Civilians
2 Shootings
4 IEDs
Baghdad
58 Incidents
66 Killed: 2 Sahwa, 5 ISF, 59 Civilians
263 Wounded: 3 Sahwa, 7 ISF, 253 Civilians
9 Shootings
34 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
1 Mortar
1 Grenade
Diyala
8 Incidents
5 Killed: 2 Hashd, 3 Civilians
2 Wounded: 1 Civilian, 1 Hashd
2 Shootings
1 IED
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Mortar
Kirkuk
14 Incidents
8 Killed: 3 Peshmerga, 5 Civilians
28 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 5 Civilians, 20 Peshmerga
9 Shootings
1 IED
2 Rockets
11 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
KRG
1 Incident
45 Killed: 45 PKK
1 Turkish Air Strike
Ninewa
12 Incidents
84 Killed: 1 U.S. Soldier, 2 Turkish Soldiers, 5 Najafi Hashd
24 Wounded: 4 ISF, 4 Najafi Hashd, 8 U.S. Soldiers, 8 Civilians
4 Shootings
210 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Rocket
1 Mortar
6 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
10 Incidents
17 Killed: 17 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
6 Shootings
1 Mortar
4 Suicide Bombers Killed
3 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed


Car Bombs In Iraq Mar 1-7, 2016
Date
Car Bombs
Dead
Wounded
Mar 1
Leine, Tikrit & West of Samarra, Salahaddin
Samarra Island & Shirqat, Salahaddin – 8 destroyed
4
29
Mar 2
Baghdadi & Lake Qadisiyah, Anbar – 5 destroyed
Bashir, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed
Samarra & Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 18 destroyed
Mar 3
Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 3 destroyed
Mar 4
Albu Abdul, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Mansour, Baghdad – 1 destroyed
Mar 5
Mar 6
Hillah, Babil
Albu Abad, Anbar – 1 destroyed
61
95
Mar 7
East of Ramadi, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Totals
4 – 42 Destroyed
65
124
Mar 8
Mar 9
Kirkuk-Sulaymaniya Road, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed
2
2
Mar 10
Khalis, Diyala – 1 destroyed
Mar 11
Khashim, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Baiji, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
Mar 12
Safiriya, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Mar 13
Makhoul & ?, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed
Mar 14
Albu Aasi, Albu Taiban & Safiriya, Anbar
Albu Aasi, Aqba, Keserat & Masri, Anbar – 5 destroyed
25
20
Totals
3 – 14 Destroyed
27
22
Mar 15
Mar 16
Shuhada, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Mar 17
Fallujah, Anbar – 5 destroyed
Mar 18
Mar 19
Albu Sayah & Husseiniya, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Mar 20
Hamadiya x2, Anbar
Albu Obeid, Haqlaniya, Kubaisa, south of Hit, Anbar – 8 destroyed
Makhoul, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
Mar 21
Albu Obeid, Anbar
Albu Obeid & Baghdadi, Anbar – 11 destroyed
Bashir & Taza, Kirkuk – 2 destroyed
Ain Tallawi, Ninewa – 2 destroyed
Baiji & Siniya, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed
8
13
Totals
3 – 37 Destroyed
8
13

SOURCES


Adel, Loaa, "Security forces kill 5 foreign suicide bombers while trying to attack Makhmur camp," Iraqi News, 3/21/16
- "Security forces liberate Kabisa vicinity south of Heet," Iraqi News, 3/19/16
- "Shiite militias foil ISIS attack on Taza, kill 20 ISIS members," Iraqi News, 3/21/16,

Agence France Presse, "Extremist attack kills six soldiers in western Iraq," 3/21/16

AIN, "Starting the process of freeing the Mohammadi area west of Ramadi," 3/16/16
- "Urgent security forces blew up three car bombs in Haqlaniya," 3/20/16

Buratha News, "The killing of 37 Daash terrorists and eight car bombs in attack on al-Baghdadi," 3/21/16

Al Forat, "Popular crowd seizes armored car bombs and destroys a third in Makhoul," 3/20/16
- "A truck bomb destroyed south of Fallujah," 3/16/16
- "Urgent detonated two Daash car bombs in the vicinity of Kubaisa Cement Plant," 3/20/16

George, Susannah, “Baghdad politics slows fight against IS in Anbar,” Associated Press, 3/22/16

Khalid, Herman, "Yazidi Mass Grave Discovered near Mosul," Bas News, 3/19/16

Kurd Press, "45 PKK militants forces in Turkish air strikes," 3/15/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "Security forces liberate 2 areas, kill 40 ISIS militants in eastern Fallujah," Iraqi News, 3/19/16

Al Maalomah, "Cleared Amina neighborhood and Arboretum in Hit," 3/20/16
- "Pictures international coalition bombed civilian and ignores the Daash leaders in Mosul," 3/20/16
- "Security forces clear Hit Gas Plant and kill 13 Daash western Anbar," 3/19/16
- "Thwarted suicide car bomb before hitting military units western Anbar," 3/20/16

Al Mada, "100 security forces and clan fighters killed in the process of removing IEDs in Ramadi," 3/21/16
- "Combined forces repel Daash attack," 3/21/16
- "The joint forces liberated Khalidiya island area east of Ramadi," 3/19/16
- "Killing and wounding four American soldiers in an attack on Makhoul camp," 3/20/16
- "Security forces have surrounded Hit and waiting to clear it," 3/18/16
- "The temporary stop to the operation to free Hit until civilians evacuated," 3/21/16
- "Thwarted Daash suicide attack and the death of seven members of the organization south Kirkuk," 3/21/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "19 ISIS militants killed in cleansing battles northeast of Ramadi axis," Iraqi News, 3/21/16
- "Security forces liberate 2 areas, kill 40 ISIS militants in eastern Fallujah," Iraqi News, 3/19/16

NINA, "/11/ elements of the national crowd and the Turkish forces killed and wounded in shelling by Daash targeted Zhelkan camp northern Mosul," 3/19/16
- "15 Daash members killed and destroyed a car bomb in Baiji and Jabber," 3/21/16
- "/48/ elements of Daash killed, and their hideouts destroyed in the outskirts of Baghdad," 3/17/16
- "Anti-terrorism device declares the killing of /50/ elements of Daash in the structures area in Fallujah," 3/17/16
- "Daash blew up /90/ Aezidein houses in an apartment complex in Sinjar, west of Mosul," 3/1616
- "Daash blew up /120/ houses belonging to police officers and staff south," 3/16/16
- "The death of a second child in Taza from wounds sustained from mustard attack," 3/17/16
- "Military Media Cell: News About Freeing Kubaysa And Part of Hit Areas incorrect," 3/21/16
- "The Office of the Governor of Anbar province declares the liberation of the military neighborhood in the Heet district," 3/19/16
- "Peshmerga Kill 11 Terrorists, Destroyed Two Car Bombs," 3/21/16

Rudaw, "Pre-dawn ISIS suicide assault wounds four Iraqi soldiers," 3/15/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Clashes erupt between Iraqi forces and ISIS elements east of al-Baghdad," Iraqi News, 3/21/16
- "Security forces repel ISIS attack on Albu Obeid east of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 3/21/16

Sotaliraq, "Army blows up two car bombs south of Hit," 3/20/16

Tilghman, Andrew, "U.S. Marines report second attack on 'Firebase Bell' in northern Iraq," Military Times, 3/21/16

Xinhua, "Security forces free village from IS militants in Iraq's Anbar," 3/17/16

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