Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Security In Iraq, Apr 1-7, 2016


Violence remained high in Iraq at the start of April 2016. The Islamic State picked up its attacks in March, and that carried over to April. On the other hand, the government took most of Hit in Anbar, while the new operation in Makhmour, Ninewa continued to flounder.

From April 1-7, 2016 there were 144 incidents in Iraq. That compared to 183 incidents the first week of March, 168 the second, 130 the third, and 135 the fourth week. On average there were 19.2 attacks per day in January, 18.9 in February, 21.4 in March, and 20.7 in April. IS has historically launched a spring offensive that starts at just about this time. The uptick in violence may be the start of just such an insurgent campaign.

There were 239 deaths and 444 wounded during the week. That broke down to 2 Sahwa, 16 Hashd al-Shaabi, 104 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 117 civilians killed. Another 6 Sahwa, 35 Hashd, 141 ISF, and 262 civilians were also injured.

Baghdad was the deadliest province with 100 fatalities. There were 76 more in Anbar, 26 in Ninewa, 14 in Dhi Qar, 8 in Babil, 5 each in Basra and Kirkuk, 4 in Diyala, and 1 in Salahaddin.

The Iraqi forces were still pushing through Anbar. The Hit offensive in western Anbar has been going off and on. On April 1 it was stopped again to allow civilians to flee the area. By that time 30% of the area had bee cleared. On April 2 the center of the town was reached, and then freed on April 7. The outskirts of the town still have IS elements, which will likely be pushed out in the coming days.

Baghdadi is just up the road from Hit. It was cleared in October, but a new operation was launched there in April. The area has been contested for around a year now.

The effort to clear Ramadi’s suburbs continued with a new sweep through Albu Bali in the north. This was the fifth time the area had been gone through since July.

Finally, the Iraqi forces are constantly taking about taking on Fallujah. The Hashd started an operation there unilaterally in July to undermine the government’s effort to retake Ramadi. The operation floundered, and then was restarted in 2016, and went nowhere again. In the meantime the Hashd and Iraqi forces have been engaged in the surrounding towns. North Saqlawiya to the west of Fallujah was attacked on April 6. The joint forces have gone through that district almost every month since July.

Reinforcements were sent to Garma in the east in preparation for a new effort to free the town. There was a raid on Garma Bridge on April 5. The bridge was cleared in the middle of March. Albu Tayah was then liberated on April 7. The Iraqi forces have been fighting for the area for two years now. They got to the center over a year ago and then were never able to take it, while IS re-infiltrated into the surrounding areas again and again. For example, Subhait, which is in the area was just cleared and a new sweep was started there on April 6.

The Islamic State launched 28 attacks in Anbar in response to the government’s various offensives. These occurred in Ain Assad, Albu Jassim, Baghdadi, Camp Tariq, Garma, Hit, Kubaisa, Saqlawiya, and Subhait. Three suicide car bombs and four suicide bombers were able to hit the joint forces. 17 ISF and 44 soldiers were killed, and 2 Sahwa, 13 ISF, and 46 soldiers were injured in total during the month. They claimed they killed 32 suicide bombers and destroyed another 43 car bombs. Those numbers are regularly inflated so the real number might be half that. For example, in an attack on Rashad in the Garma district, the early news reports had two suicide car bombs destroyed, but by the end of the day it was up to two suicide bombers killed and 15 car bombs destroyed. That kind of exaggeration is the norm in the government’s propaganda efforts.

The Islamic State was able to pull off two bombings in the south, the first such attacks since October when Basra was hit by a car bomb. On April 4 a suicide car bomb went off in that city amongst some shops that killed five and wounded 15. That same day a suicide bomber set off his device at a restaurant on the Nasiriya-Baghdad road in Dhi Qar that left 14 fatalities and 27 injured. Those two attacks were another indicator that IS may be trying to carry out a spring offensive since it is reaching out to new areas. If that turns out to be true than other attempts on the south should be expected in the coming weeks.

Baghdad was IS’s main target. There were 69 incidents there. As usual, the south had the most incidents with 23, followed by 17 in the east, 13 in the north, and 11 in the west. Those left 100 people dead and 270 wounded. IS picked up its mass casualty attacks with a suicide bomber and a suicide car bomb in the east, two suicide bombers and two suicide car bombs in the north, and two suicide car bombs were destroyed in the outer west. The insecurity has led to increased lawlessness with 1 kidnapping, 4 major robberies, and 4 bodies being dumped in the streets.

Violence In Baghdad, Apr 1-7, 2016
Center: 3 – 1 Shooting, 2 IEDs
East: 13 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 1 Stabbing, 1 Robbery, 1 Grenade, 1 Kidnapping, 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 IED, 5 Shootings
Outer East: 4 – 1 Gunfire/Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs
North: 5 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs
Outer North: 8 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 1 Shooting, 5 IEDs
South: 13 – 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting, 2 Sticky Bombs, 9 IEDs
Outer South: 10 – 1 Grenade, 1 Sticky Bomb, 8 IEDs
West: 5 – 1 Gunfire/Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 3 IEDs
Outer West: 6 – 1 Mortar, 2 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed, 4 IEDs
Unknown: 1 – 1 Shooting

In Kirkuk the Hashd began an operation in the Bashir district in the south. On April 5 Tal Ahmed was taken. Then Bashir was moved on at the end of the week.

The Makhmour offensive in Ninewa continued to go in fits and spurts. On April 4 the second stage of the operation was announced, but then the move on Nasir, the main target of the operation since the day it started in March, was postponed. The major problem with the operation is the fact that the main unit, the 15th Division is a brand new one and this is their baptism in fire. They have not fought well so far, and have been held up by bad weather and poor conditions. As usual, IS responded with constant counter attacks with infantry assaults, suicide bombers and car bombs. That government claimed it killed 13 suicide bombers, and blew up 28 car bombs. Again, the real numbers are probably much lower.

The Shammar tribe also launched an attack upon Rabia. That is a key border crossing with Syria. The area was cleared back in 2014, but it appears IS has moved back in.

Violence has fallen off in Salahaddin. There were only five incidents during the week. At the same time IS has successfully infiltrated back into Baiji and the surrounding areas. It is also trying to get back into Tikrit. Every week now the government claims it is killing IS fighters in those two districts, and there are car bombs and suicide bombing attempts as well. This is a constant problem in the country. When large areas are cleared the government forces move on to other areas, and IS tries to move back in. For now, things are at a low level, but that could change.

There were 7 successful car bombs during the week. 1 in Basra, 3 in Anbar, and 3 in Baghdad. 81 more car bombs were said to be destroyed in those three provinces, plus Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salahaddin. In March the number of successful vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) doubled from February. It looks like in April there are going to be another high number, which is another sign that IS is ramping up operations.

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
408
415
Mar 15-21
130
349
409
Mar 22-28
135
213
420
Mar 29-31
49
172
121
MAR
665
1,463
1,843
Apr 1-7
144
239
444


Security By Province Apr 1-7, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
29 Incidents
76 Killed: 15 Civilians, 61 ISF
67 Wounded: 2 Sahwa, 6 Civilians, 59 ISF
12 Shootings
4 Suicide Bombers
3 Suicide Car Bombs
3 Rockets
1 Mortar
32 Suicide Bombers Killed
21 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
22 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
8 Incidents
8 Killed: 2 Civilians, 2 Hashd, 4 ISF
30 Wounded: 8 Civilians, 9 Hashd, 13 ISF
1 Shooting
9 IEDs
Baghdad
69 Incidents
100 Killed: 2 Sahwa, 12 Hashd, 12 ISF, 74 Civilians
270 Wounded: 4 Sahwa, 24 Hashd, 34 ISF, 208 Civilians
11 Shootings
35 IEDs
9 Sticky Bombs
3 Suicide Bombers
3 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Mortar
2 Grenades
2 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
Basra
1 Incident
5 Killed: 5 Civilians
13 Wounded: 13 Civilians
1 Suicide Car Bomb
Dhi Qar
1 Incident
14 Killed: 14 Civilians
27 Wounded: 27 Civilians
1 Suicide Bomber
Diyala
6 Incidents
4 Killed: 4 Civilians
2 Shootings
1 IED
Kirkuk
8 Incidents
5 Killed: 2 ISF, 3 Civilians
4 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Rockets
3 Car Bombs Destroyed
Ninewa
16 Incidents
26 Killed: 1 Hashd, 25 ISF
35 Wounded: 35 ISF
7 Shootings
1 Rockets
13 Suicide Bombers Killed
8 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
20 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
6 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Hashd
2 Wounded: 2 Hashd
6 Shootings
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
4 Car Bombs Destroyed

Car Bombs In Iraq Apr 1-7, 2016
Date
Car Bombs
Dead
Wounded
Apr 1
Hit, Anbar
Apr 2
Hit, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Apr 3
Apr 4
Baghdadi x2, Anbar
Meshada & Taji, Baghdad
Basra, Basra
Baghdadi, Rashad, Shihabi, Subhait, Anbar – 21 destroyed
Abu Ghraib, Baghdad – 2 destroyed
Nasir, Ninewa – 6 destroyed
Siniya, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed
16
35
Apr 5
New Baghdad, Baghdad
Baghdadi & Subhait, Anbar – 9 destroyed
Tal Ahmed, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed Makhmou, Nasir, Ninewa – 13 destroyed
3
14
Apr 6
Kubaisa, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Nasir, Ninewa – 7 destroyed
Apr 7
160 Kilo, Garma, Hit, Anbar – 7 destroyed
Tal Ahmed, Kirkuk – 3 Destroyed
Hardan, Ninewa – 2 destroyed
Shirqat-Baiji Road, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed
Totals
7 – 81 Destroyed
19
49

SOURCES


Adel, Loaa, "Anti-Terrorism forces liberate 2 area & police building in Heet," Iraqi News, 4/2/16

AIN, "Counterterrorism killed 30 terrorists and destroyed three car bombs in Hit," 4/2/16
- "Field commander: the death of more than 60 Daash including foreigners in Hit," 4/7/16

Alsumaria, "Five dead and nine injured final toll of bombing in Meshada," 4/4/16
- "Al Jazeera operations declares the destruction of three car bombs west of Ramadi," 4/7/16

Al Forat, "Blew up 3 car bombs in the desert of Kubaisa in the process of progress towards Heet," 4/6/16
- "counterterrorism break into the center of Hit," 4/3/16
- "Launching a military operation to liberate North Saqlawiyah," 4/6/16
- "Popular crowd destroys car bomb in Garma," 4/7/16
- "Popular Crowd killed two bombers in Saqlawiyah," 4/6/16
- "Popular crowd repelled Daash attack on Garma," 4/4/16

George, Susannah, "Trapped civilians stall Iraqi forces battling IS in Anbar," AP, 4/1/16

Al Maalomah, "The arrival of military reinforcements to Garma in preparation to storm it," 4/3/16
- "Foiled Daash attack with six car bombs east of Fallujah," 4/5/16
- "Garma popular crowd commander declares repelled Daash attack on Garma," 4/4/16
- "Injuring commander of Abbasids Brigade and his brother in a suicide bombing west Anbar," 4/4/16
- "Three martyrs and fourteen wounded in bomb detonation in eastern Baghdad," 4/5/16

Al Mada, "30 members of Daash killed including leading Arab and foreigners east of Ramadi," 4/2/16
- "Freed the middle of Garma area and killed 13 Daash members east of Fallujah," 4/7/16
- "Joint forces clear the military district of Hit, killing 60 Daash members," 4/1/16
- "The joint forces liberated the center of Heet and raise the Iraqi flag over buildings," 4/7/16
- 'Security forces cleared 30% of Hit and working to open safe corridors for civilians," 4/2/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "18 ISIS militants killed in armed clashes with security forces north of Tikrit," Iraqi News, 4/7/16
- "40 ISIS militants killed in cleansing battles of Baghdadi vicinity," Iraqi News, 4/5/16
- "70 ISIS militants killed in military operation south of Mosul," Iraqi News, 4/6/16
- "ISIS military official al-Karma killed in cleansing battles in eastern Fallujah," Iraqi News, 4/6/16
- "Security forces control 70% of Heet, ISIS members besieged," Iraqi News, 4/5/16

New Sabah, "Security file," 4/4/16
- "Security file," 4/5/16

NINA, "8 vehicle Bombs Destroyed, 17 Terrorists Killed In The Second Day Of Fateh Operations In Mosul," 4/5/16
- "/37 elements of /Daash/ killed in Salah al-Din," 4/4/16
- "Commander of Baghdad Operations: Daash used 15 car bombs in attack west of Baghdad," 4/4/16
- "Five Car bombs Detonated Under control in Makhmour, Southeast Of Mosul," 4/5/16
- "Four vehicles destroyed and trapping Daash in Bashir in southern Kirkuk," 4/7/16
- "Large-Scale Attack To Daash Foiled In Qarma Sector," 4/4/16
- "A Number Of Terrorists, Including A Saudi, Killed In Qarma," 4/5/16
- "Second Page Of South Mosul Areas Liberating Starts," 4/4/16
- "The Security Forces, Shummar Tribes Impose Control Over Outskirts Of Rabia," 4/5/16

Rudaw, "Iraqi army delay al-Nasr offensive," 4/5/16

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Wave of suicide attacks kill at least 29 people across Iraq," Associated Press, 4/4/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Al-Hashed al-Sha'bi militia kills 15 ISIS militants, foils attack south of Kirkuk," Iraqi News, 4/7/16
- "Iraqi security forces liberate 3 new areas in Heet west of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 4/5/16
- "Volunteer forces repel ISIS attack on Tel Ahmed in southern Kirkuk," Iraqi News, 4/5/16

Sotaliraq, "Security committee in Basra council declares the killing and wounding of 18 civilian in bombing in Karkh Street," 4/4/16
- "Some 80 people killed in separate attacks across Iraq," 4/4/16

Xinhua, "52 IS militants killed in battle to free Iraqi town," 4/4/16
- "Wave of suicide bomb attacks hit Iraq, as security forces repel 3 IS attacks," 4/4/16

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