Monday, May 16, 2016

Security In Iraq, May 1-7, 2016


The high level of violence witnessed in April continued into the start of May 2016. That was due to a mix of Islamic State counterattacks against government offensives, and an increase in insurgent and terrorist incidents due to a new spring offensive by the militants. IS launched some devastating bombings and hit the south again as part of this new campaign, which hadn’t been done for months.

There were 160 incidents from May 1-7, 2016 in Iraq reported in the press. Baghdad led the way with the most violence, but was actually lower than usual with 63 incidents. There were also a high number of attacks in Ninewa, 30, Kirkuk and Anbar, 20 each, as IS reacted to government moves there. IS has also been picking up its own operations in Diyala with 13 incidents. Salahaddin had 10, and there were 2 in Babil, and one each in Kurdistan and Muthanna.

325 people were reported killed during the week, and 420 wounded. The dead consisted of 1 US Seal, 1 Sahwa, 17 Peshmerga, 18 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters, 23 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 34 Hashd, and 230 civilians. There were also 4 Sahwa, 23 Hashd, 25 Peshmerga, 45 ISF, and 323 civilians injured.

Baghdad had the most fatalities with 95. There were also 85 in Ninewa, 41 in Kirkuk, 38 in Muthanna, 23 in Anbar, 18 in Kurdistan, 9 in Diyala, and 8 each in Babil and Salahaddin. 

The Iraqi forces were still clearing out the major areas of Anbar. Hit was freed in April, and seven of the surrounding towns were liberated during the week. As part of that effort the government moved up the Hit-Haditha Valley and reached the latter breaking the Islamic State’s siege of the town. The promised Fallujah campaign went off track again with a major push in Amiriya Fallujah in the southeast instead. 75% of the area was declared freed by the end of the week, but this was all territory that had been contested for months now. A similar situation prevailed in the Garma campaign that has failed to free the town in two years. At the same time there was a push into some towns south of Fallujah. Overall, the government has been able to secure major urban areas and some of the larger towns like Ramadi, Hit and breaking the siege of Haditha, but is still caught chasing the insurgents through the smaller towns and rural areas of the province.

Baghdad had some very violent days, with a dip during the Friday protests. Three days out of the week had 10 or more incidents, but then only 4 on Friday. The Islamic State has been calling off most of its operations in the capital when there are major protests. Some might think that was due to the extra security these demonstrations bring, but there was a religious ceremony to the shrine in Kadhimiya in April that also had a heavy deployment of the ISF, and there was no decline in incidents during those days. For example, IS set off a car bomb that hit pilgrims in Sadiya killing 19 and wounding 44. As a friend pointed out IS appears to be allowing the protests to take place because they make the government look bad, which supports its narrative that Iraq is a failure.

Besides the Sadiya bombing there was another car bomb on a checkpoint in Radwaniya in the west. IS had been sending most of its vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) into other provinces in recent weeks, but is now back to regularly hitting Baghdad.

Southern Baghdad remained the main target of IS with 22 attacks. There were also 17 in the north, 13 in the west, 9 in the east, and 2 in the center.

Violence in Baghdad May 1-7, 2016
Center: 2 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 IED
East: 8 – 2 IEDs, 6 Shootings
Outer East: 1 – 1 Shooting
North: 7 – 1 Strangling, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs, 3 Shootings
Outer North: 10 – 1 Suicide Bomber Killed, 1 Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb, 6 IEDs
South: 9 – 1 Car Bomb, 2 Shootings, 6 IEDs
Outer South: 13 – 3 Sticky Bombs, 10 IEDs
West: 8 – 1 Attempted Kidnapping, 1 Stabbing/Robbery, 1 Shooting, 2 Sticky Bombs, 3 IEDs
Outer West: 5 – 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 1 Shooting, 3 IEDs

IS has been increasing its operations in Diyala. Before there was under one incident a day, but now there are an average of almost two. These attacks are occurring throughout the province and are usually rather low level such as mortar fire and IEDs, but occasionally marked by a mass casualty bombing.

The Kurds reported more chemical attacks in Kirkuk. Two such incidents were reported during the week. IS was also launching counter attacks after Bashir was freed in the southern part of the governorate.

About every week Turkey has been bombing PKK positions in northern Kurdistan. Usually no casualties are reported, but during the first week of May there was one story that 18 PKK fighters had died in an air strike.

The militants have started bombing southern Iraq again. In April they hit Basra and Dhi Qar. In the first week of May two VBIEDs went off in Samawa, Muthanna killing 38 and wounding 86. The last time that province was bombed was in April 2014.

Ninewa has returned as a major battlefield. The Makhmour offensive continued with its slow pace. Two towns were freed during the week, while IS launched a fury of counter attacks. It also hit Peshmerga positions in Bashiqa and Gwar. In one major push IS was able to breakthrough the Kurdish lines and attack the town of Tel Skuf that resulted in the death of a U.S. Navy Seal. The militants executed 51 people during the week in the Mosul and Tal Afar areas.

The security situation in Salahaddin remained stable. There were clashes in the usual areas of the Makhoul Mountains and the Alas and Ajeel oil fields in the northeast. There was also fighting in the Baiji district again where IS has moved back in after it was freed.

There were 7 successful VBIEDs during the week. Two went off in Baghdad and Muthanna each, and there were 3 in Ninewa. The government claimed another 33 destroyed. It’s impossible to tell how many were actually blown up before they hit their target because of constant inflation in media releases 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
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
Apr 8-14
141
271
391
Apr 15-21
124
436
242
Apr 22-28
160
413
524
Apr 29-30
30
61
121
APR
599
1,420
1,722
May 1-7
160
325
420

Security By Province May 1-7, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
20 Incidents
23 Killed: 4 Hashd, 9 ISF, 10 Civilians
14 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 4 Civilians, 9 ISF
8 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Rockets
2 Mortars
2 Suicide Bombers killed
18 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
6 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
2 Incidents
8 Killed: 8 Civilians
17 Wounded: 17 Civilians
3 IEDs
Baghdad
63 Incidents
95 Killed: 1 Hashd, 2 Sahwa, 8 ISF, 84 Civilians
235 Wounded: 4 Sahwa, 5 Hashd, 26 ISF, 200 Civilians
15 Shootings
33 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Car Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Diyala
13 Incidents
9 Killed: 2 ISF, 7 Civilians
16 Wounded: 3 ISF, 13 Civilians
5 Shootings
1 IED
1 Sticky Bomb
2 Mortars
1 Grenade
Kirkuk
20 Incidents
41 Killed: 4 Peshmerga, 8 Civilians 29 Hashd
23 Wounded: 3 Peshmerga, 3 Civilians, 17 Hashd
3 Shootings
12 IEDs
4 Rockets
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
KRG
1 Incident
18 Killed: 18 PKK
1 Turkish Air Strike
Muthanna
1 Incident
38 Killed: 38 Civilians
86 Wounded: 86 Civilians
2 Car Bombs
Ninewa
30 Incidents
85 Killed: 1 US Seal, 13 Peshmerga, 71 Civilians
27 Wounded: 4 ISF, 22 Peshmerga
22 Shootings
1 IED
3 Suicide Bombers
3 Car Bombs
3 Mortars
1 Rockets
16 Suicide Bombers Killed
4 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
20 Incidents
41 Killed: 4 Peshmerga, 8 Civilians, 29 Hashd
23 wounded: 3 Civilians, 3 Peshmerga, 17 Hashd
3 Shootings
12 IEDs
4 Rockets
2 Car Bombs Destroyed

Car Bombs In Iraq May, 2016
Date
Car Bombs
Dead
Wounded
May 1
Samawa x2, Muthanna
Albu Hussein & West of Hit, Anbar – 3 destroyed
38
86
May 2
Sadiya, Baghdad
Hit, Dabiya & Satamiya, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Alas & Ajeel, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
19
44
May 3
Bashiqa x2 & Tel Skuf, Ninewa
South of Fallujah, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Tel Skuf, Ninewa – 2 destroyed
1
2
May 4
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar – 8 destroyed
Tel al-Gol, Ninewa – 1 destroyed
Mashak, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed


May 5
Thar Thar, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Bashir, Kirkuk 1 destroyed
Kharaib, Ninewa – 2 destroyed


May 6
Radwaniya, Baghdad
3
5
May 7
Thar Thar, Anbar – 7 destroyed


Totals
7 – 33 Destroyed
61
137

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "Anbar Operations announces foiling attack on security forces north of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 5/7/16
- "Coalition aviation destructs 2 booby-trapped vehicles west of Heet," Iraqi News, 5/1/16
- "Iraqi Air Force destructs tank and booby-trapped vehicles south of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/1/16

Alsumaria, "Jazeera Operations commander declares breaking the siege of Haditha west of Ramadi," 5/2/16

Bas News, "US Serviceman Killed in Tel Skuf Northern Iraq," 5/3/16

Buratha News, "Clearing 75% of Amiriyah Fallujah, killing 100 Daash terrorists," 5/7/16
- "Freed village of Albu Halh and raised the Iraqi flag over it," 5/2/16

eKurd, "Islamic State breaches Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga defenses, a U.S. serviceman killed," 5/3/16

Al Forat, "Popular Crowd set off a car bomb with a thermal rocket south of Kirkuk," 5/4/16
- "Urgent..freed Tel Skuf town in Nineveh," 5/3/16

Al Maalomah, "Freed Albu Hassan area south of Fallujah from the control of Daash," 5/3/16
- "Freed four areas in Anbar and killed 25 terrorists," 5/3/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "25 ISIS fighters killed, wounded in battles west of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/2/16
- "Joint forces cleanse 2 areas west of Ramadi, 17 ISIS members killed," Iraqi News, 5/2/16
- "Joint Operations announces liberating 4 areas west of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 5/2/16
- "Security forces liberate 2 areas in Amiriyat Fallujah, 20 ISIS members killed," Iraqi News, 5/4/16
- "Security forces repel ISIS attack south of Mosul, 20 ISIS members killed," Iraqi News, 5/5/16

Morris, Loveday, Lamothe, Dan and Gibbons-Neff, Thomas, "Navy SEAL killed in Iraq after Islamic State punches through front line," Washington Post, 5/3/16

NINA, "10 Terrorists Killed In Repelling An Attack In Alas And Ajil Fields," 5/2/16
- "/100/ terrorists killed and eight car bombs destroyed south of Fallujah," 5/4/16
- "The Joint Operations announces the liberation of four areas in the Amiriyah Al-Fallujah," 5/3/16
- "The Liberation of Al-Dubiya, "guerrilla camp" and Albestamiya areas between al-Baghdadi and Heet," 5/1/16
- "Peshmerga Kill 23 Terrorists In Security Operation North Of Mosul," 5/7/16
- "Peshmerga Liberate Abu Shit Village Southeast Of Mosul," 5/5/16
- "Two car bombs destroyed, and the killing of terrorists by air strikes in Baiji in Salahuddin province," 5/4/16

Press TV, "Iraqi forces retake four villages in Anbar province," 5/5/16

Rudaw, "Iraqi army advances into Fallujah, recapturing two areas, strategic road," 5/3/16
- "Peshmerga-ISIS fierce fighting in Tel Skuf; US serviceman killed," 5/3/16

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Iraq: Car bombing kills at least 18 pilgrims in Baghdad," Associated Press, 5/2/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Al-Hashed al-Sha'bi militia kills 25 ISIS militants in security operation south of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/8/16

Sotaliraq, "12 Daash members killed and destroyed a headquarters along with four cars south of Fallujah," 5/3/16
- "Dismantling a car bomb south of Kirkuk," 5/5/16
- "End outcome of bombing in Saidiya at 19 dead and 42 wounded," 5/2/16
- "Suicide bomber kills three soldiers wounds five west Baghdad," 5/6/16

Sputnik News, "Death Toll in Southern Iraq's Twin Blasts Rises to 38," 5/1/16


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