Monday, May 9, 2016

Violence In Iraq, April 2016


Violence has been slowly creeping back up in Iraq in 2016. The number of reported incidents was higher in the first four months of the year compared to the last quarter of 2015. This was in part due to new government offensives, which led to Islamic State counterattacks. At the same time the militants were carrying out more operations in places like Diyala, Baghdad, and the south. All together that led to a rising tide of attacks.

In April there were 599 reported incidents. That was lower than the 665 recorded in March, the highest amount of the year, but above the 549 in February, and the same as January’s 598. When averaged out there have were 19.2 attacks per day in January, 18.9 in February, 21.4 in March, and 19.9 in April. Those figures compared to 21.9 incidents per day in the third quarter of 2015, and 18.1 in the fourth.

Avg. Attacks Per Day
3rd Qtr 2015 21.9
4th Qtr 2015 18.1
Jan 19.2
Feb 18.9
Mar 21.4
Apr 19.9

There have been two causes for the increase in violence in the country. The first was counterattacks to government offensives. That accounted for the 92 incidents in Anbar in April, the 81 in Ninewa, and the 50 in Kirkuk. In Anbar, the government continued to clear out the Ramadi sector, while also freeing Hit and moving into the Hit-Haditha Valley. The operations in Fallujah and Garma however continued to stall going through the same areas that have been fought over for months. In Kirkuk the Hashd and Peshmerga freed Bashir, and in Ninewa a move was made in the Makhmour district south of Mosul. Those all evoked violent responses from the Islamic State. Meanwhile, in Baghdad and Diyala, IS has been launching new terrorist operations, along with bombings in southern Iraq.

The increase was seen in the average attacks per day. In December 2015 there were 2.4 incidents per day in Anbar, than reaching 3.0-3.1 in 2016. Baghdad went from 7.7 per day in December to over 9 in March and April. Diyala saw an average of 0.7 attacks per day in December, and then went to 1.4 per day in March and April. Ninewa was already high at 3.0 attacks per day in December, then dipped to 1.8 and 1.6 in February, before going back up to 2.7 in March and April. Finally, Kirkuk saw 0.7 incidents per day in December and January, and then more than doubled to 1.6 by April.

Attacks In Most Violence Provinces In Iraq Dec 2015-Apr 2016

Anbar
Baghdad
Diyala
Ninewa
Kirkuk
Dec
2.4
7.7
0.7
3.0
0.7
Jan
3.0
8.5
1.3
1.8
0.7
Feb
3.1
8.9
1.1
1.6
1.7
Mar
3.1
9.9
1.4
2.7
1.4
Apr
3.0
9.1
1.4
2.7
1.6

In Anbar there were 92 attacks, 226 dead and 234 wounded reported in the media for April. Almost all of those casualties came in the center of the province as IS tried to fight back government advances in places like Hit, Baghdadi, Subhait, Kubaisa, while holding its ground in the Fallujah and Garma districts. Almost all of the 111 civilian deaths and 147 injured came from Ramadi. Two mass graves were discovered there, while around 200 people were killed and injured when local leaders encouraged people to return to the city before it was cleared of IEDs. 4 suicide car bombs and 6 suicide bombers also hit the security forces, while they claimed to have killed 65 suicide bombers and blown up 87 car bombs. Those numbers are regularly inflated, and usually can be detected in press reports that start off with one car bomb destroyed in the morning, which becomes several by the end of the day along with some suicide bombers thrown in. Overall, the government has steadily gained ground in the governorate, but has been unable to hold onto the smaller towns, which consistently change hands.

12 were killed in Babil, and another 38 wounded there in 17 incidents. Violence returned to its normally low level in the province in April after two large suicide bombings in March. Almost all of the incidents occurred in the northern section of the governorate where IS moved into after it lost its long time base in Jurf al-Sakhr. Usually there are just a couple shootings and IEDs, which was what occurred in April with 2 sticky bombs, 3 gunfire incidents, and 13 IEDs.

The capital has become the main target of the Islamic State as it loses territory in the country. There were 273 incidents there leading to 413 dead and 1,006 wounded. IS picked up its bombings in the governorate with 4 suicide bombers and 8 car bombs. In comparison there was just 1 suicide bomber and no successful car bombs in Baghdad in March, 4 suicide bombers and 1 car bomb in February, and 3 suicide bombers and 3 car bombs in January. The 8 car bombs in April was the most the province had seen since 11 went off in August 2015.

Southern Baghdad continued to face the most violence. There were 101 incidents there versus 55 in the east, 53 in the north, 43 in the west, 16 in the center, and 5 in unknown locations. The south witnessed a mortar attack, 2 car bombs, 2 grenade attacks, 7 sticky bombs, 16 shootings, and 71 IEDs. In the east incidents were a mixture of IS attacks along with vigilantes, criminals, and Hashd elements, which was shown with 1 stabbing, 3 kidnappings, 4 major robberies, and 13 bodies being dumped there. The capital like the rest of the country has seen a growth in crime with the insecurity. There were 10 kidnappings reported, 14 robberies of sizeable sums of money, and 34 bodies found in the streets during the month.

Violence in Baghdad Apr 2016
Center: 16 – 1 Suicide Bomber Arrested, 1 Kidnapping, 1 Sticky Bombs, 1 Robbery, 3 Shootings, 9 IEDs
East: 42 –1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Grenade, 1 Stabbing, 2 Suicide Car Bombs, 2 Kidnappings, 2
Shooting/Robberies, 5 Sticky Bombs, 3 Robbers, 8 IEDs, 17 shooting
Outer East: 13 – 1 Suicide Truck Bomb, 1 Kidnapping, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 2 Sticky Bombs, 2 Shootings,
6 IEDs
North: 20 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 1 Robbery, 1 Mortar, 2 Kidnappings, 2 Sticky Bombs,
4 Shootings, 8 IEDs
Outer North: 33 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 1 Gunfire/Kidnapping, 2 Suicide Car Bombs,
2 Sticky Bombs, 6 Shootings, 20 IEDs
South: 48 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Robbery, 5 Sticky Bombs, 8 Shootings, 33 IEDs
Outer South: 53 – 1 Car Bomb, 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 1 Mortar, 2 Sticky Bombs, 2 Grenades, 8 Shootings,
38 IEDs
West: 24 – 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting/Kidnapping, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 3 Sticky Bombs, 3 Shootings, 14 IEDs
Outer West: 19 – 1 Suicide Bomber Killed, 1 Suicide Bomber, 2 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed, 2 Mortars,
2 Shootings, 13 IEDs
Unknown: 5 – 1 Newspaper Raided, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 1 Shooting, 2 Kidnappings

Basra witnessed a change from its usual low-level political violence and tribal conflicts when a suicide car bomb went off in Basra City that killed 5 and wounded 13. That was the first such incident since October 2015. Since IS lost its base in Jurf al-Sakhr, Babil there have been hardly any car bombings in all of southern Iraq. Hitting Basra was another sign that the Islamic State was moving towards terrorism to make up for its defeats on the battlefield.

Similarly, there was a suicide bombing in Dhi Qar, while another was arrested before he could set off his device. The successful bombing killed 14 and wounded another 27. The last time the governorate was bombed was June 2013 when a car bomb went off.

IS has picked up its operations in Diyala with a suicide bomber, another one killed, and a car bomb destroyed. Overall, there were 43 incidents there in April with 29 dead and 40 wounded. Those were spread out over almost every region of the governorate. IS still holds several bases in the province such as Abu Saida and the Hamrin Mountains, which it has used to attack the surrounding provinces, but now is using to hit Diyala as well.

In Karbala there was one incident when some rockets were found before they could be triggered and launched.

During the month the Peshmerga and Hashd were able to liberate the town of Bashir in the south. That provoked a large number of counter attacks by IS, which accounted for reports that 8 suicide bombers were killed, and 15 car bombs destroyed. The fighting in that area accounted for most of the 54 dead, 124 wounded, and 50 incidents in April.

The Iraqi forces continued to struggle with its Makhmour campaign. Very little ground was freed due to bad weather, an initial lack of air support, and green troops who were deploying to combat as a unit for the first time. That led to several stalls, and the government still has not had any major breakthroughs, only some heavy casualties. The operation was launched to secure several bases in the district that house both American and Turkish trainers. Those were still being hit during the month.

In the territory still held by IS in Ninewa, it was carrying out its regular executions. The group reportedly killed 163 people in April. Two mass graves were also discovered with Yazidis and members of the security forces in them. There was also a report that the group executed 250 women for not cooperating. All together there were 81 reported incidents, 612 killed, and 167 wounded for the month.

Violence has dropped off considerably in Salahaddin, which used to regularly have some of the highest attack numbers each month. After the Hashd led offensive freed Baiji, most of the fighting has been limited to skirmishes in the Ajeel and Alas oil fields and the Makhmour Mountains in the northeast, and the rural areas surrounding Samarra in the center. What has changed is that IS elements have re-infiltrated into Baiji and Tikrit. Every week now there are reports of shootings, IEDs, and occasional clashes there as well. With most of the major units moving on to other areas of the province and country that has allowed space for insurgents to move back in. This points to the continuing dilemma for the government to maintain security in freed districts.

There were 13 successful vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in April. Those occurred in Basra, 1, Anbar, 4, and Baghdad, 8. The government claimed it destroyed another 171, an obvious exaggeration. Too many times Iraqi forces claim every major attack includes at least one VBIED and then increase the number blown up as the day progresses. That makes it impossible to determine how many car bombs were actually launched each month, and whether they have gone up or down overall.

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


Security By Province Apr 15-21, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
92 Incidents
226 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 1 Hashd, 111 Civilians, 113 ISF
234 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 2 Sahwa, 84 ISF, 147 Civilians
35 Shootings
13 IEDs
6 Suicide Bombers
4 Suicide Car Bombs
5 Rockets
10 Mortars
65 Suicide Bombers Killed
36 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
51 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
17 Incidents
12 Killed: 2 Hashd, 4 ISF, 6 Civilians
38 Wounded: 9 Hashd, 13 ISF, 16 Civilians
3 Shootings
13 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
Baghdad
273 Incidents
413 Killed: 8 Sahwa, 21 Hashd, 38 ISF, 346 Civilians
1,006 8 Sahwa, 34 Hashd, 107 ISF, 857 Civilians
62 Shootings
148 IEDs
24 Sticky Bombs
4 Suicide Bombers
7 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
4 Mortars
3 Grenades
2 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
2 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
Basra
3 Incidents
6 Killed: 6 Civilians
13 Wounded: 13 Civilians
1 Shooting
1 IED
1 Sound Bomb
1 Suicide Car Bomb
Dhi Qar
2 Incidents
14 Killed: 14 Civilians
27 Wounded: 27 Civilians
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Diyala
43 Incidents
29 Killed: 2 Hashd, 3 ISF, 24 Civilians
40 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 4 ISF, 34 Civilians
15 Shootings
9 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
6 Mortars
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
Karbala
1 Incident
1 Rockets
Kirkuk
50 Incidents
54 Killed: 1 Peshmerga, 3 ISF, 20 Hashd, 30 Civilians
124 Wounded: 3 ISF, 3 Civilians, 9 Peshmerga, 109 Hashd
22 Shootings
8 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
3 Rockets
3 Mortars
8 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
8 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
7 Car Bombs Destroyed
Ninewa
81 Incidents
612 Killed: 1 Volunteer, 1 Hashd, 50 Peshmerga, 81 ISF, 479 Civilians
167 Wounded: 20 Volunteers, 35 ISF, 112 Peshmerga
28 Shootings
68 IEDs
6 Mortars
4 Rockets
45 Suicide Bombers Killed
24 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
30 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
37 Incidents
54 Killed: 6 ISF, 9 Peshmerga, 10 Civilians, 29 Hashd
73 Wounded: 6 Peshmerga, 7 ISF, 13 Civilians, 47 Hashd
27 Shootings
1 IED
3 Mortars
13 Suicide Bombers Killed
3 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
9 Car Bombs Destroyed

Car Bombs In Iraq Apr, 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
Makhmour, 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
Apr 8
Hit, Anbar – 10 destroyed
Makhmour, Ninewa – 7 destroyed


Apr 9
Albu Bali, Anbar
Hit & Subhait, Anbar – 6 destroyed
12
2
Apr 10
Bashir, Kirkuk – 3 destroyed
Nasir, Ninewa – 1 destroyed
Baiji, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed


Apr 11



Apr 12
Hit, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Nasir, Ninewa – 2 destroyed


Apr 13
Makhmour & Nasir, Ninewa – 3 destroyed


Apr 14
Makhoul, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Totals
1 – 36 Destroyed
12
2
Apr 15



Apr 16
Haj Ali, Ninewa – 4 destroyed


Apr 17
Khasfa, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Apr 18
Bashir & Tel Ahmed, Kirkuk – 5 destroyed


Apr 19
Baghdadi, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Apr 20



Apr 21
Saqlawiya, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Bashir, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed
Siniya, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed


Totals
0 – 19 Destroyed
-
-
Apr 22



Apr 23
Arab Jabour & Rashidiya, Baghdad
Siniya, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
10
36
Apr 24



Apr 25
New Baghdad & Shakha, Baghdad
Baghdadi, Anbar – 3 destroyed
13
43
Apr 26



Apr 27
Albu Tapah, Garma, Hit Valley & Thar Thar, Anbar – 10 destroyed


Apr 28
Boutaya & Dolab, Anbar – 6 destroyed
Baquba, Diyala – 1 destroyed
Mahana, Ninewa – 7 destroyed


Totals
4 – 28 Destroyed
23
79
Apr 29
Khazraj, Anbar – 2 destroyed
Muhana, Ninewa – 1 destroyed


Apr 30
Nahrawan, Baghdad
Noaam, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Bashir, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed
Makhmour, Ninewa – 1 destroyed
43
19
TOTALS
1 – 6 Destroyed
43
19
GRAND
TOTAL
13 – 171 Destroyed
97
149

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "International coalition foils suicide attack on Baghdadi's eastern entrance," Iraqi News, 4/25/16

Alsumaria, "Baghdad Operations announced the death of one soldier and wounding four others blown up in Husseiniya," 4/23/16

Al Forat, "Foil Daash car bomb east of Baghdadi district Anbar," 4/30/16

Al Maalomah, "17 martyrs and wounded from the security forces north of Baghdad from a suicide bomber blowing up," 4/23/16
- "The destruction of a booby-trapped vehicle by Daash south of Mosul," 4/30/16
- "The destruction of three Daash car bombs east of Fallujah," 4/27/16
- "Two suicide bombers killed by aerial bombardment in Thar Thar," 4/27/16

Al Mada, "Daash bombed in al-Baghdadi complex by International Alliance targeting rocket launchers," 4/27/16
- "Death toll in suicide bombing north Baghdad up to 35 dead and wounded," 4/23/16
- "Thwarted a suicide car bomb attack targeting security forces south of Mosul," 4/29/16
- "Turkmen crowd thwarted a suicide car bomb east of al-Bashir," 4/30/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "6 Iraqi army members killed, wounded in car bomb explosion south of Baghdad," Iraqi News, 4/25/16
- "Jazeera Operations forces kill 21 ISIS members west of Ramadi, 203 IEDs dismantled," Iraqi News, 4/28/16
- "Security forces foil suicide attack in Karma District, 7 ISIS members killed," Iraqi News, 4/28/16

Morris, Loveday, "Islamic State targets Shiite pilgrims in Iraq, but detonates truck bomb in a market instead," Washington Post, 4/30/16

New Sabah, "Security file," 4/26/16

NINA, "Defense Ministry announces the return of more than /41/ thousand families to Haditha District," 4/23/16
- "Security Forces Foil An Attack For Daash South Of Mosul," 4/28/16

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Iraq: Car Bombing in Baghdad Kills at Least 12 Civilians," Associated Press, 4/25/16

Shafaq News, "Iraqi police finds 2 mass graves in Islamic State-free Ramadi," 4/20/16

Sotaliraq, "Car Bomb dismantled near Baquba government building," 4/28/16
- "Killing and wounding of 11 soldiers in a second car bomb attack in Baghdad," 4/23/16
- "Security committee in Basra council declares the killing and wounding of 18 civilian in bombing in Kakh Street," 4/4/16
- "Some 80 people killed in separate attacks across Iraq," 4/4/16

Xinhua, "24 killed in truck bomb explosion near Iraq's Baghdad," 4/30/16
- "Security forces free 2 villages in Iraq's Anbar, 27 IS militants killed," 4/30/16

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