Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Security In Iraq, Jun 15-21, 2016


Since March 2016 Iraq has seen a steady stream of terrorist attacks by the Islamic State during its spring –Ramadan offensive. At the same time, the government has been working hard to clear Anbar, while starting separate operations in Ninewa and Salahaddin as well. Each one of those leads to a steady stream of counter attacks increasing the level of violence overall throughout the country.

The number of incidents in Iraq has been at a steady level for the last four months. In January there were an average of 19.2 incidents per day. That went down to 18.9 in February. Since then there has been an average of 21.4 in March, 19.9 in April, 20.8 in May and 21.0 so far in June.

Avg. Incidents Per Day In Iraq 2016
Jan 19.2
Feb 18.9
Mar 21.4
Apr 19.9
May 20.8
Jun 21.0

In the third week of June there were 148 incidents, leading to 352 deaths and 497 wounded. The dead consisted of 3 Sahwa, 6 Peshmerga, 41 Hashd, 46 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 256 civilians, while there were 7 Sahwa, 45 Peshmerga, 56 ISF, 81 Hashd, and 308 civilians injured.

From June 15-21, 2016 the Fallujah campaign was still on going. Towns around the city were still being freed, while the main thrust was into Fallujah itself. Neighborhoods such as Nazzal and Shuhada were cleared, and by June 16 the government complex was reached. That prompted Prime Minister Haidar Abadi to declare the city free, while the military claimed 80% of it was under control. The U.S. military however announced that only one-third of Fallujah was liberated, while the rest was contested. Either way the Islamic State’s defenses had been pierced, and the Iraqi forces were moving from the center to the north to finish its mission, which would be completed shortly.

At the same time the government forces were moving back through the Ramadi area, specifically Zankura during the week, because of IS re-infiltration. The town was declared freed as recently as June 15 and then a new operation started there on June 20, along with another to the north of Ramadi. Efforts were still underway in Amiriya Fallujah as well. This is a re-occurring problem as Baghdad does not have the forces to hold all of the areas that it is moving through leaving many security gaps that IS exploits to move back in. Finally, forces were being built up in Haditha for a new thrust into western Anbar heading towards Syria.

There were also continuing reports of Hashd abuses in the Fallujah operation including torture and killing displaced people. One Hashd fighter was arrested, but that appeared to be more of a scapegoat than a crackdown on these excesses. In fact, the earlier report by the Anbar governor about cases of deaths, disappearances, looting, and torture was likely a move to protect Abadi from further criticism over the conduct of the operation. Right from the start of the offensive stories began to emerge of abuses going on at the hands of the Hashd. The governor’s announcement was meant to show that Sunni authorities were investigating these cases. The governor after all is aligned with the prime minister.

Reported casualties during these operations remained low. 1 Hashd, 4 Police, and 8 soldiers were killed, along with 1 police, 5 Hashd, and 17 soldiers injured. Government shelling of Fallujah killed another 18 civilians and wounded 28. Baghdad actively blocks releasing figures on its losses so the real numbers are probably much higher.

After a three month low in incidents in Baghdad the previous week, they shot back up the third week of June. There were 61, leading to 105 dead, and 262 wounded. IS continued attempts at mass casualty bombings in the capital. Suicide bombers hit checkpoints in Yusifiya and Swaib, and another hit the army base in Taji. As usual the most incidents occurred in the south with 27, followed by 13 in the north, 12 in the east, and 9 in the west. This has been the pattern of attacks for months now as IS has picked up its operations in Baghdad, while losing ground in the rest of the country.

Violence in Baghdad, Jun 15-21, 2016
Center: 0
East: 10 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Robbery/Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs, 5 Shootings
Outer East: 2 – 1 Shooting, 1 IED
North: 6 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 Shooting, 4 IEDs
Outer North: 7 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Shooting, 5 IEDs
South: 15 – 1 Suicide bomber, 1 Sticky Bomb, 3 Shootings, 10 IEDs
Outer South: 12 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 3 Shootings, 8 IEDs
West: 7 – 1 Stabbing/Robbery, 2 Sticky Bombs, 4 IEDs
Outer West: 2 – 2 IEDs

Violence in Diyala remained at a low level with a daily routine of IEDs, shootings, and kidnappings. On the other hand, the frequency of these incidents has doubled from what they were before. As a sign of this new status quo, the ISF claimed to have killed 5 suicide bombers in Abu Saida, a known IS stronghold in the province.

In Ninewa the Iraqi forces were continuing preparatory moves towards Mosul. June 18 an operation aimed at Qayara was announced, but this angered the government as it was hoping for an element of surprise before it started. At the same time, the second phase of the Ninewa operation was said to have ended on June 20. That consisted of finally achieving a breakthrough in the Makhmour area where several towns were taken after the initial thrust was a huge disappointment. The Islamic State responded with a suicide car bomb in the Haj Ali area in that district that killed 12 and wounded 6. IS also launched three attacks in the Sinjar district, and executed seven in Mosul and Qayara.

The government finally made its move on Shirqat in Salahaddin. The Hashd talked about freeing that district in the northern section of the province after Baiji was freed in October 2015, but then they were called away to Syria by Iran to participate in the Russian led campaign there. While one town was freed in this new operation, it also appeared to have hick-ups as it started on June 18, and was then re-launched on June 21. Shirqat is the last section of Salahaddin that IS still controls and is an important stepping stone to the Mosul operation.

Like in Ramadi, IS has been able to move back into sections of the Baiji and Tikrit districts. That caused a new security operation to be started in the former with two towns taken. IS also hit a Hashd office in Dour with a suicide car bomb south of Tikrit killing 5 and wounding 35.

The insurgents also began a new wave of devastating attacks in the Tuz Kharmato district. On June 17 it seized three villages temporarily before being expelled. It also attacked Tuz Kharmato itself with a suicide bomber. In total those attacks led to 32 Hashd and 5 Peshmerga being killed, and 41 Hashd and 42 Peshmerga being wounded, along with two civilians. The next day another suicide car bomb went off in Tuz Kharmato killing 40 and injuring 14. During those incidents the police chief of Tuz was killed. In retaliation the prison in Amerli was attacked and up to 52 prisoners were executed in retaliation, an act blamed on the Badr organization.  The Tuz district has been a hot spot for ethno-political disputes between Kurds and Shiite Arabs and Turkmen, with Sunni Arabs and Turkmen being caught in the middle. IS successfully exploited those tensions with these attacks, which led to the murder of the prisoners, which were Sunnis.

All of this fighting led to 182 dead and 152 wounded in Salahaddin during the week, which was higher than the last seven monthly totals.

Finally, after only two successful car bombs in the first two weeks of June there were 9 the third month. Those hit Anbar, Ninewa, and Salahaddin and left behind 94 fatalities and 141 injured. Another 36 were said to be destroyed, but because of exaggerations by the security forces that figure is unreliable.

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
May 8-14
141
311
674
May 15-21
121
349
604
May 22-28
142
200
397
May 29-31
81
115
313
MAY
645
1,300
2,409
Jun 1-7
161
389
487
Jun 8-14
132
234
461
Jun 15-21
148
352
497

Security By Province Jun 15-21, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
31 Incidents
34 Killed: 1 Hashd, 12 ISF, 21 Civilians
58 Wounded: 5 Hashd, 18 ISF, 35 Civilians
6 Shootings
5 IEDs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
2 Rockets
3 Mortars
1 Suicide Bomber Arrested
10 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
23 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
1 Incident
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 IED
Baghdad
61 Incidents
105 Killed: 3 Sahwa, 21 ISF, 81 Civilians
262 Wounded: 7 Sahwa, 24 ISF, 231 Civilians
15 Shootings
36 IEDs
5 Sticky Bombs
3 Suicide Bombers
Basra
2 Incidents
2 IEDs
Diyala
12 Incidents
9 Killed: 3 ISF, 3 Hashd, 3 Civilians
12 Wounded: 3 Civilians, 9 ISF
3 Shootings
5 IEDs
5 Suicide Bombers Killed
Kirkuk
7 Incidents
6 Killed: 1 Peshmerga, 5 Civilians
5 Wounded: 5 Civilians
3 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Mortar
Ninewa
14 Incidents
16 Killed: 16 Civilians
6 Wounded: 6 Civilians
5 Shootings
1 Suicide Car Bomb
Salahaddin
19 Incidents
182 Killed: 5 Peshmerga, 10 ISF, 37 Hashd, 130 Civilians
152 Wounded: 5 ISF, 26 Civilians, 45 Peshmerga, 76 Hashd
6 Shootings
4 IEDs
3 Suicide Car Bombs
4 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
3 Car Bombs Destroyed
Sulaymaniya
1 Incident
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 IED

Car Bombs In Iraq June, 2016
Date
Car Bombs
Dead
Wounded
Jun 1
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jun 2



Jun 3
Baghdadi & Saqlawiya, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Jun 4
Kirkuk, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed


Jun 5
Albu Bali & Fallujah, Anbar – 8 destroyed


Jun 6
Fallujah & Yatama, Anbar – 6 destroyed


Jun 7
Karbala, Karbala
Fallujah & Jeraishi, Anbar – 7 destroyed
10
28
Totals
1 – 26 Destroyed
10
28
Jun 8
Nasir, Ninewa – 3 destroyed
Makhoul Mountains, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Jun 9
New Baghdad, Baghdad
19
64
Jun 10
Fallujah, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jun 11
Fahalat & Subhait, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Jun 12
Jeraishi, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Nasir, Ninewa – 2 destroyed


Jun 13
Jeraishi, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Jun 14
Fallujah, Anbar – 11 destroyed


Totals
1 – 23 Destroyed
19
64
Jun 15
Fallujah, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jun 16
Basateen, Halabesa, Fallujah & Nukhaib, Anbar – 20 destroyed


Jun 17
Shuraidah, Ninewa
Pir Ahmad x 2, Tuz Kharmato, Zanjar x 2, Salahaddin
46
88
Jun 18
Tuz Kharmato, Salahaddin
Beit Ekab, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed
40
14
Jun 19
Albu Risha & Fallujah, Anbar – 8 destroyed


Jun 20
Zankura, Anbar
Zankura, Anbar – 3 destroyed
3
4
Jun 21
Dour, Salahaddin
Fallujah, Anbar – 1 desroyed
North Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
5
35
Totals
9 – 36 Destroyed
94
141

SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, "Iraqi Special Forces Enter Center of IS-Held Fallujah," Associated Press, 6/17/16
- "Iraqi Troops Seize Fallujah Hospital, Clear Mines," Associated Press, 6/18/16

Adel, Loaa, "17 ISIS members killed during battles in northern Ramadi," Iraqi News, 6/19/16
- "20 ISIS members killed during battles in western Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/16/16
- "Anti-Terrorism forces liberate Zankora village in northern Ramadi," Iraqi News, 6/15/16
- "Joint security forces free al-Tikrit orchard southeast of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/15/16
- "Military reinforcements arrive in haditha to participate in battles," Iraqi News, 6/16/16
- "Security forces liberate Mashak village north of Baiji," Iraqi News, 6/18/16
- "Tuz suicide attacks on Patriotic Union of Kurdistan kills, wounds 13 people," Iraqi News, 6/18/16

AIN, "Pictures .. Blew up a Kia van carrying a bomb southeast of Fallujah," 6/15/16
- "Urgent control staff bridge in Fallujah," 6/16/16
- "Urgent freed second Al-Jughaifi neighborhood and cleared the Jordanian hospital in Fallujah," 6/21/16

BBC, "IS conflict: Iraqi troops push into northern Falluja," 6/20/16

Buratha News, "Security forces destroyed a tank suicide bomber in Nukhayib," 6/16/16

Face Iraq, "Baghdad Operations: freed Khudayr and Salam southeast Fallujah," 6/16/16
- "Found the bodies of 52 detainees who were abducted by militants following an attack on Amerli," 6/18/16
- “Security forces arrest a member of the pouplar crowd accused of killing 17 displaced residents of Fallujah,” 6/15/16

Al Forat, "Destroyed three Daash cars and a bulldozer bomb in northern Salahuddin," 6/21/16

George, Susannah, “US-Led Coalition Says Only 1/3 of Fallujah Cleared of IS,” Associated Press, 6/21/16

Iraq News, "Security forces liberate all areas in southern axis of Fallujah, tens of ISIS members killed," 6/19/16

Iraq Oil Report, "IS targets Tuz again, exposing deep-roted divisions," 6/20/16

Iraqi News, "Security forces finish 2nd phase of operations to liberae southern Mosul," 6/20/16
- "Joint security forces free al-Jumhoriya in Fallujah," 6/21/16
- "Liberating operations of areas to north of Salahuddin resume," 6/21/16
- "Security forces begin operation to liberate Zankoura area in northern Ramadi," 6/20/16
- "Security forces liberate all areas in southern axis of Fallujah, tens of ISIS members killed," 6/19/16

Khalid, Herman, "Twin Blasts in Tuz Khurmatu Kill Two," Bas news, 6/18/16

Khoder, Salam, “Fallujah civilians: ‘Militias take turns to torture us,’” Al Jazeera, 6/16/16

Al Maalomah, "At least six martyrs and 13 wounded in suicide bombing at Camp Taji," 6/20/16
- "Fully cleared the village of Zoba southeast of Fallujah," 6/19/16
- "Security forces liberated village in northern Salahuddin," 6/21/16
- "Source: Tuz bombing by a truck bomb led to the death of three people and injuring 14 others," 6/18/16

Al Mada, "The joint forces entered the center of Fallujah destroying 15 car bombs," 6/16/16
- "Started process of freeing areas north of Ramadi from Daash control," 6/16/16

Al Masalah, "Freed village in Makhoul and incursions in the Hamrin Mountains,” 6/18/16
- "Freed village south-west of Baiji refinery," 6/18/16
- "Launching large-scale military campaign to liberate the southern sector of Fallujah," 6/21/16

Middle East Monitor, "Militia accused of killing 50 people in Iraq prison," 6/20/16

Morris, Loveday and Salim, Mustafa, "Iraqi forces recapture main hospital in Fallujah, driving ISIS further out," Washington Post, 6/18/16

New Sabah, "Counter-Terrorism service frees Nazal neighborhood in southern Fallujah and is moving to complete the liberation of the first Shuhada," 6/15/16

NINA, "3 Terrorists Killed, A Car Bomb Blown Up Near Iron Bridge In Fallujah," 6/21/16
- "Car Bomb Targeting Displaced, Kill And Wound 18 Civilians," 6/17/16
- "Rapid Reaction Division arrives to Street 60, in the center of Fallujah," 6/15/16
- "Two Areas In Fallujah Liberated," 6/15/16
- "Urgent..Anti-Terrorism Raise The Iraqi Flag In The Olympic Stadium in Fallujah and inter the Yarmouk District," 6/16/16
- "Urgent…Cleansing Kareem Khalaf Village North-West Of Baiji Refinery," 6/18/16
- "Urgent..Liberating al-Ersan (the Grooms) area and securing the bank of the Euphrates River against the Amiriyaht al- Fallujah," 6/17/16

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, "Iraqi Forces Open Front Near Mosul After Taking Fallujah," 6/18/16

Reuters, "Iraqi forces retake two Falluja districts from Islamic State, push west," 6/21/16

Rudaw, "24 Iraqi policemen killed in predawn ISIS attack, Peshmerga intervenes," 6/17/16
- "Twin bomb blast kill 9 in Iraq's capital," 6/15/16

Al-Salhy, Suadad, “EXCLUSIVE: Iraq says 17 civilians murdered by Shia fighter in Fallujah,” Middle East Eye, 6/16/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Iraqi forces free four villages towards southeast of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/15/16
- "ISIS suicide bomber killed by police while driving booby-trapped vehicle in western Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/19/16

Shafaq News, "Security forces kill five suicide bombers blew themselves up in Abu Saida Diyala," 6/18/16

Sotaliraq, "Death toll of Daash attacks on Tuz up to 65 dead and wounded," 6/17/16
- "Killing and wounding seven members of the counter terrorism force in suicide bombing north of Ramadi," 6/20/16

Al Sumaria, "Emergency regiment holding Shuhada area in Fallujah after its liberation from Daash," 6/16/16

Turkish Weekly, "Five Shia militiamen killed in N. Iraq: Police source," 6/21/16

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