Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Security In Iraq, June 1-7, 2016


A high pace of violence continued in Iraq into the first week of June 2016. That was due to the continued spring offensive by the Islamic State and its counter attacks to government operations in Anbar.

There were 161 incidents reported in the press from June 1-7. That was higher than the previous three weeks, but on part with the 160 recorded the first week of May.

As usual Baghdad was the most violent province with 65 incidents. There were another 34 in Anbar, 18 each in Diyala and Ninewa, 13 in Kirkuk, 10 in Salahddin, 2 in Babil, and 1 in Karbala.

Those attacks led to 389 dead and 487 wounded. 2 Sahwa, 8 Peshmerga, 13 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 31 Hashd, and 335 civilians were killed during the week. Another 3 Sahwa, 16 ISF, 19 Peshmerga 99 Hashd, and 350 civilians were injured.

The government’s forces continued to make progress in Anbar. Saqlawiya to the northwest of Fallujah was freed along with three other towns in the district. Niamiya to the south was cleared as well. To the east, there were still operations in Amiriya Fallujah. In Fallujah itself, the gas and heavy water plants were liberated along with the second Shuhada neighborhood in the south. As usual, reports on progress had to be tempered as propaganda often gets ahead of actual victories. Niamiya for example was declared freed three times in a week. Overall, there are still surrounding towns that the Iraqi forces have to go through to secure the perimeter but the assault on the city itself has begun. There is slow progress because of the defense in depth that the Islamic State has been able to prepare after controlling the city for more than two years.

In terms of casualties during the Fallujah operation very few have been reported because of government censorship. Only 26 ISF and Hashd dead were mentioned in the press along with 87 wounded. Agence France Presse said that 1,119 members of the joint forces had been wounded. That seems extremely high, but it’s impossible to tell the truth right now. There was a story that 400 ISF bodies were found in a mass grave outside Saqlawiya, but that was later proven false. There have also been reports of abuses by the Hashd. 17 civilians were said to have been executed in Garma, and another 40 in Amiriya Fallujah. Finally, government shelling killed 18 civilians in Fallujah and another 5 wounded. There were more casualties, but they just didn’t get into the press.

Baghdad was the most violent province as usual. There were 65 incidents there leading to 93 dead and 282 wounded. The number of attacks has actually gone down in recent weeks compared to before when there were an average of 70 or more per week. There was one mass casualty bombing when a suicide bomber detonated his device at a checkpoint in Tarmiya killing 8 and wounding 15. The main cause of all the casualties were IEDs, 41 of which went off during the week, along with 7 sticky bombs. IS continued to target the south, 24 incidents, and north, 16 incidents, in both the rural areas and in the capital itself. Between the two districts there were 27 IEDs, 4 sticky bombs and 2 suicide bombers.

Violence in Baghdad, Jun 1-7, 2016
Center: 1 – Kidnapping/freed
East: 12 – 1 Shooting/Robbery, 1 Kidnapping/Shooting/Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 3 Shootings, 6 IEDs
Outer East: 2 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 IED
North: 7 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 4 IEDs
Outer North: 9 – 1 Grenade, 1 Shooting, 2 Suicide Bombers, 5 IEDs
South: 14 – 3 Sticky Bombs, 3 Shootings, 8 IEDs
Outer South: 10 – 10 IEDs
West: 3 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 Shooting, 1 IED
Outer West: 6 – 6 IEDs
Center: 6 – 6 IEDs

There has been a steady increase in small insurgent attacks in Diyala. In recent months the number of average attacks had more than doubled from less than one per day to now around two. The start of June was no different with 2.5 incidents per day. These continued to be mostly shootings and IEDs, but there was a suicide bombing and two more bombers were arrested before they could set off their bombs highlighting the increased activity in the province.

A car bomb went off in Karbala on June 7 leaving 10 dead and 28 wounded. The last time that city had been hit by an IS vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was in October 2014. This was another sign that IS’s spring offensive continued as it had hit several southern provinces for the first time in years in the last few weeks.

In Ninewa IS carried out a series of attacks on the ISF and Peshmerga lines, while executing people in Mosul and Tal Afar. There were 14 attacks upon the Kurds and army in the Makhmour, Sinjar and Zummar districts. That led to the deaths of one soldier and 8 Peshmerga, with another 19 injured. The Islamists killed 130 people for a variety of charges such as spying or attempting to escape. A mass grave was discovered as well with the bodies of 70 people killed by IS.

IS launched a number of attacks upon the government forces in Salahaddin. This included attacks on the Alas oil field, the Makhmoul Mountains, and the Baiji district in the northeast, as well as one in the Tikrit area. The province is no longer a priority for the insurgents, but they have moved into areas where they were forced out of and are re-establishing their networks.

The Karbala incident was the only successful VBIED in Iraq at the start of June. Another 26 were said to be destroyed or dismantled in Anbar and Kirkuk. Unfortunately the government forces often exaggerate how many of these bombs they face so the real figures are impossible to discern. 

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

Security By Province Jun 1-7, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
34 Incidents
116 Killed: 1 ISF, 25 Hashd, 90 Civilians
132 Wounded: 1 ISF, 45 Civilians, 86 Hashd
9 Shootings
2 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Rocket
1 Mortar
8 Suicide Bombers Killed
6 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
19 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
2 Incidents
Baghdad
65 Incidents
93 Killed: 2 Hashd, 2 Sahwa, 4 ISF, 85 Civilians
282 Wounded: 3 Sahwa, 4 ISF, 4 Hashd, 271 Civilians
11 Shootings
41 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Grenade
Diyala
18 Incidents
17 Killed: 3 ISF, 14 Civilians
11 Wounded: 5 ISF, 6 Civilians
12 Shooting
1 IED
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
2 Suicide Bombers Arrested
Karbala
1 Incident
10 Killed: 10 Civilians
28 Wounded: 28 Civilians
1 Car Bomb
Kirkuk
13 Incidents
12 Killed: 2 Hashd, 10 Civilians
3 Wounded: 3 Hashd
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
2 Mortars
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Ninewa
18 Incidents
133 Killed: 1 ISF, 8 Peshmerga, 124 Civilians
19 Wounded: 19 Peshmerga
17 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Mortar
15 Suicide Bombers Killed
Salahaddin
10 Incidents
8 Killed: 2 Hashd, 2 Civilians, 4 ISF
12 Wounded: 6 ISF, 6 Hashd
6 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Rockets

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

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "Anbar security committee announces liberating Albu Hoi area south of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/5/16
- "Anti-Terrorism forces storm Fallujah City," Iraqi News, 6/4/16
- "Security forces find mass grave containing remains of 400 army soldiers," Iraqi News, 6/5/16
- "Security forces liberate al-Yatama area in southern Fallujah, dozens of ISIS members killed," Iraqi News, 6/6/16
- "Security forces raise Iraqi flag over Nazim al-Maftoul west of Saqlawiya," Iraqi News, 6/1/16
- "Security forces raise Iraqi flag over Saqlawiya Bridge," Iraqi News, 6/1/16

Adnan, Ghassan and Fitch, Asa, "Islamic State Claims Deadly Car Bombing in Iraq," Wall Street Journal, 6/7/16

Agence France Presse, "Over 1,000 Iraqi forces wounded in Fallujah op," 6/4/16

AIN, "The destruction fo car bomb south Fallujah and surrounded the city," 6/5/16

Buratha News, "Popular crowd announced surroudning Fallujah fully and confirms free Saqlawiyah," 6/2/16

Faraj, Murtada, "Bombings kill 15 in and around Iraqi capital," Associated Press, 6/4/16

Al Forat, "68 Daash killed and destroyed car bombs in a number of operations," 6/6/16
- "Urgent killed 16 terrorists and destroyed four car bombs in western axis of Fallujah," 6/5/16

Al Maalomah, "Albu Hussein area cleared and most important Daash strongholds south of Fallujah," 6/6/16
- "Found a car bomb near the Kirkuk Directorate," 6/4/16
- "Killed 14 Daash and the destruction of three car bombs by aerial bombing northeast of Ramadi," 6/5/16
- "Killing several suicide bombers and destroy a car bomb as security forces progress in southern Fallujah," 6/1/16
- "Military denies to media finding a cemetary in Saqlawiyah," 6/7/16

Al Mada, "Karbala bombing toll rises to 38 dead and wounded," 6/7/16

Al Masalah, "Popular Crowd frees village of Albu Azzam northwest of Saqlawiyah," 6/1/16

New Sabah, "Military units moving to break into the center of Fallujah and liberate Shuhada neighborhood," 6/2/16
- "Security forces freed the gas plant and heavy water plant in Fallujah," 6/6/16

NINA, "Anti-Terrorism Kill 2 Terrorists, Detonate 3 Car Bombs In Their Advance To Liberate Fallujah," 6/7/16
NINA, "Found a mass grave containing the remains of 70 civilians and police south of Mosul," 6/7/16
- "Security Forces Foil An Attack To Daash, Kill 41 Terrorists Northern Ramadi," 6/7/16
-"Urgent…Zagarit Area, Near Saqlawiyah, Entirely Liberated," 6/1/16

Sarhan, Amre, "4 ISIS members, including Chinese national, killed in security operation north of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/6/16

Sotaliraq, "7 dead and 20 wounded initial toll of the bombing in Karbala," 6/7/16
- "Found the bodies of 40 displaced from Fallujah killed at the hands of the Popular Crowd," 6/7/16
- "Killed two suicide bombers driving two cars and the destruction of their bases in Saqlawiya," 6/3/16

World Bulletin, "Iraq Probes Execution of 17 Civilians By Shia Militia," 6/5/16

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Musings On Iraq In The News

I was mentioned in “Is Donald Trump to Raqqa and Mosul what Assad was to Aleppo?” by Alastair Sloan for Middle East Monitor.