Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Security In Iraq, May 22-28, 2016


The fourth week of May 2016 saw a slight dip in the Islamic State’s on going spring campaign. Security incidents went up, but casualties went down, as there were no mass casualties bombings from May 22-28. On the government side, it continued with the process of freeing Fallujah, which accounted for most of the violence in the country outside of Baghdad that still faces a constant barrage of IS attacks.

From May 22-28 there were 142 incidents reported in the press. That was up from 121 the week before, but on par with the 141 from May 8-14. As usual, Baghdad was the most violent province with 60 incidents. That was followed by 37 attacks in Anbar, 12 in Ninewa, 12 in Kirkuk, 10 in Diyala, 7 in Salahaddin, 3 in Babil, and 1 in Basra.

Casualties dipped during the week. There were 200 dead and 397 wounded compared to 349 fatalities and 604 injured the previous week. There were 1 Iranian Basij, 1 Sahwa, 15 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 55 Hashd, and 128 civilians killed from May 22-28. Another 1 Peshmerga, 15 ISF, 37 Hashd, and 344 civilians were wounded.

Baghdad led the country in deaths with 86. There were also 49 killed in Ninewa, 48 in Anbar, 7 in Diyala, 6 in Kirkuk, and 4 in Salahaddin.

Fighting happened throughout central Anbar as the government forces pushed on the Islamic State on several fronts. First, Garma was finally freed after more than two years of fighting on May 23. The district was declared cleared three days later. The security forces were still fighting over Amiriya Fallujah with a new operation started on May 25. Other efforts were made on Khalidiya Island and Saqlawiya. Those were all meant to secure the perimeter around Fallujah.

The main assault on that city started during the week. On May 22 the government called on civilians to leave Fallujah, and then the attack started the next day. In the following period seventeen surrounding towns were liberated including places like Subhait, Sjar, Niamiya, and Albu Jassim, which had been fought over for more than a year. IS can be expected to put up a tough and desperate fight, but it is no match for the forces arrayed against it. As usual, the Golden Division will lead the charge into the urban areas with the regular Iraqi forces and Hashd holding the outskirts and U.S. air strikes being called in for support. It would be hard to decipher that arrangement due to all the propaganda being put out by various Hashd elements to proclaim their role in the fighting. Iran’s General Suleimani also made his appearance on the battlefield. From the start however, officials have made it clear that the ISF will be in the forefront in Fallujah.

The Islamic State reacted with 34 counterattacks using infantry, suicide bombers and car bombs. The government claimed it destroyed 32 car bombs and killed 49 suicide bombers during the week, but those numbers are regularly inflated for propaganda purposes. The press had 1 Sahwa, 1 soldier, 35 Hashd and 1 Iranian member of the Basij killed during the fighting. Those are probably a fraction of the actual casualties as the government has been suppressing its losses to maintain morale.

During the operation there have been occasional reports of casualties within Fallujah and the surrounding area. There were two articles of 39 civilians being killed and 71 wounded in the city from government shelling. The true numbers are likely higher as it has been struck every day for more than two years now. Civilians trying to flee the fighting in Amiriya Fallujah were also hit by IS mortars leaving 2 dead and 20 injured.

In the fourth week of the month southern and northern Baghdad were hit the most. In the south there were 21 incidents with 11 in the outer towns and 10 in the city proper led by 14 IEDs. There were another 18 in the north with 12 in the outer regions and 6 in the city itself. That included a suicide bomber being killed and another arrested. There were no mass casualty bombings in the province after a slew of them earlier in May, but the suicide bombers showed that IS was still trying. All together there were 60 incidents leading to 86 dead and 232 wounded.

Violence In Baghdad, May 22-28, 2016
Center: 2 – 1 Mortar, 1 IED
East: 7 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 Kidnapping/Freed, 2 IEDs, 3 Shootings
Outer East: 2 – 1 Shooting, 1 IED
North: 6 – 1 Suicide Bomber Arrested, 1 Kidnapping Foiled, 1 IED, 3 Shootings
Outer North: 12 – 1 Suicide Bomber Killed, 2 Sticky Bombs, 3 Shootings, 8 IEDs
South: 10 – 1 Shooting, 9 IEDs
Outer South: 11 – 1 Stabbing, 1 Shooting, 9 IEDs
West: 7 – 1 Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb, 5 IEDs
Outer West: 2 – 2 IEDs

In southern Iraq there was more political violence. The week before the offices of the Badr Organization were fired upon in Diwaniya, Qadisiyah, and an IED planted outside an Asaib Ahl Al-Haq building in Garraf, Dhi Qar. This week a grenade was thrown at a cultural center run by Dawa in Basra wounding a guard. Tensions have been growing between the Shiite ruling parties and the Hashd over influence and control of the government with many jockeying for position come the next election. That will mean more of these types of incidents will occur.

Ninewa saw a new slew of IS executions and attacks. 38 people were reportedly killed by the Islamists in Mosul for a variety of reasons including spying, apostasy, and other charges. IS also launched four assaults upon the Kurdish positions and one upon tribal Hashd in the Makhmour district. The latter was a suicide bomber who got through the lines and killed 11 Hashd. Chemical rockets hit Kahrez that left 35 civilians affected. Finally, IS blew up thirteen houses in Haji Ali that wounded five.

Salahaddin has been relatively quite in recent months with small scale fighting occurring in the Hamrin Mountains and Baiji district in the northeast. There was a car bomb at a checkpoint in Suleiman Bek however that killed 2 Hashd and wounded another 11. There has been no serious violence in that town for over a year so that was a change from normal IS operations in the province.

The Suleiman Bek incident was the only successful car bombing in Iraq during the week. The joint forces claimed another 34 were destroyed. Again, those numbers are regularly exaggerated so the true figure is impossible to confirm.

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

Security By Province May 22-28, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
37 Incidents
48 Killed: 1 ISF, 1 Iranian Basij, 1 Sahwa, 10 Civilians, 35 Hashd
101 Wounded: 8 Hashd, 93 Civilians
15 Shootings
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Mortar
49 Suicide Bombers Killed
8 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
24 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
3 Incidents
2 Wounded: 2 Civilians
1 Shooting
2 IEDs
Baghdad
60 Incidents
86 Killed: 5 Hashd, 13 ISF, 68 Civilians
232 Wounded: 12 Hashd, 14 ISF, 206 Civilians
13 Shootings
38 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
1 Mortar
2 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
Basra
1 Incident
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Grenade
Diyala
10 Incidents
7 Killed: 7 Civilians
4 Wounded: 1 ISF, 1 Hashd, 2 Civilians
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Mortar
Kirkuk
12 Incidents
6 Killed: 1 ISF, 1 Hashd, 4 Civilians
5 Shootings
4 IEDs
2 Rockets
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Ninewa
12 Incidents
49 Killed: 11 Hashd, 38 Civilians
41 Peshmerga: 1 Peshmerga, 40 Civilians
3 Shootings
13 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Rockets
6 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
7 Incidents
4 Killed: 1 Civilian, 3 Hashd
16 Wounded: 16 Hashd
6 Shootings
1 Car Bomb

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
May 8
Salam, Anbar – 3 destroyed


May 9
Baquba, Diyala
Albu Shihab, Anbar – 1 destroyed
16
54
May 10
Thar Thar, Anbar – 1 destroyed


May 11
Jamiya, Kadhimiya, Sadr City, Baghdad
Jeraishi, Anbar – 2 destroyed
103
170
May 12
Jeraishi, Anbar
Albu Aetha, Albu Diab, Albu Faraj, Albu Veab, Anbar – 19 destroyed
Baiji, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
17

May 13
Albu Aetha, Dwylih, Garma, Anbar – 10 destroyed


May 14
Albu Hayat, Anbar
Albu Aetha & Barwana, Anbar – 2 destroyed
2
6
Totals
6 – 39 Destroyed
138
230
May 15
Latifiya & Taji x3, Baghdad
Baghdadi, Anbar – 2 destroyed
21
56
May 16
Rutba, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Khalis, Diyala – 1 destroyed


May 17
Rutba, Anbar
Rasheed & Sadr City, Baghdad
Barwana, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Amil & Zafaraniya, Baghdad – 2 destroyed
47
99
May 18
Aski Mosul, Ninewa – 3 destroyed


May 19
?, Anbar – 3 destroyed


May 20
Southeast of Fallujah, Anbar
1

May 21



Totals
8 – 17 Destroyed
69
155
May 22
Suleiman Bek, Salahaddin
2
11
May 23
Fallujah & Garma-Sjar Road, Anbar – 8 destroyed


May 24
Albu Jassim, Albu Kanafar, Albu Shijil, east of Fallujah, Lahib, Anbar – 9 destroyed


May 25
Sjar, Anbar – 2 destroyed


May 26
Albu Hamad & Albu Shijil, Anbar – 6 destroyed


May 27
South of Fallujah & Sjar, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Makhmour, Ninewa – 2 destroyed


May 28
Amiriya Fallujah & Hasa, Anbar – 4 destroyed


Totals
1 – 34 Destroyed
2
11

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "Anbar Operations announces starting Khalidiya Island liberation operation," Iraqi News, 5/25/16
- "Badr Organization announces liberating 2 areas northeast of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/23/16
- "Baghdad Operations: ISIS members flee from al-Zarka, Albu Jassim village liberated," Iraqi News, 5/24/16
- "Baghdad Operations liberates 2 villages near Karma, 13 ISIS militants killed," Iraqi News, 5/24/16
- "Federal Police announces liberating village in eastern entrance of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/24/16
- "Federal Police announces liberating 2 villages north of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/24/16
- "Federal Police Chief: Security forces advance toward east of Fallujah from 3 axes," Iraqi News, 5/24/16
- "Security forces destroy 2 vehicles south of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/28/16
- "Security forces liberate 2 villages northeast of Fallujah from ISIS control," Iraqi News, 5/24/16
- "Source: 35 civilians wounded by ISIS chlorine rockets attack in southern Nineveh," Iraqi News, 5/28/16

AIN, "Foiled Daash attack with 7 car bombs on federal police in Fallujah," 5/23/16
- "Freeing Garma and the dismantling of mined homes," 5/23/16
- "security forces control Nuaimiya area and up the bridge in Fallujah," 5/23/16

Bas News, "Car Bomb Hits Shi'ite Militia Checkpoint," 5/22/16

Al Forat, "The destruction of three car bombs near Amiriyah Fallujah," 5/28/16
- "Detonated a car bomb and dismantled 20 explosive devices on the road from Garma to Al Sjar," 5/23/16
- "Killing Daash and destruction of two car bombs in frustrating attack on west Makhmour," 5/27/16
- "Launching a military operation to liberate Saqlawiyah, northwest of Fallujah," 5/28/16

Hashim, Jamal, "Iraqi army advances to retake Fallujah as protests cast shadow on ongoing operations," Xinhua, 5/27/16

Al Maalomah, "Clearing Albu Nasser area north of Fallujah during security crackdown," 5/23/16

Al Mada, "Freeing Al-Sjar area and raise the Iraqi flags over the government buildings north of Fallujah," 5/25/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "ISIS shelling kills, wounds 22 civilians while trying to escape from Amiriyah Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/28/16
- "Joint forces liberate 2 areas in northern Fallujah, dozens of ISIS members killed," Iraqi News, 5/23/16
- "Security forces fully control al-karma District, Iraqi flag raised," Iraqi News, 5/26/16
- "Security forces launch military operation to liberate southern areas of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/25/16
- "Security forces liberate area in Amiriya Fallujah, 13 ISIS fighters killed," Iraqi News, 5/26/16

Al Masalah, "Freed two villages near Karmah, killing 13 Daash," 5/24/16

Morris, Loveday and Salim, Mustafa, "Iraqi military preparing to retake Fallujah from Islamic State," Washington Post, 5/22/16

New Sabah, "Starting the process to free Fallujah and restore more than 10 areas in the surroundings," 5/23/16

NINA, "Daash Blow Up 13 Houses In Mosul Belonging To Fled Citizens," 5/26/16
- "The martyrdom of eleven sons of the tribal crowd by suicide bombing southeast of Mosul," 5/28/16
- "Popular Mobilization Forces Cleanse The Blue Lab, South of Fallujah," 5/24/16
- "Unidentified gunmen targeted the Dawa Party cultural center in Basra," 5/22/16

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, "Iraq Launches Operation To Retake Fallujah From Islamic State," 5/23/16

Rasheed, Ahmed and Kalin, Stephen, "Iraqi forces clash with Islamic State near Falluja, bombard city center," Reuters, 5/23/16

Rudaw, "82 civilians killed, wounded by random Shiite mortar shells on Fallujah," 5/26/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Security forces destroy ISIS communications center north of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/27/16
- "Security forces liberate Bakara village north of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/28/16
- "Security forces retake Makhtar village north of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 5/29/16

Sattar, Sardar, "Iraqi Forces Pushing Deeper Towards Falluja," Bas News, 5/23/16

Sotaliraq, "Thwarted a Daash attack by two car bombs northeast of Fallujah," 5/25/16

Al-Sumaria, "Anbar Operations announced the destruction of two cars, including one booby-trapped south of Fallujah," 5/27/16

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