Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Violence In Iraq, May 2016


Iraq experienced a very violent month in May 2016. That was due to two factors. First, the Islamic State was in the midst of its spring offensive. That meant a large number of mass casualty bombings across the country. On the other hand, the government was on the offensive in Anbar and Ninewa leading to a large number of counter attacks by the militants. Together that meant there were a lot of casualties during the month.

There were 645 reported incidents in Iraq in May 2016. That was up from 599 in April, but on par with March’s 665. When averaged out there were 19.2 attacks per day in January, 18.9 in February, 21.4 in March, 19.9 in April, and 20.8 in May. That showed the spring offensive started in March and has continued for three months total so far. Since Ramadan is going to start in June, which is another period when the militants pick up their operations Iraq may not see a dip in violence for several more weeks.

Avg. # of Attacks Per Day in Iraq 2016
Jan 19.2
Feb 18.9
Mar 21.4
Apr 19.9
May 20.8

There were 1,300 reported deaths and 2,409 wounded during the month. The real numbers are much higher as the government has been suppressing its losses. Those figures compared to 1,214 killed counted by Iraq Body Count, which does not include soldiers, and 867 dead and 1,459 wounded recorded by the United Nations that did not have Anbar. The total number of casualties recorded by Musings On Iraq, 3,709 in May was the most since January’s 3,773.

The 1,300 fatalities were made up of 1 U.S. soldier, 1 ex-Governor Nujafi volunteer, 2 Iranian Basij, 13 Sahwa, 18 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters, 122 Hashd, 132 ISF, and 981 civilians. The 2,408 wounded consisted of 1 U.S. soldier, 31 Sahwa, 86 Peshmerga, 131 Hashd, 186 ISF, and 1,973 civilians.

Baghdad is facing a large increase in terrorist attacks by the Islamic State leading it to be the deadliest province in the country. There were 628 deaths there in May. There were another 239 killed in Ninewa, 154 in Anbar, 85 in Diyala, 68 in Salahaddin, 62 in Kirkuk, 38 in Muthanna, 18 in Kurdistan, and 8 in Babil.

On the main battlefront in Anbar, the number of incidents went up from April to May, but the casualties went down, likely due to government censorship. There were 92 attacks recorded in April compared to 116 in May. Despite that increase number of dead in April was 226 versus 154 in May. In April 113 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were reported killed in the government’s drive west from Ramadi to the Jordanian border and then in Fallujah. In May only 48 ISF deaths were in the press. Although there were 1 suicide bomber, 2 car bombs, and 5 suicide car bombs the main driver of casualties amongst the joint forces were infantry counter attacks by IS. Another factor was the fact that the press began to record the effects of government shelling on Fallujah again. Those used to be routine, but then completely stopped in the second half of 2015. As the government tried to free the city the media started mentioning these incidents once again. During the month the papers had 54 civilians killed and 107 wounded in May. Two of those deaths were Iranian Basij, which are operating under the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force in assisting the pro-Tehran Hashd in the towns around Fallujah.

Attacks on Baghdad have skyrocketed in 2016 as IS has begun shifting to more terrorist attacks. There were 283 incidents in the capital in May leading to 628 dead and 1,478 wounded. The 151 IEDs and 30 sticky bombs are unfortunately part of the day to day routine of the province hitting shops, markets and other areas known for public gatherings. Last month however, IS also set off 1 motorcycle bomb, 12 suicide bombers, and 13 car bombs adding to the carnage. Together those accounted for 274 fatalities and 538 injuries. This was one sign that the Islamic State was still carrying out its spring campaign as it focused upon mass casualty bombings on civilian areas.

Diyala was one province where IS has also started picking up its operations. There used to be less than one incident there per day, but now there are nearly two. May was no exception with 58 attacks recorded there leading to 84 dead and 198 wounded. Many of these were shootings and IEDs, but there were also one car bomb and 2 suicide bombings, and another car bomb was discovered and dismantled before it could go off. These attacks accounted for most of the casualties in the governorate with 36 killed and 149 injured.

Similarly violence has been going up in Kirkuk as well. That was largely due to IS counter attacks upon the Bashir area, which was recently freed. The insurgents launched a wave of mortar, rocket, and infantry attacks upon the district in response. That also included claims of IS using chemical munitions. In total, there were 60 incidents, 68 killed and 115 wounded.

Turkey has been bombing PKK positions in northern Kurdistan almost every week now. Rarely are any casualties mentioned from these raids. In May however 18 PKK fighters were allegedly killed in an air strike.

Another part of the militants’ spring offensive has been to launch car bombs into the south once more. In May two car bombs went off in Muthanna and another was dismantled. That is the first time it had been hit by a vehicle bomb since April 2014. In April 2016 Basra was hit by a car bomb and a suicide bomber attacked Dhi Qar. That’s a troubling trend, because it shows that IS’s infiltration networks are operating across the country and can move car bombs nearly anywhere.

Incidents remained high in Ninewa as the peshmerga launched a new operation and the army’s offensive in Makhmour petered out. Both of those actions led to a large number of IS counter attacks. There were a total of 78 incidents there with 239 dead and 151 wounded. Of those, the Peshmerga accounted for 26 of the former and 80 of the latter. One U.S. soldier was also reportedly killed and another wounded supporting the Kurdish forces. IS executed another 179 civilians mostly in the Mosul area.

Salahaddin has been very quiet since the liberation of Baiji, but in May things picked up with some suicide and car bombings. There was one vehicle bomb and 8 suicide bombers in the month. Suleiman Bek was hit by two car bombs, the first major violence there in months. Balad and Dujail were also hit. Those were the main reasons why there were 68 fatalities and 115 wounded there.

As the spring offensive got underway the number of car bombs went up in the country. In February there were only 9 successful bombings. That quickly rose to 18 in March, 13 in April, and 29 in May. Last month there was 1 in Diyala, 1 in Salahaddin, 2 in Muthanna, 5 in Ninewa, 7 in Anbar, and 13 in Baghdad. Some of these were aimed at the security forces, but more than half were terrorist bombings meant to kill and hurt as many civilians as possible.

Car Bombs In Iraq 2016
Jan 36
Feb 9
Mar 18
Apr 13
May 29

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

Security By Province May, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
116 Incidents
154 Killed: 2 Iranian Basij, 5 Sahwa, 47 Hashd, 48 ISF, 52 Civilians
260 Wounded: 17 Hashd, 19 Sahwa, 41 ISF, 183 Civilians
38 Shootings
7 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
5 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Car Bombs
8 Mortars
3 Rockets
130 Suicide Bombers Killed
68 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
49 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
10 Incidents
8 Killed: 8 Civilians
25 Wounded: 6 Hashd, 19 Civilians
3 Shootings
9 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Baghdad
283 Incidents
628 Killed: 8 Sahwa, 15 Hashd, 67 ISF, 538 Civilians
1,478 Wounded: 12 Sahwa, 39 Hashd, 119 ISF, 1,308 Civilians
62 Shootings
151 IEDs
30 Sticky Bombs
12 Suicide Bombers
1 Motorcycle Bomb
10 Suicide Car Bombs
3 Car Bombs
4 Mortars
17 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Car Bombs Dismantled
Basra
3 Incidents
4 Wounded: 1 Civilian, 3 Hashd
1 Shooting
1 Grenade
Dhi Qar
1 Incident
1 IED
Diyala
58 Incidents
85 Killed: 3 Hashd, 7 ISF, 75 Civilians
198 Wounded: 8 Hashd, 11 ISF, 179 Civilians
26 Shootings
14 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Car Bomb
8 Mortars
1 Grenade
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Kirkuk
60 Incidents
62 Killed: 1 ISF, 4 Peshmerga, 25 Civilians, 32 Hashd
91 Wounded: 3 ISF, 6 Peshmerga, 26 Hashd, 56 Civilians
19 Shootings
20 IEDs
2 Mortars
10 Rockets
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
6 Car Bombs Destroyed
KRG
1 Incident
18 Killed: 18 PKK
1 Turkish Air Strike
Muthanna
2 Incidents
38 Killed: 38 Civilians
86 Wounded: 86 Civilians
2 Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
Ninewa
78 Incidents
239 Killed: 1 ISF, 1 US Soldier, 1 Volunteer, 11 Hashd, 26 Peshmerga, 199 Civilians
151 Wounded: 1 US Soldier, 9 ISF, 61 Civilians, 80 Peshmerga
47 Shootings
41 IEDs
11 Suicide Bombers
5 Car Bombs
8 Mortars
2 Rockets
44 Suicide Bombers Killed
23 Car Bombs Destroyed
Qadisiyah
1 Incident
1 Gunfire
Salahaddin
32 Incidents
68 Killed: 8 ISF, 14 Hashd, 46 Civilians
115 Wounded: 3 ISF, 32 Hashd, 80 Civilians
20 Shootings
5 IEDs
8 Suicide Bombers
1 Car Bomb
1 Grenade
4 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
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
May 29
Amiriyah Fallujah x2 & Garma, Anbar
Mufti x2, Ninewa
Sjar, Anbar – 5 destroyed
Western Kirkuk, Kirkuk – 4 destroyed
7
20
May 30
Shaab & Tarmiya, Baghdad
Mufti, Ninewa – 14 destroyed
22
44
May 31
Niamiya & Saqlawiya, Anbar – 7 destroyed
?, Muthanna – 1 destroyed


MAY
29 – 49 Destroyed
299
597

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