Friday, January 27, 2017

Violence In Iraq, Jan 1-21, 2017

In the first three weeks of January the Mosul campaign was the main driver of violence and casualties in Iraq. From January 1-21 there were 488 incidents reported in the press. Of those, 236 were in Ninewa, or 48% of the total. Those incidents led to 1,398 deaths and 3,654 wounded. 950 of the fatalities, 67%, and 2,919 of the injured, 79%, were from the Battle for Mosul. Baghdad used to be the center of attacks in the country, but those have been cut in half since Mosul started. In September 2016 there were an average of 10.8 incidents per day, which dropped to 4.7 by December. That’s slightly up to 5.8 per day in the first twenty-one days of January.

On January 5, a new, but short-lived campaign in west Anbar was launched. The stated goal was to liberate the last towns in the province along the Syrian border. Al Mada quickly pointed out that this was not all that it was cut out to be as Prime Minister Haider Abadi didn’t officially announce it. It also noted that the United States had opposed previous operations because it didn’t want to interfere with the Mosul campaign. In November for example, Baghdad wanted to push on western Anbar, but the Americans intervened. The campaign only lasted around two weeks. A tribal leader told Al Mada, that it would not restart until Mosul was freed. In total around 11 villages were taken, and the Islamic State did not put up much of a fight for them.

While incidents have gone down in Baghdad, mass casualty bombings are up. When the government launched the Mosul operation in October, the Islamic State countered with a car bomb campaign in the capital. In September there were 2 successful vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in the capital with 2 more dismantled or destroyed. In October that went up to 4 bombings, then 7 in November, 9 in December, and then 13 so far in the first three weeks of January. A member of the Baghdad security committee accused the security forces of taking bribes from IS to allow their bombers through checkpoints. This has been true for years. This also coincided with the government deciding to take down concrete barriers and checkpoints in sections of the capital at the end of December. Baghdad Governor Ali al-Tamimi promised surveillance cameras and other forms of electronic security measures, but that has not materialized. Given the inability of checkpoints to stop previous bombings it’s unclear whether their removal really had any effect. IS has also changed its tactics. It is reportedly moving from the residential areas to the suburbs and moving assets around to try to prevent them from being discovered.

Car Bombs In Baghdad January 2016-January 21, 2017
Month
Car Bombs
Jan 2016
3
Feb
1
Mar
0
Apr
8
May
13
Jun
1
Jul
4
Aug
3
Sep
2
Oct
4
Nov
7
Dec
9
Jan 1-21, 2017
13

Diyala is one of the provinces where IS is re-organizing and ramping up its operations. From January 1-21 there have been 33 incidents for an average of 1.5 per day. In October 2016 there were 1.4 incidents per day, but that went down to 0.9 in November and 0.8 in December. These have included temporary seizing of towns, attacks on checkpoints, suicide bombings, and car bombs. Before most of the attacks were small shootings and IEDs with regular mass casualty bombings. Now Diyala is seeing large numbers of IS fighters in bigger operations. A Diyala parliamentarian from the Supreme Council called on the prime minister to open an investigation into the security failures, and blamed commanders for negligence. Badr head Hadi Ameri is in charge of security in the province with the Iraqi forces in a support role to his Hashd units.

In Kirkuk the Islamic State has one of its last strongholds in Hawija. The provincial government is increasingly calling on Abadi to free the area, but with Mosul going on that’s not going to happen right now. Hawija is turning out to be a major source of instability not only in Kirkuk but neighboring governorates as well. Cells from Hawija have been blamed for carrying out attacks in Salahaddin for example. There are constant reports of executions within the district, and displaced people being killed trying to escape.

Along with Diyala, Salahaddin is the other province seeing an uptick in insurgent activity. In the first three weeks of January there was an average of 1.6 incidents per day, the highest amount since June 2016 when there were 1.7. Just like in Diyala IS has moved from small hit and run and IED incidents to larger, more organized operations. On January 2, 9 suicide bombers attacked Samarra and were able to seize two police stations before being expelled and killed. Members of the provincial council have talked about IS cells operating in various areas. Also like Diyala, most of the security duties in Salahaddin are under the control of the Hashd. This has caused problems. The head of the Salahaddin council for example talked about too many different security forces in Samarra with overlapping duties and a lack of cooperation that has led to gaps, which have been exploited by the Islamic State.

Violence In Iraq By Month 2016-2017
Month
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan
723
2,418
1,986
Feb
657
1,685
1,724
Mar
683
1,685
2,095
1st Qtr Daily
Avg/91
22.6
63.6
63.7
Apr
630
1,840
1,904
May
675
1,644
2,484
Jun
631
2,111
6,455
2nd Qtr Daily
Avg/91
21.2
61.4
119.1
Jul
531
1,329
1,708
Aug
574
1,263
1,376
Sep
573
1,203
1,602
3rd Qtr Daily
Avg/92
18.2
41.2
50.9
Oct
589
2,965
2,376
Nov
599
4,389
3,972
Dec
583
1,559
11,681
4th Qtr Daily
Avg/92
19.2
96.8
195.6
Jan 1-7
185
509
1,346
Jan 8-14
166
306
1,044
Jan 15-21
137
583
1,264

Violence In Iraq, Jan 1-7, 2017
Security Incidents
185
Dead
509
21 Sahwa
38 Hashd
71 ISF
379 Civilians
Wounded
1,346
4 Hashd
45 ISF
1,282 Civilians
Shootings
48
Bombs
76
Car Bombs
19
Suicide Bombers
18
Car Bombs Destroyed
115
Suicide Bombers Killed
38
Anbar
10 Incidents
15 Killed: 2 Civilians, 3 Hashd, 10 ISF
26 Wounded: 12 ISF, 14 Civilians
3 Shootings
1 IED
3 Suicide Bombers
1 Rockets
1 Suicide Bomber Arrested
3 Suicide Car Bombers Arrested
Baghdad
46 Incidents
126 Killed: 2 Hashd, 7 ISF, 117 Civilians
221 Wounded: 4 Hashd, 217 Civilians
4 Shootings
31 IEDs
1 Sticky Bombs
2 Suicide Car Bombs
6 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
Diyala
14 Incidents
33 Killed: 2 Civilians, 3 ISF, 12 Hashd, 16 Sahwa
15 Wounded: 3 ISF, 12 Hashd
10 Shootings
1 IED
Kirkuk
7 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
2 Shootings
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
Najaf
1 Incident
10 Killed: 3 Civilians, 7 ISF
15 Wounded: 15 Civilians
1 Shooting
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Suicide Car Bomb
Ninewa
90 Incidents
282 Killed: 15 ISF, 16 Hashd, 251 Civilians
1,028 Wounded: 12 ISF, 1,016 Civilians
16 Shootings
9 IEDs
3 Suicide Bombers
3 Suicide Car Bombs
7 Car Bombs
10 Mortars
3 Rockets
13 Suicide Bombers killed
10 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
93 Car Bombs Destoryed
Salahaddin
16 Incidents
45 Killed: 2 Civilians, 5 Sahwa, 5 Hashd, 29 ISF
40 Wounded: 19 Civilians, 21 ISF
11 Shootings
2 IEDs
4 Suicide Bombers
1 Mortar
10 Suicide Bombers killed
5 Car Bombs Destroyed
Sulaymaniya
1 Incident
1 Grenade

Violence In Iraq, Jan 8-14, 2017
Security Incidents
166
Dead
306
2 PAK
9 Hashd
21 ISF
274 Civilians
Wounded
1,044
3 Peshmerga
3 PAK
5 Hashd
14 ISF
1,019 Civilians
Shootings
40
Bombs
68
Car Bombs
10
Suicide Bombers
5
Car Bombs Destroyed
97
Suicide Bombers Killed
20
Anbar
13 Incidents
7 Killed: 7 ISF
6 Wounded: 6 ISF
5 Shootings
1 Car Bomb
16 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Suicide Car Bombers Arrested
7 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
3 Incidents
2 Killed: 1 Civilian, 1 Hashd
1 Shooting
Baghdad
45 Incidents
62 Killed: 2 ISF, 60 Civilians
206 Wounded: 2 ISF, 204 Civilians
7 Shootings
33 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Suicide Car Bombs
3 Car Bombs
Basra
1 incident
1 IED
Diyala
11 Incidents
18 Killed: 3 Civilians, 4 Hashd, 11 ISF
12 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 4 Civilians, 6 ISF
5 Shootings
11 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
5 Car Bombs Destroyed
Kirkuk
5 Incidents
10 Killed: 2 PAK, 8 Civilians
3 Wounded: 3 PAK
1 IED
Ninewa
78 Incidents
187 Killed: 4 Hashd, 183 Civilians
811 Wounded: 811 Civilians
18 Shootings
4 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
4 Car Bombs
4 Mortars
3 Rockets
5 Suicide Bombers Killed
81 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
9 Incidents
20 Killed: 1 ISF, 19 Civilians
6 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 3 Peshmerga
4 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Wasit
1 Incident
1 Car Bomb Dismantled

Violence In Iraq, Jan 15-21, 2017
Security Incidents
137
Dead
583
6 Hashd
249 ISF
328 Civilians
Wounded
1,264
13 Hashd
230 Civilians
1,021 ISF
Shootings
29
Bombs
41
Car Bombs
7
Suicide Bombers
5
Car Bombs Destroyed
61
Suicide Bombers Killed
11
Anbar
10 Incidents
11 Killed: 5 Civilians, 6 ISF
37 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 38 Civilians
2 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
2 Rockets
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Babil
1 Incident
Baghdad
32 Incidents
27 Killed: 2 ISF, 2 Hashd, 23 Civilians
87 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 85 Civilians
6 Shootings
20 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Basra
2 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
2 Shootings
Diyala
8 Incidents
22 Killed: 2 Civilians, 20 ISF
8 Wounded: 8 ISF
5 Shootings
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Car Bomb
Dohuk
1 Incident
Kirkuk
6 Incidents
17 Killed: 17 Civilians
22 Wounded: 22 Civilians
2 Shootings
2 IEDs
Ninewa
68 Incidents
481 Killed: 210 ISF, 271 Civilians
1,080 Wounded: 80 Civilians, 1,000 ISF
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Motorcycle Bomb
1 Suicide Car Bomb
4 Car Bombs
1 Rockets
12 Mortars
3 Grenades
9 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
52 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
9 Incidents
24 Killed: 4 Hashd, 9 Civilians, 11 ISF
30 Wounded: 8 Civilians, 9 Hashd, 13 ISF
6 Shootings
1 IED
1 Mine

SOURCES

AIN, “Deputy from Diyala demanding Abadi open an investigation into the causes of the failure of security plans in the province,” 1/20/17

Antonopoulos, Paul, “Iraqi forces storm western Anbar capturing 11 villages from ISIS,” Al Masdar News, 1/7/17

Hemid, Leyla, “Baghdad Residents Demand Security in Public Demonstrations,” Bas News, 1/9/17

Iraq Oil Report, “IS guerilla campaign intensifies in Diyala, Salahaddin,” 1/19/17

Al Jazeera, "Baghdad: ISIL claims attack in busy Sadr city market," 1/2/17

Al Maalomah, “200 members of the popular crowd enter Sakra western Anbar to secure it,” 1/18/17

Al Mada, “Americans leading the Western Anbar military operation announced by Baghdad,” 1/6/17
- “Liberated area four times and because of lax security threatens security in Salahuddin,” 1/7/17
- “Operation to free western Anbar areas stopped for second time in 3 months,” 1/16/17
- “Salahuddin Council accused factions of the popular crowd from preventing the return of displaced people and threatened to internationalize issue,” 1/4/17

Middle East Eye, “Iraq forces launch operation to retake western area,” 1/5/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, “Army recaptures 8 km between Islamic State Anbar strongholds,” Iraqi News, 1/5/17
- “Baghdad official :security personnel complicit with Islamic State,” Iraqi News, 1/3/17

Rudaw, "UPDATED: Curfew imposed in Samarra after armed attacks on police," 1/2/17

Saleh, Ibrahim, “An Agile Opponent: Extremists Change Tactics in Baghdad,” Niqash, 1/19/17

Sattar, Omar, “Why is Baghdad removing checkpoints during security crisis?” Al Monitor, 1/5/17

Sotaliraq, "Samarra operations: more than five suicide bombers killed and the situation is under control," 1/2/17

Xinhua, “Iraqi female journalist set free after abduction by gunmen,” 1/4/17
- "Suicide bombers attack 2 police stations in Iraq's Samarra," 1/3/17

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