Saturday, September 9, 2017

Security In Iraq, Sep 1-7, 2017


Violence in Iraq hit another low during the first week of September 2017. There were only 62 incidents reported in the media. Since the Mosul battle concluded the Islamic State has been rebuilding and been in retreat resulting in fewer attacks across the country. The start of September was also marked by the Eid holiday, which led to higher security in places like Baghdad.

Broken down by province, Baghdad was the most violent with 17 incidents. That was followed by 12 in Ninewa, 9 in Salahddin, 7 in Anbar, 6 in Diyala, 3 in Babil, 2 in Basra, 2 in Dhi Qar, 2 in Najaf, 1 in Kirkuk, and 1 in Sulaymaniya. It’s been years since such low security numbers have been recorded.

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province Sep 1-7, 2017
Baghdad 17
Ninewa 12
Salahaddin 9
Anbar 7
Diyala 6
Babil 3
Basra 2
Dhi Qar 2
Najaf 2
Kirkuk 1
Sulaymaniya 1

There were just 68 people killed and 73 wounded during the week. 1 Peshmerga, 3 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 64 civilians lost their lives, and 6 ISF, 10 Hashd, 13 Peshmerga, and 45 civilians were injured during the week. 39 of those casualties were in Baghdad, 32 in Anbar, 23 in Salahddin, 15 in Ninewa, 12 in Kirkuk, 10 in Babil, 7 in Diyala, and 3 in Najaf. These are historic lows. For years Iraq has been averaging triple digits in both dead and injured each week. That has all changed in recent months.

Casualties In Iraq By Province Sep 1-7, 2017
Baghdad 39 (8 Killed, 31 Wounded)
Anbar 32 (30 Killed, 2 Wounded)
Salahaddin 23 (9 Killed, 14 Wounded)
Ninewa 15 (4 Killed, 11 Wounded)
Kirkuk 12 (12 Killed)
Babil 10 (10 Wounded)
Diyala 7 (2 Killed, 5 Wounded)
Najaf 3 (3 Killed)

There were only 7 incidents in Anbar during the first week of September, but the nature of those attacks showed that the Islamic State was attempting a comeback. First, a car bomb was dismantled west of Ramadi, and a suicide bomber arrested within the city itself. The militants executed 16 people in the western towns of Qam, Ana and Rawa, an area still under IS control. It is this area along the Anbar-Syria border that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to be hiding. Finally, an air strike was blamed for killing 7 and wounding 2. There are few attacks in Anbar, but they are becoming more sophisticated with constant suicide and car bomb attempts showing that the militants are attempting to intensify their operations.

The Islamic State was still active in northwest Babil. There were 3 IEDs, two in the Jurf al-Sakhr area, which resulted in a total of 10 Hashd being wounded. In 2014 Jurf al-Sakhr was freed, and the entire population forced out to secure the highway to the holy sites in the south. That led to an almost complete succession of incidents in the province. In the last few months however, IS is back, and carrying out routine attacks upon the Iraqi forces and civilians. These are still relatively small like laying IEDs along roads, but is a decided change from the previous situation.

Security was tight in the capital during the Eid holiday. There were still 17 incidents, which was just below the weekly average. There were no mass casualty bombings, just the regular mix of shootings and IEDs, which left 8 dead and 31 wounded. These are some of the lowest recorded figures in Baghdad since 2003. 39 casualties used to be a daily total, not that for a whole week.

There were few incidents in Diyala, just 6 total. There were two shootouts with insurgents in the Qara Tapa and Hamrin districts. Otherwise the rest were IEDs and mortar fire on a checkpoint. IS is rebuilding in the province, which has led to an uptick in violence.

Kirkuk only witnessed one incident. That was the execution of 12 people in the Hawija district. IS has been murdering people there for months now on any number of charges from being accused of attempting to escape to working with the security forces. Hawija is also the next area to be liberated by the Iraqi forces. Baghdad was hoping to move on the area quickly, but there have been disputes with Kurds over how the operation will be conducted that is causing delays.

The Iraqi forces were cleaning up the Ayadiyah sub-district of Tal Afar, and there were sporadic incidents in Mosul as well. In Ayadiyah, 32 suicide bombers were killed in mopping up operations. In Mosul, two suicide bombers were arrested, and there were a few shootings. The attacks in Mosul highlighted that there are still some insurgent cells operating. They do not pose a real threat, but they still have a presence within the city. Very little has been reported on Mosul since its liberation so there might be more going on that is just not being mentioned.

The other place where the militants are re-grouping is in Salahaddin. They have been intensifying their attacks in recent weeks. During the start of September for example, they carried out 16 suicide bombings including an assault upon a power station in Samarra. There were four other clashes with IS fighters, mostly in the north and around Tikrit in the center. These large operations have been going on for the last few weeks in the governorate and mark a decided uptick in IS planning.

Security In Iraq 2017
Week
Security
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
188
509
1,346
Jan 8-14
168
371
1,036
Jan 15-21
137
585
1,262
Jan 22-28
145
289
310
Jan 29-31
74
127
338
JAN
712
1,881
4,292
Feb 1-7
123
388
176
Feb 8-14
164
434
390
Feb 15-21
148
393
508
Feb 22-28
185
647 + 399
1,390 + 1,634
FEB
620
1,862 + 399
2,464 + 1,634
Mar 1-7
179
749
622
Mar 8-14
171
551
614
Mar 15-21
143
571
1,166
Mar 22-28
152
1,233
575
Mar 29-31
71
374 + 278
288 + 2,925
MAR
716
3,478 + 278
3,265 + 2,925
Apr 1-7
174
903
487
Apr 8-14
126
599
669
Apr 15-21
108
479
449
Apr 22-28
122
698
328
Apr 29-30
39
138
51
APR
569
2,817
1,984
May 1-7
106
405
468
May 8-14
109
601
386
May 15-21
132
363
224
May 22-28
106
433
150
May 29-31
69
214
236
MAY
522
2,016
1,464
Jun 1-7
136
1,403
487
Jun 8-14
127
658
174
Jun 15-21
114
480
101
Jun 22-28
119
340
246
Jun 29-30
37
349
127
JUN
533
3,230
1,135
JAN-JUN
3,669
15,262 +
677
14,497 +
4,559
Jul 1-7
141
798
331
Jul 8-14
105
298
86
Jul 15-21
87
124
72
Jul 22-28
107
189
122
Jul 29-31
37
50
25
JUL
477
1,459
636
Aug 1-7
80
143
188
Aug 8-14
88
955
124
Aug 15-21
73
97
100
Aug 22-28
85
674
132
Aug 29-31
31
30
40
AUG
357
1,958
1,261
Sep 1-7
62
68
73

Violence By Province Sep 1-7 2017
Province
Violence
Anbar
7 Incidents
30 Killed
30 Civilians
2 Wounded
2 Civilians

1 Shooting
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Babil
3 Incidents
10 Wounded
10 Hashd

3 IEDs
Baghdad
17 Incidents
8 Killed
8 Civilians
31 Wounded
2 ISF
29 Civilians

6 Shootings
9 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
Basra
2 Incidents

1 IED
Dhi Qar
2 Incidents

2 Shootings
2 Grenades
Diyala
6 Incidents
2 Killed
1 Peshmerga
1 Civilian
5 Wounded
2 Civilians
3 Peshmerga

2 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Mortar
Kirkuk
1 Incident
12 Killed
12 Civilians
Najaf
2 Incidents
3 Killed
3 Civilians

1 Shooting
1 Grenade
Ninewa
12 Incidents
4 Killed
4 Civilians
11 Wounded
1 Civilian
10 Peshmerga

6 Shootings
1 IED
34 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Salahaddin
9 Incidents
9 Killed
3 ISF
6 Civilians
14 Wounded
3 ISF
11 Civilians

6 Shootings
1 IED Dismantled
1 Suicide Bomber
15 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "Suicide bombers kill 7 in attack on Iraq power plant," 9/2/17

AIN, "Six martyrs in a suicide attack targeting a power station in Samarra," 9/2/17

Bas News, "Anbar: Seven Family Members Die in Airstrikes," 9/7/17

Al Ghad Press, "Daash executes 16 young people from Al-Qaim, Ana and Rawa on charges of communicating with the security forces," 9/3/17

Gordon, Michael and Schmitt, Eric, “Officials Eye Euphrates River Valley as Last Stand for ISIS,” New York Times, 8/31/17

Al Maalomah, "The popular crowd repulsed Daash criminals near Hamrin," 9/7/17
- "Six civilians were killed and three were wounded by an unknown aircraft west of Ramadi," 9/7/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Islamic State execute 12 civilians in Kirkuk," Iraqi News, 9/7/17

NINA, "Local Security Forces Kill A Suicide Bomber Wearing Explosive Belt, North Of Mosul," 9/6/17
- "PMF Foil An Attempt To Daesh to Sneak Into Villages Northeast Of Baquba," 9/1/17
- "A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt arrested in the city of Ramadi," 9/4/17

Rudaw, “Abadi blames Peshmerga fragmentation for delay in Hawija op,” 9/6/17
- “Anti-ISIS Hawija offensive expected to begin within days,” 9/1/17

Shafaaq News, “Completion of clearing Ayadiyah, including 17 suicide bombers,” 9/6/17

Sotaliraq, "The destruction of a car bomb and the arrest of its driver west of Ramadi," 9/2/17

Wardana, "Foiled an attack by bomber in east Mosul," 9/2/17

Xinhua, "8 killed in attack by 7 suicide bombers in Iraq's Salahudin," 9/2/17
- "Gunmen kill 7 civilians in Iraq's Anbar province," 9/4/17
- "Iraqi forces kill 55 IS militants in search campaign near Tal Afar," 9/5/17

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