Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Security In Iraq Oct 22-28, 2017


Violence remained at very low levels during the fourth week of October 2017 in Iraq. There were still high reports of casualties largely due to mass graves and fighting between the federal forces and Kurds.

There were only 65 incidents reported from October 22-28 in Iraq. There have been around 60 incidents 3 of the last four weeks. Baghdad led the country with 23 incidents, followed by 18 in Ninewa, 10 in Kirkuk, 5 in Anbar, 3 each in Diyala and Salahaddin, and 1 each in Babil, Basra and Karbala.

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province Oct 22-28, 2017
Babil 1
Basra 1
Karbala 1
Diyala 3
Salahaddin 3
Anbar 5
Kirkuk 10
Ninewa 18
Baghdad 23

There were 337 reported deaths and 78 wounded. That was made up of 1 Sahwa, 2 Asayesh, 25 Peshmerga, 29 Hashd al-Shaabi, 80 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 200 civilians. There were also 2 Sahwa, 6 Peshmerga, 17 ISF, 23 Hashd, and 30 civilians injured.

Ninewa had 269 casualties, with another 82 in Kirkuk, 52 in Baghdad, 5 in Anbar, 4 in Diyala, 2 in Babil, and 1 in Karbala.

Casualties In Iraq By Province Oct 22-28, 2017
Karbala 1 (1 Killed)
Babil 2 (2 Wounded)
Diyala 4 (4 Killed)
Anbar 5 (5 Killed)
Baghdad 52 (15 Killed, 37 Wounded)
Kirkuk 82 (71 Killed, 11 Wounded)
Ninewa 269 (241 Killed, 28 Wounded)

The government renewed its attack upon western Anbar on October 26. The goals were to take the towns of Rawa and Qaim and reach the Syrian border. The operation was halted due to the conflict with the Kurds. Several thousand people have been displaced during the fighting. There were just 5 incidents during the week in Anbar, almost all in the west due to the new military campaign. In Garma, in the eastern section of the province, the head of the reconstruction agency complained that Baghdad had only allocated $140 million when the costs were ten times that. He said international donors had contributed money, but that was stuck in audits. That left locals to do most of the rebuilding on their own, an experience repeated across the country since Baghdad is broke due to low oil prices.

The Islamic State remained active in Babil’s Jurf al-Sakhr in the northeast. There was an IED that hit a Hashd patrol. The district has been empty for the last three years, and the provincial council has blocked any returns citing security. The legal committee of the council recently rejected Prime Minister Haidar Abadi’s call to let people back saying he was overstepping his authority. Jurf is along one of the main routes Shiites take to the various shrine cities, which is why no civilians have been allowed back in.

There were only 23 incidents in Baghdad but two of those were suicide bombers. One targeted a funeral and another was killed. Attacks continued to be coming from the north and south where IS still has bases, especially in the outer rural towns.

Diyala was one of the main provinces where the insurgents were rebuilding, but in the last few weeks there have been very few attacks. There were just 3 during the fourth week of October. Local officials are still complaining about infiltrations however. A councilman told the press that IS elements were still along the Diyala-Salahaddin border and moving into areas north of Baquba for example.

There were more clashes between the federal and Kurdish forces in Kirkuk as well as a string of bodies being discovered in what could be score settling and political violence. First, Peshmerga artillery was blamed for 6 dead and 10 wounded amongst the Iraqi forces. In Kirkuk and Dibis, both of which the central government just took control of from the Kurds, 10 dead bodies were discovered in four different incidents. This was a new occurrence, so people could be taking revenge after the recent hand over of authority. Finally, in Hawija, which was just freed from the Islamic State a mass grave was found with 50 bodies of members of the security forces that had been executed.

Most of the 18 incidents in Ninewa consisted of fighting between the government and Peshmerga. A total of 12 ISF, 7 Hashd and 24 Peshmerga died, and 12 Hashd and 6 Peshmerga were wounded as a result. There remained low level attacks within Mosul as well by IS including a suicide bomber hitting a checkpoint. South of Mosul a mass grave was uncovered with the bodies of 170 civilians. The head of the Ninwea council also complained that there were no plans for rebuilding Mosul leading to chaos. The central government has claimed that they are drafting a strategy for reconstruction, but it lacks the funds to finance it with most work being done by locals and the United Nations.

In Salahaddin the main security news was the aftermath of the Hashd going on a rampage in Tuz Kharmato following the withdrawal of the Peshmerga. There were a series of small gun battles the third week of October, but then when the Kurdish security withdrew the Hashd and civilians went into Kurdish neighborhoods looting and sacking them, along with burning down buildings. Human Rights Watch recorded 5 dead civilians and 51 wounded as a result. The United Nations got reports that up to 150 homes had been burned from October 16-17, which was supported by analysis of satellite imagery by Amnesty International.  That prompted PM Abadi to call for calm in the town. Some 30,000 were initially believed to have fled because of the conflagration, but the deputy head of the district said only roughly 9,000 were displaced. A week later the mayor of Tuz stated that 50-60 houses were blown up, 400 were burned, 2,000 looted along with 1,000 businesses. Since the district was liberated in 2014 there have been simmering tensions between the Shiite Turkmen backed by the Hashd and the Kurds supported by the Peshmerga, which have occasionally exploded. This was one of the worst incidents as Shiites engaged in widespread lawlessness when the Kurdish security pulled out of the town. This area will remain a flashpoint as Baghdad only has a little role in Tuz, and local conflicts are likely to erupt again in the future.

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
Sep 8-14
78
412
176
Sep 15-21
91
145
180
Sep 22-28
52
78
104
Sep 29-30
23
25
16
SEP
306
728
549
Oct 1-7
63
60
82
Oct 8-14
72
352
85
Oct 15-21
60
321
449
Oct 22-28
65
337
78

Violence By Province Oct 22-28, 2017
Province
Violence
Anbar
5 Incidents
5 Killed
1 Hashd
4 ISF

1 IED
1 Car Bomb
2 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
5 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
1 Incident
2 Wounded
2 Hashd

1 IED
Baghdad
23 Incidents
15 Killed
1 ISF
1 Sahwa
2 Hashd
11 Civilians
37 Wounded
2 ISF
2 Sahwa
3 Hashd
30 Civilians

7 Shootings
11 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Grenade
1 Suicide Bomber Arrested
Basra
1 Incident

1 IED
Diyala
3 Incidents
4 Killed
2 Civilians
2 Asayesh

3 Shootings
Karbala
1 Incident
1 Killed
1 ISF

1 Shooting
Kirkuk
10 Incidents
71 Killed
8 Hashd
10 Civilians
53 ISF
11 Wounded
1 Hashd
10 ISF

3 Shootings
Ninewa
18 Incidents
241 Killed
18 Hashd
21 ISF
25 Peshmerga
177 Civilians
28 Wounded
5 ISF
6 Peshmerga
17 Hashd

4 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Rockets
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Salahaddin
3 Incidents

2 Shootings
3 Suicide Bombers Killed

SOURCES

Amnesty International, “Iraq: Fresh evidence that tens of thousands forced to flee Tuz Khurmatu amid indiscriminate attacks, lootings and arson,” 10/24/17

BBC, “Iraqi forces launch assault on last IS bastion of al-Qaim,” 10/26/17

Chmaytelli, Maher, “Iraq paramilitaries battle Kurds in push towards Turkish border oil hub,” Reuters, 10/23/17

Al Forat, "URGENT Baghdad operations: arrest of a suicide bomber," 10/25/17

Al Ghad Press, "12 members of the popular crowd and Peshmerga killed and wounded in the Zammar area," 10/26/17
- “Asadi: More than six soldiers were killed during the deployment in Kirkuk and about ten were injured,” 10/24/17
- "Four people were killed, including a security official who responded to a suicide bomber targeting a funeral," 10/28/17
- "Four PKK members killed in Zammar," 10/26/17
- "Medical source: Dohuk hospitals received 19 bodies of peshmerga," 10/26/17
- “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan: The Turkmen crowd began burning houses of Kurds in Tuz Kharmato,” 10/15/17

Hath al-Youm, “The Rapid Response Battalion is moving towards the Fish Khabur border crossing with Syria,” 10/24/17

Human Rights Watch, “Iraq: Fighting in Disputed Territories Kills Civilians,” 10/20/17

Al Maalomah, “Babil Lawsuit: We will sue Abadi for his promise to Mutahidun at the expense of the security of the province,” 10/17/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, “Islamic State still present at Diyala-Salahuddin borders: official,” Iraqi News, 10/25/17

Mostafa, Nehal, "Relics of 170 civilians found in mass grave, south of Mosul," Iraqi News, 10/24/17

NINA, “Four dead bodies found in the city of Kirkuk," 10/27/17
- "Six Bodies Found In Kirkuk And Explosives In A Kurdish Security Headquarters," 10/24/17
- "Two members of the popular crowd were wounded north Babil," 10/23/17
- "URGENT: Four Iraqi policemen killed and wounded in Mosul," 10/23/17

NRT, “Hundreds Of Houses Burned And Thousands More Looted In Tuz Khurmatu,” 10/25/17

Rudaw, “Peshmerga respond to, push back Iraqi militia attack near Zummar,” 10/26/17
- “The popular crowd stops fighting in Tuz Kharmato district,” 10/14/17

Shafaaq News, "Fifteen members of the popular crowd were killed and wounded in clashes with the Peshmerga in Makhmour

Sotaliraq, “The popular crowd looted Kurds’ property and burned a market in Tuz Kharmato,” 10/17/17

Al Sumaria, "A mass grave was found for members of the army and the police, including the remains of 50 people in Hawija," 10/27/17
- “Al-Tuz Council announces the number of displaced persons from district after the imposition of security in Kirkuk,” 10/25/17

Tahir, Rawaz, Kullab, Samya, Hussein, Mohammed, Van Heuvelen, Ben, “Federal forces launch offensive for Fayshkabour,” Iraq Oil Report, 10/27/17

UN Human Settlements Program, “Planning Prospects for the Reconstruction and Recovery of Mosul Discussed with Key Partners,” 10/23/17

Zucchino, David, “As ISIS Is Driven From Iraq, Sunnis Remain Alienated,” New York Times, 10/26/17


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