Saturday, March 3, 2018

649 Deaths, 275 Wounded Feb 2018 In Iraq (UPDATED)

Security in Iraq has been stable for the last five months. While the overall numbers have stayed steady during that period there are vast differences between the six provinces where most of the violence takes place. In Anbar for instance, there is barely any insurgent activity, but in Baghdad and Kirkuk there has been a sharp increase in the last two months. Diyala and Salahaddin are in the middle with incidents going up and down, while in Ninewa things have leveled off.

There were a high number of deaths in February 2018 due to a series of mass graves being discovered. Of the 649 reported dead 367 were from 6 mass graves, 1 in Salahaddin (20 bodies) and 5 in Ninewa (347 total). Another 30 people were recovered from the rubble in Mosul. That meant there were 252 violent deaths in the country during the month. The casualties were spread across Basra (1), Dhi Qar (2), Babil (6), Diyala (43), Anbar (51), Kurdistan (53), Kirkuk (70), Salahaddin (76), Baghdad (195), and Ninewa (427). Those consisted of 1 Sahwa, 1 Peshmerga, 2 Turkish soldiers, 25 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 49 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), 54 Hashd al-Shaabi, and 517 civilians that lost their lives along with 2 Turkish soldiers, 3 Sahwa, 24 Hashd, 37 ISF, and 209 civilians that were wounded.

Those casualties were caused by 245 incidents with 1 in Basra, 1 in Dhi Qar, 1 in Sulaymaniya, 2 in Babil, 2 in Kurdistan, 12 in Anbar, 19 in Salahaddin, 28 in Diyala, 42 in Ninewa, 49 in Kirkuk, and 88 in Baghdad.

Since October 2017 there has been roughly the same number of incidents each month. In October, there were an average of 9.2 incidents per day, followed by 9.8 in November, 8.4 in December, 9.6 in January 2018, and 8.7 in February. This is the lowest level of violence Iraq has seen since 2003 when there was an average of 10 incidents per day in the months right after the invasion. This is also important because the current plateau started before victory versus the Islamic State was declared in December. Even before it lost the last piece of territory in Iraq, the group had largely given up set battles against the Iraqi forces and were retreating to conserve what it had left and start the rebuilding process and transition to insurgency and terrorism.

Casualties In Iraq By Province Jan-Feb 2018
Province
Jan 2018
Feb 2018
Anbar
33 (12 K, 21 W)
51 (14 K, 37 W)
Babil
19 (7 K, 12 W)
6 (6 W)
Baghdad
370 (110 K, 260 W)
195 (49 K, 146 W)
Basra
5 (3 K, 2 W)
1 (1 W)
Dhi Qar
-
2 (1 K, 1 W)
Diyala
57 (34 K, 23)
43 (24 K, 19 W)
Dohuk
1 (1 K)
-
Kirkuk
118 (92 K, 26 W)
70 (50 K, 20 W)
KRG
-
53 (51 K, 2 W)
Ninewa
174 (170 K, 4 W)
427 (418 K, 9 W)
Salahaddin
32 (8 K, 24 W)
76 (42 K, 34 W)
Sulaymaniya
5 (2 K, 3 W)
-

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province Jan-Feb 2018
Province
Jan
Feb
Anbar
12
12
Babil
10
2
Baghdad
104
88
Basra
9
1
Dhi Qar
-
1
Diyala
56
28
Dohuk
1
-
Irbil
-
-
Karbala
1
-
Kirkuk
34
49
KRG
-
2
Ninewa
35
42
Salahaddin
32
19
Sulaymaniya
4
1

In Anbar, incidents have fallen off sharply since September 2017. In that month, there were an average of 1.3 incidents per day. That went down to 1.0 in October, 0.8 in November, 0.4 in December, 0.3 in January and 0.4 in February. Towards the end of 2017 most of those incidents were spread across the western and central sections of the province. The west was one of the last areas of Iraq that the Islamic State held, while it still had cells in the Fallujah-Ramadi corridor. In the new year however, most of the attacks happen in the middle of the governorate. In February, there were just 12 incidents, but that did include a suicide bombing in Ramadi, and four more bombers that were killed in the Hit district. For now, it appears that the province is relatively stable, and the shift in incidents to the middle shows there is little activity in the desert regions of along the Syrian border.

The insurgency in Babil has shifted once again. Starting in the spring of 2017 violence steadily picked up with an attack nearly every other day. There was an average of 0.1 incidents per day in May going up to 0.4 per day from August to October before going down every month after that. In 2018, there were 10 incidents in January down to just 2 in February. It seemed like IS was re-establishing its presence in the northwest section of the province consistently hitting Jurf al-Sakhr especially going after the Hashd that are based there. Now that does not appear to be a priority.

Baghdad is one of the areas where IS has picked up its operations. In December, there were 2.1 incidents per day, but that went up to 3.3 in January and 3.1 in February. Most of those were a steady diet of IEDs with roughly half aimed at shops and markets looking to cause as many casualties as possible. More importantly, attempts at mass casualty bombings are back with 3 suicide bombings in January with another 3 killed, and a suicide bomber killed and a car bomb dismantled in February. Another worrying trend is the militants have been able to reach the center of the city, something that had not happened for some weeks. The vehicle bomb for instance, was discovered in the Karrada district right in the middle of the capital. The province has always been IS’s main terrorist target. The uptick in attacks in the last two months therefore is a worrying development.

Security in Diyala continued to fluctuate. Since 2016 incidents have gone up and down. Most recently, in October 2017 there were just 0.6 incidents per day, but that increased to 1.8 by January 2018 only to recede to 1.0 in February. What’s important is that these attacks are distributed throughout all parts of the governorate showing that the insurgents have freedom of movement in Diyala. Since the start of the year the security forces have launched 10 different operations to try to stem IS’s presence, but none have been successful.

Since the federal government took over control of Kirkuk security has worsened. From January to September there were just under one incident per day. That passed 1 incident per day since October with 1.7 in February. That was topped off by IS ambushing a Hashd unit and killing 27 of them in the Hawija district. This has been due to several factors. First, most of the insurgents fled Hawija rather than put up a fight when it was liberated at the end of last year. Those elements apparently hid and are now back at work. Second, most of the federal forces are concentrated in Kirkuk city, leaving rural areas like Hawija with only a light presence. Even then, nearly one third of the incidents each week are inside the city showing gaps even there. Third, Iraq Oil Report talked with a security official who said that the Iraqi forces are bereft of good intelligence, especially when compared to the insurgents.

The low-level war between Turkey and the PKK continued in Kurdistan in February. The PKK ambushed a Turkish army patrol killing two soldiers and wounding two others. That same day, Turkish planes killed 49 PKK fighters. It had been years since the PKK decided to fight the Turks within Iraq, but that has changed over the last several weeks in response to increased activity by Ankara including regular shelling and bombings of PKK areas.

Ninewa is a bit of a paradox. While the number of incidents is dramatically lower since the completion of the Battle of Mosul there is still more violence there than most of the rest of the country. In September, there were 2.1 incidents per day. Since December that has gone down to around 1 per day. At the same time, the governorate had the third most incidents in January and February. Those mostly happen in the west along the Syrian border and south of Mosul, with a few within the city as well.

Finally, Salahaddin has been another governorate witnessing an ebb and flow in violence. In September 2017, there was an average of 1 incident per day, going down to 0.6-0.7 from October to December before going back up to 1 per day in January, and then down to 0.6 in February. The types of attacks have also changed month to month. In January for example, there was a car bombing and 13 suicide bombers were killed or arrested. In February, there were just shootings, IEDs and a sticky bomb. It seems that IS fighters are constantly moving back and forth along the Diyala-Salahaddin border, and perhaps working on building up their cells interspersed with spurts of attacks.

Security In Iraq 2017-18
Week
Security
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
JAN 2017
719
1,923
4,374
FEB
628
1,891 + 399
2,511 + 1,634
MAR
720
3,504 + 278
3,302 + 2,925
APR
578
2,933
1,955
MAY
528
2,038
1,563
JUN
534
2,038
1,563
JUL
478
1,490
650
AUG
359
1,949
584
SEP
306
728
549
OCT
286
913
865 + 1,700
NOV
296
1,282
425
DEC
261
763
300
Jan 1-7
71
50
66
Jan 8-14
64
62
70
Jan 15-21
68
156
151
Jan 22-28
68
148
66
Jan 29-31
27
23
22
JAN 2018
298
439
375
Feb 1-7
66
196
67
Feb 8-14
65
63
93
Feb 15-21
59
346
43
Feb 22-28
55
44
72
FEB
245
649
275

Weekly Violence By Province In Iraq, Feb 2018

Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Anbar
3 Incidents
6 Killed
3 Civilians
3 ISF
6 Wounded
2 Civilians
4 ISF

3 IEDs
3 Incidents
2 Killed
1 Civilian
1 Hashd
16 Wounded
5 ISF
11 Civilians

1 Shooting
1 IED
1 Suicide
    Bomber
3 Incidents
2 Killed
2 ISF
5 Wounded
5 ISF

2 Shootings
2 IEDs
3 Incidents
4 Killed
1 Hashd
3 Civilians
10 Wounded
10 Civilians

2 IEDs
4 Suicide
    Bombers
    Killed


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Babil
1 Incident
3 Wounded
3 Hashd

1 IED
-
-
1 Incident
3 Wounded
3 Hashd

1 Shooting


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Baghdad
26 Incidents
13 Killed
1 Hashd
4 ISF
8 Civilians
44 Wounded
1 ISF
2 Hashd
41 Civilians

5 Shootings
15 IEDs
1 Sound Bomb
1 Grenade
1 Suicide
   Bomber
   Killed
21 Incidents
14 Killed
1 ISF
13 Civilians
31 Wounded
2 Hashd
29 Civilians

5 Shootings
12 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Car Bomb
    Dismantled
21 Incidents
6 Killed
6 Civilians
27 Wounded
27 Civilians

4 Shootings
13 IEDs
1 Stick Bomb
20 Incidents
16 Killed
1 Sahwa
15 Civilians
44 Wounded
3 Sahwa
41 Civilians

6 Shootings
10 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Basra
-
-
-
1 Incident
1 Wounded
1 Civilian

1 IED


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Dhi Qar
-
-
-
1 Incident
1 Killed
1 Civilian
1 Wounded

1 Shooting


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28

Diyala
10 Incidents
12 Killed
1 Civilian
11 Hashd
8 Wounded
2 ISF
2 Hashd
4 Civilians

7 Shootings
2 IEDs
12 Incidents
10 Killed
1 Hashd
9 Civilians
8 Wounded
8 Civilians

4 Shootings
10 IEDs
4 Incidents
2 Wounded
2 Hashd

1 Shooting
1 IED
1 Suicide
    Bomber
1 Grenade
2 Incidents
2 Killed
2 Civilians
1 Wounded
1 Civilian

2 Shootings




















Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Kirkuk
12 Incidents
14 Killed
1 ISF
2 Hashd
11 Civilians
1 Wounded
1 ISF

4 Shootings
1 IED
3 Mortars
10 Incidents
2 Killed
2 Civilians
7 Wounded
3 Civilians
4 ISF

4 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Mortar
12 Incidents
28 Killed
1 Peshmerga
27 Hashd
2 Wounded
1 Civilian
1 Hashd

4 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide
   Bomber
1 Rockets
1 Grenade
1 Suicide
   Bomber
   Arrested
1 Car Bomb
    Dismantled
15 Incidents
6 Killed
1 Civilian
2 ISF
3 Hashd
10 Wounded
2 Civilians
3 ISF
5 Hashd

9 Shootings
1 IED
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Motorcycle
    Bomb
1 Grenade
1 Rocket
2 Suicide
    Bombers
    Killed


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
KRG
2 Incidents
51 Killed
2 Turkish
   Soldiers
49 PKK
2 Wounded
2 Turkish
   Soldiers

1 Shooting
1 Turkish Air
    Strike
-
-
-


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Ninewa
8 Incidents
79 Killed
2 ISF
77 Civilians

4 Shootings
1 IED
1 Grenade
5 Suicide
   Bombers
   Killed
10 Incidents
15 Killed
2 ISF
3 Hashd
10 Civilians
1 Wounded
1 ISF

4 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Suicide
   Bomber
1 Suicide
    Bomber
    Killed
17 Incidents
310 Killed
4 ISF
306 Civilians
7 Wounded
3 Civilians
4 ISF

9 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Suicide
    Bomber
    Killed
1 Car Bomb
    Dismantled
7 Incidents
14 Killed
3 ISF
11 Civilians
1 Wounded
1 ISF

2 Shootings
1 IED
2 Suicide
    Bombers
    Killed
1 Car Bomb
    Dismantled


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Salahaddin
4 Incidents
21 Killed
21 Civilians
3 Wounded
3 ISF

1 IED
9 Incidents
20 Killed
1 ISF
3 Hashd
16 Civilians
30 Wounded
3 ISF
3 Hashd
24 Civilians

4 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Incident

1 Shooting
5 Incidents
1 Killed
1 Hashd
1 Wounded
1 Hashd

2 Shootings


Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Sulaymaniya
-
-
1 Incident

1 Shooting
-

Violence By Province February 2018
Province
Violence
Anbar
12 Incidents
14 Killed
2 Hashd
5 ISF
7 Civilians
37 Wounded
14 ISF
23 Civilians

3 Shootings
8 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
4 Suicide Bombers Killed
Babil
2 Incidents
6 Wounded
6 Hashd

1 Shooting
1 IED
Baghdad
88 Incidents
49 Killed
1 Sahwa
1 Hashd
5 ISF
42 Civilians
146 Wounded
1 ISF
3 Sahwa
4 Hashd
138 Civilians

20 Shootings
50 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Sound Bomb
1 Grenade
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Basra
1 Incident
1 Wounded
1 Civilian

1 IED
Dhi Qar
1 Incident
1 Killed
1 Civilian
1 Wounded
1 Civilian

1 Shooting
Diyala
28 Incidents
24 Killed
12 Civilians
12 Hashd
19 Wounded
2 ISF
4 Hashd
13 Civilians

14 Shootings
13 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Grenade
Kirkuk
49 Incidents
50 Killed
3 ISF
14 Civilians
32 Hashd
20 Wounded
6 Civilians
6 Hashd
8 ISF

21 Shootings
7 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Motorcycle Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
2 Rockets
2 Grenades
4 Mortars
3 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
KRG
2 Incidents
51 Killed
2 Turkish Soldiers
49 PKK
2 Wounded
2 Turkish Soldiers

1 Shooting
1 Turkish Air Strike
Ninewa
42 Incidents
418 Killed
3 Hashd
11 ISF
404 Civilians
9 Wounded
3 Civilians
6 ISF

19 Shootings
7 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Grenade
9 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Car Bombs Dismantled
Salahaddin
19 Incidents
42 Killed
1 ISF
4 Hashd
37 Civilians
34 Wounded
4 Hashd
6 ISF
24 Civilians

7 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
Sulaymaniya
1 Incident

1 Shooting

SOURCES

Bas News, "Mass Grave Discovered Near Mosul," 2/22/18
- "Mass Grave of 100 Victims of IS Found South of Mosul," 2/18/18

Ebraheem, Mohammed, "Female suicide bomber shot dead inside Baghdad school," Iraqi News, 2/7/18

Eisenstadt, Michael and White, Jeffrey, “Assessing Iraq’s Sunni Arab Insurgency,” Military Review, May-June 2006

Al Forat, "URGENT Security source: the dismantling of a car bomb in Karrada," 2/9/18

Al Ghad Press, "The final result of the Ramadi bombing hit 15 dead and wounded," 2/8/18
- "Four killed wearing explosive belts in Hit," 2/26/18

Iraq Oil Report, “Northern Iraq reeling as IS regroups for insurgency,” 3/2/18

Al Maalomah, "Crowd finds a mass grave containing the remains of 20 civilians between Karfi and al-Tuz," 2/7/18

NINA, "A mass grave for the victims of Daesh found south of Mosul," 2/17/18
- "A new mass grave containing the remains of 70 Yazidis in north Sinjar, west of Mosul," 2/3/18

Reuters, "Kurdish Militant Attacks Near Iraq Border Kill Three Turkish Soldiers: Army," 2/1/18

Rudaw, "Updated: 27 Hashd killed after clashes with ISIS in Hawija pocket," 2/18/18

Al Sumaria, "40 bodies recovered from rubble in Mosul," 2/16/18

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