Friday, March 16, 2018

Security In Iraq, Mar 8-14, 2018


After witnessing a jump in security incidents at the start of March, things went back to the mean in the second week of the month in Iraq. Security incidents and casualties were both down, but the Islamic State still appeared to be rebuilding and getting bolder in its fifth month of transitioning to an insurgency.

From March 8-14, there were 60 security incidents recorded in Iraq. That compared to 78 the week before, which was a large jump. The second week returned to the norm as there have been 50-60 incidents per week since the second week of January excluding last week. There was 1 incident in Babil, 3 in Anbar, 6 in Salahaddin, 7 in Diyala, 10 in Ninewa, 16 in Kirkuk, and 17 in Baghdad. The main cause of the decrease were drops in incidents in Anbar, Baghdad, and Diyala.

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province Mar 8-14, 2018
Babil 1
Anbar 3
Salahaddin 6
Diyala 7
Ninewa 10
Kirkuk 16
Baghdad 17

Casualties In Iraq By Province Mar 8-14, 2018
Anbar 4 (4 Wounded)
Babil 4 (4 Wounded)
Diyala 6 (4 Killed, 2 Wounded)
Salahaddin 16 (16 Killed)
Kirkuk 36 (17 Killed, 19 Wounded)
Baghdad 39 (11 Killed, 28 Wounded)
Ninewa 40 (36 Killed, 4 Wounded)

There were 84 killings during the week, along with 61 wounded. 6 people were discovered in a mass grave in Kirkuk’s Hawija, and 23 more in the Old City section of west Mosul. Both were probably the results of killings while the Islamic State controlled those areas. That meant there were 55 violent deaths from March 8-14.

4 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 10 Hashd al-Shaabi, and 70 civilians lost their lives as well 2 ISF, 21 Hashd, and 38 civilians being injured. Those occurred across Anbar (4), Babil (4), Diyala (6), Salahaddin (16), Kirkuk (36), Baghdad (39), and Ninewa (40).

Violence remained very low in Anbar with just three incidents. A car bomb was destroyed in Rutba, which is out in the west by a rare Coalition air strike. At the end of the week the Iraqi forces announced a large operation along the Syrian and Saudi border. This was the third time they swept through the area along Saudi Arabia this year. Since September 2017 the province has been relatively quiet.

The same could be said about Babil with just one attack, an IED that wounded 4 Hashd in the Iskandiriya district. For several months, IS was attempting to re-establish itself in the northwest section of the governorate with attacks nearly every other day at its peak. In the last few weeks those have completely fallen off.

Incidents declined in Baghdad. There were just 17 during the week, the lowest since 10 December 15-21. Since the start of the new year there has been around 20 incidents per week. Attacks remained low level with 1 grenade, 5 shootings, and 8 IEDs. All 8 of the explosive devices were aimed at markets and shops. Luckily casualties remained low with just 11 deaths and 28 wounded. One significant incident was an attempted assassination or kidnapping of a member of parliament in the south. The MP was wounded, and 2 of his bodyguards were taken away. There was no word on who might be responsible.

There were few incidents in Diyala as well, but there has been a change in the type. Of the 7 incidents reported, three were confrontations with the insurgents, which is becoming a more common occurrence. In addition, 2 border police were kidnapped and found dead at the start of the week, and an intelligence officer was assassinated as well in Abu Saida. Afterward a source told the media that area was unstable, many shops were closed in fear, and called for the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Reaction Forces to return there. Diyala is one of the main areas where IS is rebuilding, and they are active in almost all of the rural areas. Despite that, attacks have wildly fluctuated month to month.

Instability continued in Kirkuk. There were 16 incidents, the second most of any area during the week. The government was continuing with an operation in Hawija in the south that led to six attacks there including four suicide bombers being killed in two separate incidents. In Kirkuk city, a suicide motorcycle bomb went off killing 1 and wounding 4. In the last few months there have been a few reports that old insurgent groups like the Naqshibandi and Ansar al-Sunna were back in the province. That’s hard to believe as all of these groups were either wiped out, had their units co-opted by the Islamic State, or simply disbanded since 2014. There were also continued reports that IS was alive in well in Hawija despite the government’s efforts to root hem out.

10 incidents were reported in Ninewa. Half of those happened in Mosul with the rest to the south and west of the city. A security source said that IS was targeting sheikhs in the south after one was kidnapped and another killed. That was how the militants made their comeback after their last defeat. The Ninewa council also asked all armed groups to leave Sinjar in the west along the Syrian border. An official from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) stated it would not leave. The PKK entered the district shortly after the Islamic State took over Ninewa to come to the aid of the Yazidi and have set up their own administration there.

The number of incidents remained low in Salahaddin, but IS was becoming bolder. It set up a fake checkpoint in the Amerli district in the east and executed 15 people. There were also two shootouts between the insurgents and security forces. In Samarra, the commander the elite 57th Brigade, which secures the Green Zone and the prime minister was killed after an argument with Moqtada al-Sadr’s Saraya Salam at the entrance to the city. The premier ordered an immediate investigation into what happened.

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
Mar 1-7
78
120
84
Mar 8-14
60
84
61

Violence By Province Mar 8-14, 2018
Province
Violence
Anbar
3 Incidents
4 Wounded
2 Civilians
2 ISF

1 Shooting
1 IED
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
Babil
1 Incident
4 Wounded
4 Hashd

1 IED
Baghdad
17 Incidents
11 Killed
11 Civilians
28 Wounded
28 Civilians

5 Shootings
8 IEDs
1 Grenade
Diyala
7 Incidents
4 Killed
1 Civilian
3 ISF
2 Wounded
2 Civilians

5 Shootings
5 IEDs
Kirkuk
16 Incidents
17 Killed
3 Hashd
14 Civilians
19 Wounded
3 Civilians
16 Hashd

6 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Suicide Motorcycle Bomb
1 Rocket
5 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Ninewa
10 Incidents
36 Killed
7 Hashd
29 Civilians
4 Wounded
1 Hashd
3 Civilians

3 Shootings
1 IED
2 Suicide Bombers Arrested
Salahaddin
6 Incidents
16 Killed
1 ISF
15 Civilians

4 Shootings
3 IEDs

SOURCES

Al Aalem, “Source: Rise in targeting tribal sheikhs of the Jabour … And activating its cells in south Ninewa,” 3/13/18

AIN, "The crowd announced the results of a security operation in the villages of eastern Diyala," 3/12/18

Baghdad Post, "4 Iran-allied IMIS terrorists injured in Babil IED blast," 3/8/18
- "Civil defense exhume 23 corpses from Old City of Mosul," 3/10/18

Bas News, “IS Re-grouping in Kirkuk, Nineveh: Peshmerga Spokesperson,” 3/10/18
- “IS Sleeper Cells Exist in Kirkuk: Official,” 3/10/18

Buratha News, "Crowd find graveyard containing the remains of six people in Hawija," 3/14/18
- “Security source: The clash that took place at the entrance to Samarra was between Sayara Salam and security forces coming from Baghdad heading towards Ninewa,” 3/13/18

Al Ghad Press, "Two people were killed, eon of them an intelligence officer in an armed attack northeast Diyala," 3/13/18

Ebraheem, Mohammed, "Iraqi police, pro-gov't fighters hunt for Islamic State militants in Kirkuk," Iraqi News, 3/11/18

Iraq News Network, “Ninewa Council: Turkish Workers Party refuses to leave Sinjar,” 3/11/18

Khabaar, "A large-scale operation to clear the desert towards Iraq's border with Syria and Saudi Arabia is underway," 3/14/18

Al Maalomah, "A martyr and three wounded by a suicide bombing in central Kirkuk," 3/13/18

NINA, “A Security Tension In Abu Saida Area, North-East Of Baquba,” 3/14/18
- "Seven elements of Daesh, including four suicide bombers, killed near Hawija," 3/13/18

Rudaw, “Nineveh council calls on all armed groups to leave Shingal,” 3/11/18
- “ISIS militants raid by night, hide during the day in Kirkuk,” 3/12/18

Shafaaq News, "Iraq … Daash kill and burn 25 people in separate attacks," 3/12/18
- “A security chief identified five organizations that have returned to the Kirkuk area and indicated a shift of Iraqi forces from offense to defense,” 3/8/18

Al Sumaria, "Anbar Operations announced the killing of six terrorists and the destruction of a car bomb in the west of the province," 3/13/18
- "The bodies of two customs agents were found hours after they were kidnapped north Diyala," 3/8/18
- "Nine Daash were killed, including a suicide bomber in Hawija," 3/8/18
- "Thwarted an assassination attempt on a deputy in Baghdad and abducted two of his bodyguards," 3/8/18


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