Wednesday, May 2, 2018

April 2018 Large Drop In Violence In Iraq


April 2018 saw a decided change in security. From October 2017 to March 2018 the number of incidents remained relatively stable. Then in April they suddenly dropped. Despite that the types of attacks the Islamic State carried out showed that the group had made a shift from the hit and run tactics it carried out in previous months, and was operating more openly and challenging the government more directly.

April was a change from the previous six months. From October to March there were an average of 8-9 incidents per day. In April that dropped to just 6.8. That marked a new all-time low in incidents since 2003.   

Violence was down in almost every area of Iraq. From January to March incidents went up in Anbar from 0.3 to 0.8 per day before dropping to 0.5 in April. There was a similar build up in Baghdad from December when there was an average of 2.1 incidents per day, reaching 3 per day from January to February before going down to 2.2 in March and 1.1 by April. Attacks in Diyala have been fluctuating for months now. Incidents reached a nadir of 0.6 per day in October then went up to 1.8 in January, dipping to 1.0 in February, up to 1.8 in March, and then going down again to 1.4 in April. Kirkuk saw a steady rise from 0.8 incidents in September to a high point of 1.7 per day in February, and then 1.5 in March, and 1.2 in April. There has been a straight dive in Ninewa from 2.9 in August down to 0.8 in April. Finally, in Salahaddin attacks have fluctuated up and down from December to April.



Diyala had the most incidents in April with 44, followed by 36 in Kirkuk, 35 in Baghdad, 24 in Ninewa, 18 in Salahaddin, 17 in Kurdistan, 15 in Anbar, 8 in Irbil, 3 in Babil, 2 in Basra, and 2 in Dohuk.

Those incidents led to 486 dead and 236 wounded. 8 Hashd al-Shaabi, 50 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members, 67 from the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 91 Turkish Soldiers, and 270 civilians lost their lives. 17 Turkish Soldiers, 18 Hashd, 43 ISF, and 158 civilians were also injured. There were 246 bodies found in mass graves leaving 240 violent deaths during the month. Ninewa was where most of those people were discovered, which was why it had the most deaths with 261.

Even with the decided drop in overall attacks IS has shifted the types of operations it is launching. First, the insurgents are targeting the upcoming elections. In Anbar for instance, the headquarters of the Solution List was hit by two suicide bombers. A candidate from Muqtada al-Sadr’s list escaped an IED in Baghdad. A Turkmen politician survived a car bombing in Kirkuk city one week, only to have a grenade thrown at him the next week. The New Generation Party office in the city were also shot at. Second, there were continued ambushes, fake checkpoints and shootouts with militants in Diyala, Kirkuk, and Salahaddin. In the later, a Hashd training center was attacked, and a police station was hit by a suicide bomber. Third, IS is attempting to regain control of rural areas in central Iraq. In Kirkuk, IS went into three villages and burned houses, while attacking five others. Starting in October, IS made a tactical withdrawal from the battlefield. It hardy put up a fight as the last segments of Iraqi territory were freed. Afterward, there were only hit and run attacks, although there was a decided pick up in terrorism in Baghdad. Now the group is back to its old tactics. It is rebuilding in the rural, desert and mountain areas of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Salahaddin. It is also no longer holding back on direct confrontations with the security forces, and there have been reports of insurgents walking around in the day showing no fear of the government in small towns. Those are all reasons why the drop in incidents in April needs to be seen in a larger context of what the Islamic State was trying to do in Iraq.

On a different front, the battle between the PKK and Turkey in northern Kurdistan reached a new level. In a series of air strikes, gun battles, and attacks by the PKK 91 Turkish were killed and another 17 wounded, while the PKK lost 50. There were 5 civilian casualties as well that got caught up in the fighting. This started with one of the largest Turkish interventions in quite some time. Ankara reinforced its existing camps and set up new ones, and appears to be committed to staying for quite some time.

Casualties In Iraq By Province Mar-Apr 2018
Province
Mar 2018
Apr 2018
Anbar
122 (53 K, 69 W)
59 (7 K, 52 W)
Babil
15 (1 K, 14 W)
3 (1 K, 2 W)
Baghdad
128 (36 K, 92 W)
51 (11 K, 40 W)
Basra
-
1 (1 W)
Diyala
88 (50 K, 38 W)
51 (17 K, 34 W)
Dohuk
3 (3K)
3 (3 K)
Irbil
156 (154 K, 2 W)
66 (53 K, 13 W)
Kirkuk
103 (53 K, 50W)
62 (25 K, 37 W)
KRG
21 (20 K, 1 W)
94 (88 K, 6)
Ninewa
211 (188 K, 23 W)
279 (261 K, 18 W)
Salahaddin
103 (53 K, 50 W)
53 (20 K, 33W)
Sulaymaniya
-


Security Incidents In Iraq By Province Mar-Apr 2018
Province
Mar
Apr
Anbar
25
15
Babil
7
3
Baghdad
70
35
Basra
-
2
Diyala
58
44
Dohuk
3
2
Irbil
13
8
Kirkuk
49
36
KRG
7
17
Ninewa
39
24
Salahaddin
36
18

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
Mar 15-21
67
168
98
Mar 22-28
81
213
61
Mar 29-31
21
26
35
MAR
307
611
339
Apr 1-7
40
174
29
Apr 8-14
64
175
83
Apr 15-21
44
63
72
Apr 22-28
44
62
48
Apr 29-30
12
12
4
APR
204
486
236

Violence By Province April 2018
Province
Violence
Anbar
15 Incidents
7 Killed
2 Civilians
5 ISF
52 Wounded
17 ISF
35 Civilians

1 Shooting
4 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
3 Suicide Bombers
2 Grenades
7 Suicide Bombers Killed
5 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
3 Incidents
1 Killed
1 Hashd
2 Wounded
2 Hashd

1 Shooting
1 IED
Baghdad
35 Incidents
11 Killed
11 Civilians
40 Wounded
1 ISF
39 Civilians

13 Shootings
11 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
3 Suicide Bombers Killed
Basra
2 Incidents
1 Wounded
1 Civilian

1 Shooting
Diyala
44 Incidents
17 Killed
1 ISF
1 Hashd
15 Civilians
34 Wounded
14 ISF
20 Civilians

13 Shootings
15 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
2 Mortars
1 Motorcycle Bomb Destroyed
Dohuk
2 Incidents
3 Killed
3 Civilians

1 Turkish Air Strike
Irbil
8 Incidents
53 Killed
53 Turkish Soldiers
13 Wounded
2 Civilians
11 Turkish Soldiers

4 Shootings
2 Turkish Air Strikes
Kirkuk
36 Incidents
25 Killed
2 ISF
6 Hashd
17 Civilians
37 Wounded
8 ISF
8 Hashd
21 Civilians

18 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
2 Grenades
1 Rocket
1 Mortar
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Kurdistan
17 Incidents
88 Killed
38 Turkish Soldiers
50 PKK
6 Wounded
6 Turkish Soldiers

10 Shootings
8 Turkish Air Strikes
Ninewa
24 Incidents
261 Killed
57 ISF
204 Civilians
18 Wounded
1 ISF
17 Civilians

8 Shootings
6 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
18 Incidents
20 Killed
2 ISF
18 Civilians
33 Wounded
2 ISF
8 Hashd
23 Civilians

6 Shootings
7 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
2 Suicide Bombers Killed

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "Four killed in suicide attack on Iraq party headquarters," 4/8/18

Baghdad Post, "Sa'eron coalition candidates survive assassination attempts," 4/19/18

Bas News, "Car Bomb Kills, Wounds Twelve in Kirkuk," 4/15/18

Ebraheem, Mohammed, "Parliamentary hopeful injured in suicide attack against party's HQ in Anbar," Iraqi News, 4/8/18
- "Six Iraqi soldiers injured as suicide bomber blows himself up in Anbar," Iraqi News, 4/8/18

Goran, Baxtiyar, "Four killed, wounded in IS suicide attack in Salahuddin Province," Kurdistan 24, 4/17/18

Mostafa, Nehal, "4 paramilitary personnel injured as Islamic State attack training facility , south of Tikrit," Iraqi News, 4/12/18
- "Five policemen killed, injured in attack by Islamic State, south of Kirkuk," Iraqi News, 4/26/18

NINA, "2 Houses Razed, 3 Burned By Daesh Militants South And West Of Kirkuk," 4/12/18
- "A Bomb attack on the office of a Turkman candidate in central Kirkuk" 4/24/18
- "Four civilians were killed in a village west of Kirkuk,"4/12/18

Sotaliraq, "A new Daash attack and mass exodus of residents from Kirkuk," 4/26/18

Al Sumaria, "Civilian injured in bombing of Turkmen candidates in central Kirkuk," 4/24/18
- "Shooting in an election meeting in Kirkuk," 4/21/18

Xinhua, "At least 2 security members killed in suicide attack in Iraq," 4/9/18

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