Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Security In Iraq Sep 22-28, 2018


(Iraqi News)

Violence continues to ebb and flow in Iraq. In the middle of September there was a temporary increase in security incidents and casualties. That all went back down to a very low casualty count and incidents returning to the norm during the fourth week of the month.

From September 22-28, 2018 there were a total of 47 incidents reported in Iraq in the media. That was down from 50 during the third week and 57 during the second, but within the mean of roughly 40 per week since April. Baghdad again led the country in violence with 20 incidents, the only province in double figures, and the most recorded since the first week of March.

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province Sep 22-28, 2018
Babil 1
Kurdistan 1
Anbar 2
Basra 2
Salahaddin 2
Ninewa 4
Kirkuk 6
Diyala 9
Baghdad 20

Casualties In Iraq By Province Sep 22-28, 2018
Babil 1 (1 K)
Basra 2 (1 K, 1 W)
Diyala 2 (2 W)
Salahaddin 3 (3 W)
Anbar 4 (4W)
Kurdistan 4 (4 K)
Kirkuk 5 (3 K, 2 W)
Ninewa 9 (9 K)
Baghdad 30 (9 K, 21 W)

Casualties were very low during the week with 27 deaths and 33 wounded. 1 Hashd al-Shaabi, 4 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), 6 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 16 civilians were killed, and 2 ISF, 3 Hashd, and 28 civilians were injured. Again, Baghdad had the most with 9 killed and 21 wounded, and was the only governorate in double figures.

Human Rights Watch issued a report “Iraq: Secret Detention, No Recourse” that documented 74 cases of men and boys being detained by the Iraqi forces who have never been seen again. These took place from April 2014 to October 2017 and involved 36 incidents by the Hashd and 42 by the ISF. Throughout the war against the Islamic State, the ISF were accused of various abuses from destroying homes to executing prisoners, and these are just the latest. This comes on top of their routine abuse and torture of suspects to gain confessions whether they be terrorist suspects or common criminals. Despite 15 years of international training the Iraqis continue to hold onto norms set during the years of dictatorship the country has gone through. It is therefore no surprise when such news comes out.

On a separate front two prominent females were assassinated during the week. First, Saud al-Ali a human rights activist and protest organizer was killed in Basra. Then the famous model Tara Fares was gunned down in Baghdad. Prime Minister Haidar Abadi ordered an investigation into the murders, giving the Interior Ministry and intelligence agencies 48 hours to report claiming these were organized attacks. It’s unlikely anything will come of this as many believe these murders were carried out by armed factions connected to the Hashd and/or political parties.

After a spurt of mass casualty bombings in the middle of September, Anbar has returned to a sideshow for the insurgency. From September 15-21 there were just four incidents, and two from September 22-18. That included an attack upon an Islamic State family in Hit probably by locals looking for revenge. IS largely withdrew from the province at the start of the year. The suicide and car bombs in August and September were a worrying phenomenon. A long view should be taken to see whether IS wants to make a return to Anbar or was just being opportunistic.

Another worrying trend is that terrorism might be returning to Baghdad. Attacks in the capital have been increasing from single digits back in April to the teens in May, and then 20 at the end of September. On September 25 there were six attacks alone including three IEDs and two sticky bombs, one of which was dismantled. Most of the violence occurs on the periphery especially in the north and south, but it is the first sign that IS is attempting a major comeback in an urban center with the exception of Kirkuk city where attacks took off after the federal forces retook the city form the Kurds in October 2016.

In Basra, rockets landed at the airport. On September 8, mortars were fired at the facility as well. That led the U.S. to withdraw its personnel from the consulate, which resides at the airport, blaming Iranian backed groups for the attacks. Earlier in the month the Iranian consulate in Basra city was burned during protests there. Tehran and its allies blamed the U.S. and retaliated with the incidents at the airport. This comes on top of constant accusations by those same parties that the Americans were aiding the Islamic State, that Washington wanted a permanent military presence in Iraq, and that they would take action as a result.

Central Iraq is a perfect example of how rebuilding the insurgency means that attacks will go up and down. For weeks now the number of attacks in Diyala, Kirkuk and Salahaddin have decreased despite this being the center of the Islamic State’s plans. During the fourth week of September there were just 2 incidents in Salahaddin, 6 in Kirkuk and 9 in Diyala. That included several attempts by IS to infiltrate from Iran into Diyala, and a gun battle with the security forces and an attack upon a town in Kirkuk. The low number of incidents doesn’t mean IS isn’t achieve its goals. Iraq Oil Report had a story of how people were fleeing several villages in Qara Tappa in the north and the Khanaqin and Jalawla in the northeast of Diyala. The militants are exerting such control over rural areas in the governorate that the Iraqi forces don’t enter them at night and IS members even walk around out in the open during the day in some places. Re-establishing itself in the rural areas of the center of the country, and then infiltrating into the cities is part of the group’s strategy that it laid out as far back as the middle of 2016.

Ninewa is another sideshow in the insurgency. There are few incidents there, but there was a suicide bombing during the month. From September 22-28 there were just 4 incidents, but that included a mukhtar being assassinated, which is a proven tactic of IS to eliminate local authorities so that it can take over.

Finally, the Turkey carried out another attack upon the PKK in northern Kurdistan. That left another 4 Kurds dead. Ankara fears the group’s expanded role in Iraq and Syria, launched an incursion into northern Iraq in March, and now carries out routine bombings and shelling of the PKK’s positions.

Islamic State Activity in Central Iraq 2018
Diyala
Shootings
(Totals)
IEDs/
Sticky Bombs
(Totals)
Gun Battles
Attacks on Checkpoints
Attacks on Mukhtars/
Sheikhs
Kidnappings
Attacks on Towns
Mortars
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
Jan
20
24
2
7
-
1
-
6
1
1
Feb
14
13
4
3
-
-
-
-
1
-
Mar
29
21
14
5
1
2
1
5
-
-
Apr
13
18
2
2
-
-
-
2
-
-
May
11
11
1
3
1
1
3
4
1
-
Jun
32
17
5
12
-
1
5
4
-
-
Jul
20
19
2
3
-
2
3
1
-
-
Aug
17
18
2
2
1
1
3
3
-
-
Sep
20
12
5
1
-
2
5
3
-
-

Kirkuk
Shootings
(Totals)
IEDs/
Sticky Bombs
(Totals)
Gun Battles
Attacks on Checkpoints
Attacks on Mukhtars/
Sheikhs
Kidnappings
Attacks on Towns
Mortars/
Rockets
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
Jan
13
6
4
1
-
-
-
3
3
1
Feb
21
10
7
3
-
-
-
4
1
-
Mar
22
15
11
2
-
2
1
3
1
1
Apr
18
4
3
1
-
-
8
1
-
1
May
14
28
2
-
2
1
1
4
4
-
Jun
25
12
4
2
-
2
10
6
-
-
Jul
7
20
1
2
-
-
-
-
-
1
Aug
7
20
2
1
2
-
-
2
-
1
Sep
12
21
1
2
1
3
3
2
-
-

Salahaddin
Shootings
(Totals)
IEDs/
Sticky Bombs
(Totals)
Gun Battles
Attacks on Checkpoints
Attacks on Mukhtars/
Sheikhs
Kidnappings
Attacks on Towns
Mortars/
Rockets
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
Jan
11
9
8
-
-
-
-
2
-
1
Feb
7
5
1
1
-
2
-
-
-
-
Mar
23
8
9
2
-
3
-
-
1
-
Apr
6
8
2
2
-
-
-
-
1
-
May
14
10
10
1
1
-
-
1
1
-
Jun
15
15
4
1
-
7
-
-
-
1
Jul
9
6
-
4
-
-
2
1
1
-
Aug
9
15
1
3
-
1
1
1
1
-
Sep
5
9
1
1
-
-
1
1
3
1

(Gun Battles, Attacks on Checkpoints, Attacks on Mukhtars, Attacks on Towns are all subsets of the total number of shootings and IEDs/Sticky Bombs reported)

Suicide-Car Bombs In Iraq 2018
Month
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
Totals
Jan
7
(1- Diyala,
3 – Baghdad,
3 - Kirkuk)
6
(1- Anbar,
1 – Diyala,
1 – Kirkuk,
1 – Salahaddin,
2 - Babil)
13
Feb
4
(1 – Anbar
1 – Diyala
1 – Kirkuk
1 - Ninewa)
-
4
Mar
2
(1 – Kirkuk
1 - Salahaddin)
1
(1 – Kirkuk)
3
Apr
4
(1 - Salahaddin
3 – Anbar)
1
(1 – Kirkuk)
5
May
8
(1 – Diyala
1 - Salahaddin)
2 – Baghdad
4 - Kirkuk)
-
8
Jun

1
(1 – Salahaddin)
1
Jul
1
(1 – Salahaddin)
1
(1 – Kirkuk)
2
Aug
1
(1 – Salahaddin)
2
(1 – Anbar,
1 – Kirkuk)
3
Sep
6
(1 – Ninewa)
2 – Anbar
3 – Salahaddin)
2
(1 – Kirkuk
1 – Salahaddin)
8

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
(218 Violent
Deaths)
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
(233 Violent Deaths)
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
(466 Violent Deaths)
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
(240 Violent Deaths)
236
May 1-7
51
57
56
May 8-14
56
68
49
May 15-21
39
58
82
May 22-28
51
73
51
May 29-31
21
42
15
MAY
218
298
(273 Violent Deaths)
253
Jun 1-7
55
100
32
Jun 8-14
72
108
88
Jun 15-21
42
83
19
Jun 22-28
52
58
65
Jun 29-30
18
22
14
JUN
239
371
(327 Violent Deaths)
218
Jul 1-7
56
58
91
Jul 8-14
44
57
31
Jul 15-21
54
61
64
Jul 22-28
36
65
21
Jul 29-31
24
26
11
JUL
214
267
(222 Violent Deaths)
218
Aug 1-7
49
57
30
Aug 8-14
47
43
51
Aug 15-21
45
26
45
Aug 22-28
42
29
64
Aug 29-31
33
69
44
AUG
216
224
(209 Violent Deaths)
234
Sep 1-7
45
46
61
Sep 8-14
57
67
127
Sep 15-21
50
93
71
Sep 22-28
47
27
33

Violence By Province Sep 22-28, 2018
Province
Violence
Anbar
2 Incidents
4 Wounded
4 Civilians

1 Shooting
1 Grenade
Babil
1 Incident
1 Killed
1 Civilian

1 Shooting
Baghdad
20 Incidents
9 Killed
9 Civilians
21 Wounded
21 Civilians

8 Shootings
6 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Grenade
Basra
2 Incidents
1 Killed
1 Civilian
1 Wounded
1 Civilian

1 Shooting
1 Rocket
Diyala
9 Incidents
2 Wounded
2 Civilians

6 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Kirkuk
6 Incidents
3 Killed
1 Hashd
2 ISF
2 Wounded
2 ISF

2 Shootings
4 IEDs
Kurdistan
1 Incident
4 Killed
4 PKK
Ninewa
4 Incidents
9 Killed
4 ISF
5 Civilians

3 Shootings
Salahaddin
2 Incidents
3 Wounded
3 Hashd

2 IEDs

SOURCES

Ali, Amir, Otten, Cathy, Hussein, Mohammed, “Village evacuating as rising insurgency targets new territory,” Iraq Oil Report, 9/28/18

Azer News, "Turkish General staff announces elimination of terrorists in northern Iraq," 9/22/18

Bas News, “Hashd al-Shaabi Accuses US for Basra Crisis,” 9/9/18
- "IS Attacks Hashd al-Shaabi in Hawija," 9/23/18
- "IS Attacks Village in Kirkuk," 9/26/18
- "Rocket Lands near US Consulate in Basra: Report," 9/28/18

Al Ghad Press, "The body of an unidentified man was found in Abu Ghraib," 9/27/18
- "Four people were injured by an explosive device in Baya south Baghdad," 9/25/18
- "Three people were wounded by a roadside bomb in the Shula area northwest Baghdad," 9/25/18
- "Two civilians wounded by a roadside bomb northwest Baghdad," 9/28/18

Hassan, Hassan, “Out of the Desert, ISIS’s Strategy For A Long War,” Middle East Institute, September 2018

Hath al-Youm, "Bombing targeted the Basra International Airport," 9/8/18

Human Rights Watch, “Iraq: Secret Detention, No Recourse,” 9/27/18

Al Jazeera, “Iraqi activist Soad al-Ali shot dead in restive Basra,” 9/27/18

Al Maalomah, "Four people were wounded by an explosive device near Baghdad Gate north of the capital," 9/25/18

Mostafa, Nehal, "2 people wounded in armed attack against Islamic State family's house, west of Anbar," Iraqi News, 9/25/18
- "Five attempts by Islamic State to approach Iraqi-Iranian borders repulsed," Iraqi News, 9/23/18
- "Five people killed, injured in two bomb explosions in Baghdad: Sources," Iraqi News, 9/25/18
- "Mayor killed in armed attack by Islamic State, south of Mosul," Iraqi News, 9/23/18
- "Three people killed, injured in fifth bomb blast, east of Baghdad," Iraqi News, 9/25/18

Rudaw, “Abadi orders investigation into spate of ‘organized’ killings, abductions,” 9/28/18

Shafaaq News, "URGENT Iraqi Interior Ministry issued a clarification on the killing of Tara Fares," 9/27/18

Al Sumaria, "Civilian killed in armed attack north Baghdad," 9/26/18
- "Security forces dismantles an explosive device inside a Kia in a garage in central Baghdad," 9/25/18
- "Two women were wounded by a roadside bomb explosion in the Shaab area north Baghdad, 9/25/18

Xinhua, “Iraq regrets U.S. decision to close consulate in Basra,” 9/29/18

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