Thursday, April 2, 2020

Violence Drops In Iraq In March 2020


Violence dropped in Iraq perhaps because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Islamic State for instance, initially said that its fighters should not travel to different areas during the pandemic. Whatever the case might be there were far fewer incidents likely carried out by the group. Pro-Iran Hashd forces however increased their attacks on U.S. forces and personnel in March.


There were a total of 69 incidents recorded in the press in Iraq in March 2020. 8 of those were done by pro-Iran Hashd groups as they lobbed rockets at the Green Zone four times, Camp Taji in northern Baghdad two times, Besmaya base in southern Baghdad one time, and Sadiq base in Salahaddin. The other 61 incidents were the work of the Islamic State.

Diyala as usual had the most violence with 26 incidents. That was followed by 14 in Baghdad, 12 in Salahaddin, 8 in Ninewa, 6 in Anbar, and one each in Babil, Kirkuk, and Irbil. Those led to 47 dead and 90 wounded. 1 British soldier, 4 US soldiers, 11 Hashd al-Shaabi, 12 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and 19 civilians lost their lives. Another 3 US soldiers, 19 ISF, 22 Hashd and 46 civilians were injured. Diyala had the most casualties with 42, followed by 37 in Baghdad.

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province
Province
Mar 1-7
Mar 8-14
Mar 15-21
Mar 22-28
Mar 29-31
Totals
Anbar
1
3
1
-
1
6
Babil
-
-
-
1
-
1
Baghdad
3/2 Pro-Iran
7/2 Pro-Iran
2 Pro-Iran
2/1 Pro-Iran
-
14/7 Pro-Iran
Diyala
7
3
4
7
5
26
Irbil
-
1
-
-
-
1
Kirkuk
-
-
-
1
-
1
Ninewa
5
1
2
1
-
8
Salahaddin
1 Pro-Iran
1
5
2
3
12/1 Pro-Iran
TOTAL
17/3 Pro-Iran
15/2 Pro-Iran
14/2 Pro-Iran
14/1 Pro-Iran
9
69/8 Pro-Iran

Casualties In Iraq By Province
Province
Totals
Anbar
12 (4K, 8W)
Babil
4 (1K, 3W)
Baghdad
37 (8K, 29W)
Diyala
42 (25K, 17W)
Irbil
2 (2K)
Kirkuk
1 (1W)
Ninewa
13 (1K, 12W)
Salahaddin
26 (6K, 20W)
TOTAL
137 (47K, 90W)

Attacks went down in Baghdad. When protests started in the capital in October 2019 IS held back leading to only 3 incidents that month. The insurgents slowly picked up operations afterward reaching 24 in February 2020, the most seen since 25 in September 2019. In March however, things dropped off to just 7. All of these were low level, but on March 24 a family was murdered in their home which was burned down, and an IED was planted to hit the ISF when they showed up to investigate. Previous to that on March 12 3 IEDs went off inside the city itself. Over the last few months the militants have been able to explode multiple IEDs in Baghdad on the same day showing their effort to return to the city. That is a change because the Islamic State is almost completely rural in nature right now after is defeat on the battlefield. It must return to Iraq’s cities to remain relevant and its number one target is the capital. The multiple IEDs on one day show that it is rebuilding its networks, but it is still very slow going for the group. Additionally there were the 7 attacks by pro-Iran Hashd discussed above. Groups allied with Tehran are seeking to provoke the Americans to overact and kill Iraqis, which they hope can then be used to motivate parliament to expel all foreign forces from the country.

Kirkuk and Ninewa also saw reductions in violence. Incidents in Kirkuk had been declining for the last three months. They went from 17 in December 2019 to 11 in January, 8 in February, and just 1 in March. That was an attack upon a checkpoint. The same pattern was seen in Ninewa with 19 incidents in December, 13 in January, 12 in February, and 8 in March. There was one shoot out with insurgents, but the rest were IEDs and one shooing, although three suicide bombers were killed as well when they ran into the security forces. Ninewa has become a secondary front recently, but Kirkuk usually has one of the higher incident counts each month. There is no explanation right now for why things fell off so much there.
 
 


IS operations in Anbar have leveled off recently. After no incidents in November there were 5 in December, 7 in January, 5 in February, and 6 in March. That included rockets fired at a village, a mukhtar hit with an IED, and two checkpoints being shot at. Anbar used to be a main front for the militants, but they’ve since abandoned it mostly to use the province for moving men and material in from Syria. 

Diyala continues to be the center of militant activity, but it too has leveled off. There were 23 incidents in January, 24 in February, and 26 in March. That included 2 attacks on checkpoints and four gun battles. As usual 14 of the attacks took place in the northeast around the Jalawla-Khanaqin districts. There the insurgents have exploited the gap between the government and Kurdish forces.
 
Incidents continued their up and down path in Salahaddin. In December 2019 there were 12, followed by 7 in January, 6 in February, and then 11 in March. 3 of those were gun battles with the security forces. 1 was a rocket attack by pro-Iran groups. Many IS members are based in Salahaddin and travel back and forth between Diyala, but the number of attacks has remained relatively low for several months now.
 
Additionally there were one incident each in Babil and Irbil. In the former an IED hit a Hashd patrol in Jurf al-Sakhr. That district is a military base for Kataib Hezbollah and completely empty of civilians as a result. IS has still been able to plant explosives there each month. In the latter, a joint Iraq-Coalition operation in the Qarachogh Mountains led to a gun battle where two U.S. soldiers were killed. For the last two months IS has been making probing attacks in southern Irbil leading to this raid.

Islamic State Activity in Iraq 2018-20
Diyala
Shootings
(Totals)
IEDs/
Sticky Bombs
(Totals)
Gun Battles
Attacks on Checkpoints
Attacks on Mukhtars/
Sheikhs
Kidnappings
Attacks on Towns
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
2018
Totals
219
198
47
43
5
13
25
3
1
2019
Totals
185
112
33
63
2
6
29
2
-
Jan 2020
13
6
-
2
-
1
-
-
-
Feb
16
5
2
8
-
1
-
-
-
Mar
15
10
4
2
-
-
-
-
-

Kirkuk
Shootings
(Totals)
IEDs/
Sticky Bombs
(Totals)
Gun Battles
Attacks on Checkpoints
Attacks on Mukhtars/
Sheikhs
Kidnappings
Attacks on Towns
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
2018
Totals
172
182
39
18
10
14
29
9
6
2019
Totals
77
116
24
19
6
8
18
-
1
Jan 2020
10
1
2
2
-
1
-
-
-
Feb
5
-
2
1
-
2
1
-
-
Mar
1
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
-

Ninewa
Shootings
(Totals)
IEDs/
Sticky Bombs
(Totals)
Gun Battles
Attacks on Checkpoints
Attacks on Mukhtars/
Sheikhs
Kidnappings
Attacks on Towns
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
2018
Totals
139
74
43
7
5
6
6
2
3
2019
Totals
63
49
14
3
9
6
17
-
3
Jan 2020
7
5
2
1
-
1
-
-
-
Feb
5
5
-
-
1
-
-
-
1
Mar
2
5
1
-
-
-
-
-
-

Salahaddin
Shootings
(Totals)
IEDs/
Sticky Bombs
(Totals)
Gun Battles
Attacks on Checkpoints
Attacks on Mukhtars/
Sheikhs
Kidnappings
Attacks on Towns
Suicide Bombers
Car Bombs
2018
Totals
110
102
41
18
1
16
4
9
5
2019
Totals
60
54
32
5
2
6
8
2
6
Jan 2020
4
-
-
1
1
-
-
-
-
Feb
5
-
1
-
-
1
-
-
-
Mar
5
2
3
-
-
-
-
-
-

Security In Iraq 2019-20
Week
Security
Incidents
(Total/By IS)
Dead
(Total/By IS)
Wounded
(Total/By IS)
Jan 1-7
32
17/10
24
Jan 8-14
32
94/31
53
Jan 15-21
22
17/11
16/14
Jan 22-28
27
36/17
31
Jan 29-31
12
7
6
JAN 2019
114
139
130/128
Feb 1-7
29/1
76/16
30
Feb 8-14
24
26
18
Feb 15-21
40
112/37
12
Feb 22-28
25
36
70
FEB
118/1
250/115
130
Mar 1-7
13
22
45
Mar 8-14
19
75/10
37
Mar 15-21
12
66/37
21/11
Mar 22-28
13
8/5
1
Mar 29-31
6
8
7
MAR
61
147
101
Apr 1-7
20
22
13
Apr 8-14
41
28
42
Apr 15-21
17
9/8
26
Apr 22-28
19
45
15
Apr 29-30
2
1
4
APR
99
105
100
May 1-7
20
15
18
May 8-14
24
31
41
May 15-21
37/1
62/25
39
May 22-28
43
39
54
May 29-31
13
16
48
MAY
137/1
163/125
200
Jun 1-7
26
19
44
Jun 8-14
25/1
29
15
Jun 15-21
21/2
6
13/10
Jun 22-28
18
17
41
Jun 29-30
9
3
9
JUN
99/3
74
122/119
Jul 1-7
20
11
39
Jul 8-14
14
31
10
Jul 15-21
17
14
37
Jul 22-28
23
14
20
Jul 29-31
8
13
13
JUL
82
83
119
Aug 1-7
27
14
31
Aug 8-14
18
13
13
Aug 15-21
20
33
15
Aug 22-28
27
24
72
Aug 29-31
11
19
10
AUG
104
103
141
Sep 1-7
39
39
38
Sep 8-14
30
35
43
Sep 15-21
23
27
26
Sep 22-28
24/1
15
20
Sep 29-30
7
6
4
SEP
123/1
122
131
Oct 1-7
3
1
2
Oct 8-14
14
25
17
Oct 15-21
19
29
13
Oct 22-28
22/1
33
10
Oct 29-31
12/1
4
11
Oct
70/2
92
53
Nov 1-7
6/1
4
1
Nov 8-14
9/1
2
25
Nov 15-21
15/1
11
2
Nov 22-28
17/1
24
33
Nov 29-30
8/1
6
37
Nov
55/5
47
98
Dec 1-7
36/3
33
44
Dec 8-14
19/3
19
19
Dec 15-21
26
44
25
Dec 22-28
30/1
30
38
Dec 29-31
9
8
7
Dec
120/7
134
133
Jan 1-7
25/7
16
84
Jan 8-14
24/3
12
34
Jan 15-21
23/2
11
12
Jan 22-28
11/1
10
8
Jan 29-31
8/1
4
1
Jan 2020
91/12
53
139
Feb 1-7
22
13
11
Feb 8-14
18/1
5
38
Feb 15-21
16/2
42
18
Feb 22-28
25
15
34
Feb 29
4
5
2
Feb
85/3
80
103
Mar 1-7
17/3
11
17
Mar 8-14
15/2
13
33
Mar 15-21
14/2
5
19
Mar 22-28
14/1
13
11
Mar 29-30
9
5
10
Mar
69/8
47
90

Violence By Province Mar 2020
Province
Violence
Anbar
6 Incidents
4 Killed
1 Hashd
3 ISF
8 Wounded
1 Civilian
3 Hashd
4 ISF

3 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Rockets
Babil
1 Incident
1 Killed
1 Hashd
3 Wounded
3 Hashd

1 IED
Baghdad
14/7 Hashd Incidents
8 Killed
1 UK soldier
1 ISF
2 US Soldiers
4 Civilians
29 Wounded
3 US Soldiers
7 ISF
19 Civilians

4 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
5 Rockets
Diyala
26 Incidents
25 Killed
5 Hashd
6 ISF
14 Civilians
17 Wounded
1 ISF
6 Civilians
10 Hashd

15 Shootings
8 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
3 Mortars
Irbil
1 Incident
2 Killed
2 US Soldiers

1 Shooting
Kirkuk
1 Incident
1 Wounded

1 Shooting
Ninewa
8 Incidents
1 Killed
1 Civilian
12 Wounded
1 ISF
5 Civilians
6 Hashd

2 Shootings
5 IEDs
3 Suicide Bombers Killed
Salahaddin
12/1 Hashd Incident
6 Killed
2 ISF
4 Hashd
20 Wounded
5 ISF
15 Civilians

5 Shootings
1 IED
1 Motorcycle Bomb
2 Mortars
2 Rockets

SOURCES

Al Aalem, “18 Iraqi militants killed in Syria with a coalition raid .. Two Americans and two Britons die in the bombing of Al Taji,” 3/12/20

Baghdad Post, "Four members of the Federal Police were wounded in a terrorist attack in Salahaldin," 3/29/20
- "Security forces foil attacks by killing three suicide bombers in Mosul," 3/24/20

Bas News, "Explosion Injures Three at Iraq's Northern Oilfield," 3/7/20
- "Iraq: IS Jihadists Kill Two Fisherman in Diyala," 3/4/20
- "Iraqi Senior Commander Assassinated in Diyala," 3/1/20
- "IS Attacks Hashd al-Shaabi in Diyala, Casualties Reported," 3/4/20
- "IS Jihadists Kill Two Iraqi Shia Militias, Wound Three near Khanaqin," 3/10/20
- "'Motorcycle Bomb' Blast Hits Kurdish Disputed Town of Tuz Khurmatu," 3/16/20
- "PICTURES | Rocket Attack Wounds Two Civilians in Tuz Khurmatu," 3/19/20
- "Roadside Bomb Hits Civilian Vehicle near Tuz Khurmatu," 3/28/20
- “Rockets Target Iraqi Base Housing US-led Coalition Forces,” 3/1/20
- "Two Bomb Blasts Kill, Wound 4 in Iraq's Diyala Province," 3/17/20

BBC, “Iraq base attack: Coalition and Iraqi troops hurt as Taji targeted again,” 3/14/20

Deutsche Welle, “Coronavirus: ‘Islamic State’ seeks to profit from pandemic,” 3/23/20

Al Forat, "The crowd repels the ISIS attack in Khanaqin," 3/29/20

Al Ghad Press, "An armed man kills a woman in front of her house in Abu Saida district, northeast of Diyala," 3/15/20
- "Violent clashes between the popular crowd and a group of ISIS south of Salahaddin," 3/15/20

Ghafuri, Lawk, "Two US service members killed in anti-ISIS operation in northern Iraq," Rudaw, 3/9/20

Hath Al-Youm, "Gunmen kill an entire family and burn its house south of Baghdad," 3/24/20

Henna, Ayman, “Rockets hit Iraq’s Green Zone, US-led coalition leaves base,” Agence France Presse, 3/26/20

Al Maalomah, "A farmer was killed and a woman and her child were wounded by two explosions in Diyala," 3/3/20
- "Thwarting an infiltration attempt by ISIS on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin," 3/11/20
- "Two soldiers martyred due to the explosion of an explosive device in Diyala," 3/25/20
- "Two soldiers were killed and two others were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in Anbar," 3/19/20

NINA, "2 Civilians Injured By An Explosive Device In Tal Kayf, Nineveh," 3/3/20
- "A Civilian Killed By IED Explosion Northeast Of Baquba, Diyala," 3/30/20
- "A civilian was killed by unknown gunmen west of Mosul," 3/2/20
- "An elderly woman is killed in an explosive device, northeast of Baquba," 3/22/20
- "A Farmer Killed In IED's Explosion Northeast Of Baquba, Diyala," 3/31/20
- "A farmer was killed by an explosive device near a grove in Baquba," 3/3/20
- "A Fighter Of the PMF Killed, 3 Injured In An Explosion Of An IED In Jurf Al-Nasr District, North Of Babylon," 3/23/20
- "Five mortar shells landed in a village in Diyala," 3/17/20
- "Four soldiers were wounded by an explosive device south of Mosul," 3/4/20
- "A government employee was injured by an explosive device in Baquba," 3/23/20
- "ISIS Targets Amerli District With Three Missiles," 3/20/20
- "Nineveh Police Repel ISIS Attack And Arrest A Terrorist, South Of Mosul," 3/21/20
- "A Policeman Wounded In An Attack By ISIS Militants On A Security Point West of Kirkuk," 3/23/20
- "Security Forces Repel An Attack By ISIS On Akashat Area Of Anbar," 3/30/20
- “Security media: Two Katyusha rockets landed in the vicinity of the Green Zone,” 3/17/20
- "A security member was killed by an explosive device placed in his car, north of Baquba," 3/12/20
- "A Soldier Killed In An ISIS Attack On A Military Post Northeast Of Baquba," 3/4/20
- "A soldier was wounded by an explosive device, southeast of Mosul," 3/17/20
- "Three mortar shells landed in the vicinity of Al-Abbara district in Diyala," 3/28/20
- "A Truck driver killed by unknown gunmen in Diyala," 3/7/20
- "Two civilians were killed in an armed attack northeast of Baquba," 3/3/20
- "Two Farmers Injured By An Explosive Device, Northeast Of Baquba," 3/17/20
- "Two Katyusha rockets fell on a district in Haditha," 3/3/20
- "Two policemen wounded in an explosive device south of Mosul," 3/7/20
- "Two terrorists killed, hours after they killed Commander of the Salah al-Din Emergency Regiment," 3/23/20
- "A village in Diyala came under mortar attack," 3/31/20

Shafaaq News, "Dead and wounded in the crowd, with an attack by ISIS in Diyala," 3/27/20
- "ISIS attack leaves 3 dead and wounded among the crowd in Diyala," 3/30/20
- "Two American and British soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in the bombing of the Taji camp," 3/11/20
- "Two security personnel were killed by a sniper attack in Salahaddin," 3/30/20
- "Wounded in ISIS attack on Salahaddin commandos," 3/31/20

Sky News Arabia, "Our reporter: Two rockets landed inside the Green Zone in Baghdad, and the American embassy sirens," 3/5/20

Sotaliraq, "Electricity issued a statement on terrorist attack on the Tarmiya secondary station," 3/24/20
- "One person was killed and his son wounded in an armed attack in Khanaqin," 3/25/20

Al Sumaria, "A civilian was killed by an armed attack north of Baghdad," 3/1/20
- "A civilian was killed by an armed attack north of Baghdad," 3/14/20
- "Five people were injured by mortar fire in Tuz Khurmato," 3/17/20
- "Mukhtar injured in Anbar explosion," 3/8/20
- "Three members of the popular crowd were killed in Samarra," 3/14/20
- "Three people were killed by gunfire southwest of Baquba," 3/23/20
- "Three people were wounded by wo explosive devices in two areas in Baghdad," 3/12/20
- "Two civilians were injured by a sticky bomb explosion north of Baghdad," 3/9/20
- "Two civilians were wounded by an explosive device north of Baghdad," 3/12/20

TRT World, "Rockets hit Iraq base hosting foreign troops: military," 3/16/20

Wali, Zhelwan, "Two rockets hit Baghdad Green Zone as Allawi resigns," Rudaw, 3/2/20

Xinhua, "4 Iraqi soldiers wounded in rocket attack on military base near Baghdad," 3/14/20

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