Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The New Face Of Violence In Iraq

Since 2009 violence in Iraq has dramatically fallen off. The sectarian civil war ended, and many Sunnis decided to join the political process during the 2009 provincial elections. Militants are still active, but they have morphed into terrorists, assassins, and propagandists. Today, one-half to two-thirds of deaths each month come from mass-casualty attacks and random shootings and bombings. The other one-third to one-half however, are part of a well-planned and executed campaign against government employees and members of the security forces.

April 2011 was a perfect example of how soldiers, policemen, and officials are being targeted. That month, the press reported 52 bombings, 42 shootings, 24 uses of sticky bombs, two sniper attacks, four suicide bombings, one mortar and one grenade incident that killed 107 and left 266 wounded. For example, a sticky bomb attacked to his car in Baghdad on April 3 wounded an official from the Iraqi cabinet. The next day, a roadside bomb killed the Director General of the Ministry of Industry, and another wounded the Director General at the National Investment Commission in Baghdad. On April 6, gunmen with silencers assassinated an employee of the National Directorate of the Interior in the capital. Two days later, the chairman of the Political Prisoners Authority and the director of al-Massar Television Station were gunned down in Baghdad. On April 10, a policeman with the National Investigations Office in Mosul, Ninewa was gunned down. On April 11, Baghdad saw a bombing that killed the head of the Editing Secretariat at the Media Directorate of the Iraqi parliament, a sticky bomb blew up an employee from the Iraqi parliament,  and gunmen with silencers killed a colonel from the Interior Ministry. This deadly drama of bombings and shootings continued throughout the rest of the month.

Some were acts of opportunity, such as setting off bombs when convoys passed by. Others, like the use of sticky bombs and guns with silencers, are much more sophisticated, and require precise planning and intelligence to hit their target. These killings are meant to undermine the government. By killing security members, it sends the message that no one is safe in the country, not even the army and police. The murder of public employees, is supposed to deny the bureaucracy its workers and leadership. It could also be part of the political rivalry between different factions within the government who want to get rid of their opponents. Militants have only been partially successful in achieving these goals. Obviously setting off explosives and shooting people contributes to the insecurity in the country. What affect they have had upon governance and political factions is not so apparent.

Who is responsible for these deaths is also not always clear. Operations in northern and western Iraqi provinces such as Tamim, Ninewa, Salahaddin, and Anbar are probably the work of Sunni insurgents.  The perpetrators in Baghdad however, where most incidents take place, are far harder to determine. That’s because the central province is the home to both Sunni and Shiite militants. The U.S. has recently blamed Shiite groups like the Sadrists, the League of the Righteous, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Qods Force for some of the assassinations. Who else might be involved is unknown.

These targeted attacks are the most visible sign of the change in the security situation in Iraq. Most of it is highly political in nature now. Random soldiers and civilians are still killed each month. However, one-third to one-half of the deaths are the result of targeted attacks. The other third are from large-scale bombings, which are meant to seize headlines for the militants, to make them appear still relevant, and help them with fund raising. That is the current face of violence in the country. Unfortunately, there seems little that can change this status quo any time soon. Most of the reconcilable Sunnis have joined the political process. The remaining militants see the government as American puppets, and some are opposed to Shiite rule. On the other side, Moqtada al-Sadr has once again tried to be part of the government, but still maintains an armed wing, the Promised Day Brigades. The Special Groups are largely an extension of Iranian foreign policy, and will be maintained as long as Tehran has a use for them. Hopefully as more time passes, a new alignment of forces can eventually change this situation, and the attacks can finally come to an end. Until then, these types of incidents will continue to be reported every day in Iraq.

Reported Attacks Upon Government-Security Officials In Iraq, April 2011

Killed 107
Wounded 266

Types Of Attacks
Grenade 1
Mortar 1
Suicide bomber 4
Sniper 2
Sticky Bomb 24
Shooting 43
Improvised Explosive Device/Roadside Bomb/Car Bomb 52
TOTAL: 126

Anbar - 15
• Fallujah - 5
• Kabisa - 1
• Khalidiya - 1
• Ramadi -6
• Unknown - 2
Babil -3
• Hillah - 1
• Iskandiriya - 1
• Unknown - 1
Baghdad – 61
• Baghdad - 59
• Qadiriya - 1
• Tarmiyah - 1
Basra - 1
• Kharma - 1
Diyala -7
• Baladrooz - 1
• Baquba - 4
• Sadiyah - 2
Ninewa - 21
• Mosul - 21
Salahaddin – 3
• Shirqat – 1
• Taji - 1
• Unknown - 1
Tamim - 16
• Hawija - 3
• Kirkuk – 12
• Riyadh - 1


4/1/11 3 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber in Fallujah, Anbar 

4/2/11 3 mortar shells fell near the Ninewa Operations Command leaving no casualties 

4/2/11 One soldier was killed and two wounded by two bombs in Baghdad 

4/2/11 Three soldiers and three policeman were killed in attack by gunmen upon their checkpoint in Kabisa, Anbar 

4/3/11 Minister of Industry escapes attack by a roadside bomb and gunmen that left one guard dead and four wounded in Anbar province 

4/3/11 Official from cabinet was wounded by sticky bomb on his car in Baghdad 

4/4/11 Three policemen killed and 13 wounded by a suicide car bomb at the site of an earlier roadside bomb in Ramadi, Anbar 

4/4/11 Iraqi soldier was killed and two wounded by a roadside bomb in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/4/11 Two policemen and one civilian wounded by a roadside bomb in Baghdad

4/4/11 Two policemen killed by gunmen with silencers in Mosul, Ninewa

4/4/11 Roadside bomb killed a Director General at Ministry of Industry and wounded a guard in Baghdad

4/4/11 Roadside bomb wounded a Director General at National Investment Commission and his bodyguard in Baghdad

4/5/11 Suicide bomber killed three civilians, wounded two policemen and five civilians in Mosul, Ninewa

4/5/11 Police patrol was bombed wounding three officers and a civilian in Baghdad 

4/5/11 Soldier was killed and two others wounded in bombing on their patrol in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/5/11 Gunmen attacked a checkpoint with silencers killing two policemen in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/5/11 Policeman wounded by a roadside bomb in Baghdad

4/6/11 General in charge of Ninewa Nationality Department escaped bomb attack in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/6/11Worker in Nationality Directorate of the Interior Ministry was killed by gunmen with silencers in Baghdad 

4/6/11 Policeman was killed by gunmen in Mosul, Ninewa

4/8/11 Chairman of the political prisoners authority and director of al-Massar television stationed were gunned down in Baghdad 

4/8/11 Lieutenant colonel wounded by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad 

4/9/11 A teacher was killed and two policemen wounded by sticky bomb in Fallujah, Anbar 

4/9/11 Off duty policemen was killed by gunmen in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/9/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car wounded a police colonel in Baghdad

4/9/11 Sticky bomb killed an off duty policeman and wounded two others in Fallujah, Anbar

4/10/11 IED blew up near army patrol with no casualties in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/10/11 Two policemen working with the National Investigations Office in Ninewa was killed by gunmen in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/11/11 Head of the Editing Secretariat at the Media Directorate of the Iraqi parliament was killed and two civilians wounded by a bomb in Baghdad 

4/11/11 Policeman killed by a sniper in Baquba, Diyala

4/11/11 3 policemen killed by a roadside bomb in Iskandiriya, Babil 

4/11/11 Gunmen with silencers killed a police captain from the Interior Minister in Baghdad

4/11/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car killed an employee of the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad

4/11/11 Gunmen with silencer killed a colonel from the Interior Ministry and wounded his driver on attack on his car in Baghdad

4/11/11 Policeman killed by improvised explosive device in Baladrooz, Diyala

4/11/11 Policeman killed by gunfire in Mosul, Ninewa

4/12/11 Police lieutenant and two officers wounded by a sticky bomb attached to their car in Fallujah, Anbar 

4/12/11 Police colonel killed by gunmen with silencers in his car in Baghdad 

4/12/11 Gunmen with silencers attacked a car killing a policeman, a civilian, and wounding two others in Baghdad 

4/12/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car killed a police lieutenant and wounded a civilian in Baghdad

4/12/11 Two policemen killed by improvised explosive device in Hillah, Babil 

4/13/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car wounded Assistant Police Director in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/13/11 Roadside bomb wounded the director of Sadiyah, Diyala and three civilians 

4/13/11 Roadside bomb wounded a police lieutenant colonel on patrol in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/13/11 Mayor of Sadiyah, Diyiala and three of his bodyguards were wounded by a roadside bomb in Diyala 

4/14/11 Colonel in charge of media relations with Diyala police escaped bomb blast in front of his house in Baquba, Diyala. 3 civilians were wounded 

4/14/11 Roadside bomb targeted an army patrol wounding three soldiers in Baghdad 

4/14/11 Improvised explosive device wounded a worker for the National Security Center in Kirkuk and an employee of the cotton gin plant in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/15/11 Army officer on patrol was wounded by a bomb in Baghdad. 

4/15/11 Policeman was wounded by a bomb while on patrol in Baghdad

4/15/11 One soldier was killed and another wounded by a sniper in Baquba, Diyala 

4/15/11 Roadside bomb went off near army checkpoint wounding two soldiers and two civilians in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/15/11 Sticky bomb attached to an army car wounded an officer in Kirkuk, Tamim

4/15/11 Grenade thrown at police patrol killed an officer in Mosul, Ninewa

4/15/11 Roadside bomb went off near an army patrol wounding an officer in Mosul, Ninewa

4/16/11 Federal Police patrol attacked by gunmen wounding one officer in Baghdad 

4/16/11 Roadside bomb went off near motorcade of Higher Education Ministry official in Baghdad wounding two civilians 

4/16/11 Gunmen with silencers attacked a police checkpoint wounding one officer in Baghdad

4/16/11 Roadside bomb went off near army patrol wounding one soldier and one civilian in Baghdad

4/16/11 Sticky bomb on car wounded police lieutenant colonel in Khalidiya, Anbar

4/16/11 Militants shot at a police patrol killing one in Baghdad

4/17/11 Traffic Police Director of Anbar escaped roadside bomb attack on his motorcade in Anbar  

4/17/11 Police captain wounded by roadside bomb in Ramadi, Anbar

4/17/11 Roadside bomb killed one soldier and wounded two while on patrol in Tarmiyah, Baghdad

4/17/11 Gunmen attacked police checkpoint in Mosul, Ninewa killing one officer 

4/17/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car killed National Security Ministry official and wounded two members of his family and two passers by in Baghdad

4/17/11 Policeman was found shot dead in Baghdad

4/17/11 Policeman killed in improvised explosive device in Kharma, Basra

4/18/11 Director General at Finance Ministry and adviser to Central Bank of Iraq escaped assassination attempt by gunmen on his motorcade in Baghdad 

4/18/11 Adviser to speaker of Iraq’s parliament escaped car bomb that killed one of his bodyguards and wounded three others in Baghdad 

4/18/11 Roadside bomb wounded politician who lost in March 2010 elections, two of his bodyguards, and three civilians in Baghdad

4/18/11 Drive by shooting with silencers killed policeman in Baghdad

4/18/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car wounded Army captain and three passengers in Fallujah, Anbar

4/18/11 Policeman killed by sticky bomb attached to his car in Ramadi, Anbar

4/19/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car killed director general of Education Ministry and wounded two civilians in Baghdad 

4/19/11 Lawmaker from Sadr bloc escaped improvised explosive device attack on his motorcade in Babil

4/19/11 Peshmerga fighter killed in attack by gunmen in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/20/11 Policeman killed by men with silencers in Baghdad 

4/20/11 Iraqi soldier and two civilians wounded by roadside bomb in Baghdad

4/20/11 Four policemen and two civilians injured in bombing of a police patrol in Ramadi, Anbar 

4/20/11 Chairman of Salahaddin province’s court escaped car bomb targeting his motorcade, wounding four of his bodyguards, and four bystanders 

4/20/11 Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Mosul, Ninewa killing two officers 

4/20/11 Bomb went off near police patrol in Baghdad wounding one policeman, and two civilians

4/20/11 Gunmen opened fire on a police patrol, wounding one officer in Baghdad

4/20/11 Member of Iraq’s Election Commission escaped sticky bomb attached to his car in Mosul, Ninewa

4/20/11 Deputy Minister of Housing escaped roadside bomb near his convoy in Baghdad, wounding four civilians

4/20/11 Bomb against police patrol wounded one policeman and one civilian in Baghdad

4/20/11 Head of Oil Ministry’s oil products distribution was wounded in drive by shooting in Mosul, Ninewa

4/21/11 Police major wounded in attack by gunmen with silencers on his car in Baghdad 

4/21/11 Head of the anti-corruption integrity committee in parliament Bahaa Araji eluded gunmen with silencers in Baghdad 

4/22/11 3 policemen killed and 3 wounded by an improvised explosive device in Ramadi, Anbar 

4/23/11 High-ranking employee of Foreign Ministry was killed and wife wounded by gunmen in Baghdad

4/23/11 Housing Ministry official killed by men with silencers while driving through Baghdad

4/23/11 Colonel killed by gunmen with silencers in Baghdad 

4/23/11 Intelligence agent was killed by men with silencer while driving in Baghdad 

4/24/11 Army officer, wife, and child wounded by sticky bomb on their car in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/24/11 Policeman wounded in drive by shooting in Baghdad

4/24/11 Defense Ministry lieutenant colonel escaped sticky bomb attack on his car in Baghdad

4/24/11 Defense Ministry General was wounded by sticky bomb on his car in Baghdad

4/24/11 Defense Ministry official was killed by gunmen in Baghdad

4/24/11 Director of Iraq’s Taxes Commission assassinated by gunmen with silencers while driving in Baghdad 

4/24/11 Police captain killed by sticky bomb on car in Kirkuk, Tamim 

4/25/11 Sticky bomb attached to a presidential truck went off in Baghdad wounding two 

4/25/11 Improvised explosive device went off near an army patrol wounding four soldiers and two civilians in Baghdad

4/25/11 Sticky bomb attached to a car killed an army major in Baquba, Diyala 

4/25/11 Policeman wounded by a roadside bomb in Hawija, Tamim 

4/26/11 Men with silencers killed Baghdad governor’s secretary in front of his home in Baghdad 

4/26/11 Bombs went of in the homes of two police officers killing two children and wounding four others in Hawija, Tamim 

4/26/11 Bomb went off in house of municipal official in Riyadh, Tamim

4/26/11 Body of a policeman was found shot in the head on a road outside of Kirkuk, Tamim

4/26/11 Three bombs went off in Kirkuk killing one civilian, wounding 5 Kurdish Asayesh security members, four policemen, and ten bystanders 

4/26/11 Plain-clothes policemen shot in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/27/11 Sticky bomb attached to a truck went off near a police convoy carrying a police chief in Kirkuk, Tamim. Two roadside bombs later when off when security forces arrived to secure the area killing a Kurdish peshmerga, and wounding fifteen others including three police officers. 

4/27/11 Director General of the state directorate of cinema and theater had his car bombed by a sticky device with two of his guards being wounded in Baghdad.

4/27/11 Improvised explosive device went off near a police patrol wounding a policeman in Mosul, Ninewa 

4/27/11 An Interior Ministry general was assassinated by gunmen with silencers in a drive-by shooting on his car in Baghdad

4/28/11 Bomb went off near a police patrol wounding four policemen and two civilians in Baghdad 

4/28/11 General was wounded in an assassination attempt by gunmen in Baghdad

4/28/11 Car bomb went off in front of a bank killing a police chief and three of his guards, and wounding twelve others in Hawija, Tamim 

4/28/11 Improved explosive device went off by an army patrol killing a lieutenant, a soldier, and wounding two other soldiers outside of Mosul, Ninewa 

4/29/11 Police officer was killed by gunmen while driving his personal car in Shirqat, Salahaddin 

4/29/11 Improvised explosive device went off near a federal police convoy killing one police officer, two civilians, and wounding eight policemen and twenty civilians in Baghdad 

4/30/11 Gunmen bombed the house of a judge, killing him, one of his guards, and wounded his wife and daughter in Taji, Salahaddin

4/30/11 Employee from Minister of Industry killed with his daughter by group of gunmen who broke into his house in Qadiriya, Baghdad.

4/30/11 Gunmen killed a policeman, and wounded his wife, and child in Baghdad

4/30/11 Suicide bomber detonated his device amongst an army patrol in Mosul, Ninewa killing four soldiers, three civilians, and wounding two soldiers, and 13 bystanders

4/30/11 Policeman shot in Ramadi, Anbar


Alsumaria, “Bombing kills Iraqi soldier, wounds 2 others,” 4/5/11
- “Iraq Forces find two bodies with gunshot wounds,” 4/15/11
- “Iraq separate bombings wounds tens of people,” 4/11/11
- “Iraqi Judge killed in a bombing,” 4/30/11
- “Suicide Bomber Kills 3 in Mosul,” 4/6/11
- “US Army: Iranian Quds Force has investment projects in Karbala and Najaf to support armed groups in Iraq,” 4/30/11
- “US military commander blames Mahdi Army for Iraq assassinations,” 4/28/11

Aswat al-Iraq, “2 soldiers killed, wounded by sniper in Baaquba,” 4/15/11
- “2 wounded in Kirkuk blast,” 4/14/11
- “3 blasts in Kirkuk leave 20 casualties,” 4/26/11
- “6 cops killed, wounded in Ramadi,” 4/22/11
- “6 injured, including 4 soldiers, in Baghdad blast,” 4/25/11
- “11 injured in Baghdad attacks,” 4/28/11
- “Assistant Police Commander escapes assassination attempt in Kirkuk,” 4/13/11
- “Baghdad blast leaves 3 dead, 28 wounded,” 4/29/11
- “Baghdad Governor’s secretary assassinated,” 4/26/11
- “Car bomb kills 4 people in southwest of Kirkuk,” 4/28/11
- “Chairman of political prisoners authority gunned down in Baghdad,” 4/8/11
- “Chief of Integrity Commission escape life attempt in Baghdad,” 4/21/11
- “Chief of Salahaddin’s Court escapes assassination attempt,” 4/20/11
- “Civilian, 3 Army men, injured in east Baghdad blast,” 4/2/11
- “Diala police media director escapes attempt on life,” 4/14/11
- “Finance Ministry’s Director-General escapes assassination attempt,” 4/18/11
- “Four persons including policeman, injured in armed attacks in Baghdad,” 4/16/11
- “Gunmen kill army brigadier in Baghdad,” 4/28/11
- “Gunmen kill cop, civilian in Baghdad,” 4/12/11
- “Gunmen kill cop in Mosul,” 4/26/11
- “IED blast in Mosul leaves 4 killed or wounded,” 4/28/11
- “IED blast targets presidential vehicle in Baghdad,” 4/25/11
- “IED explodes against Iraqi Army patrol in Kirkuk,” 4/10/11
- “Iraq’s Council of Ministers’ staff injured in car blast,” 4/3/11
- “Iraqi intelligence man killed in west Baghdad,” 4/23/11
- “Iraqi Judge abducted, 5 killed, 4 injured in Baghdad,” 4/30/11
- “Iraqi legislature escapes assassination attempt,” 4/19/11
- “Iraqi Parliament Speaker’s advisor escapes assassination attempt,” 4/18/11
- “Iraqi police officer killed, 2 cops injured in Falluja blast,” 4/12/11
- “Iraqi policeman killed by armed men in west Mosul,” 4/10/11
- “Iraqi soldier killed, wife and child injured in Kirkuk blast,” 4/24/11
- “Iraqi Taxes Commission’s Director, Defense Ministry Staff, killed in Baghdad,” 4/24/11
- “Kirkuk blast leaves 16 casualties,” 4/28/11
- “Mayor of Saadiya city, Diala Province, injured with 3 of his guards,” 4/13/11
- “Ninewa suicide bombing kills 3, wounds 7,” 4/5/11
- “Peshmerga element killed in Mosul,” 4/19/11
- “Police captain killed in explosive charge blast in Kirkuk,” 4/24/11
- “Police colonel killed in Baghdad,” 4/12/11
- “Police officer gunned down in al-Shurqat,” 4/29/11
- “Police officer killed, driver wounded in Baghdad,” 4/11/11
- “policemen injured in IED blast south of Mosul,” 4/27/11
- “Public employee escapes attempt onlife in Ninewa,” 4/6/11
- “Al-Saadiya district’s director by roadside bomb,” 4/13/11
- “SECURITY/Six civilians from one family killed, 7 others injured in Baghdad attacks,” 4/5/11
- “Senior police officer injured in blast near Baghdad,” 4/8/11
- “Six killed, similar number injured, in Anbar attack,” 4/2/11
- “Six men, including 4 policemen, injured in Ramadi explosion,” 4/20/11
- “Suicide blast in Mosul leaves 22 casualties,” 4/30/11
- “Suicide bomber kills 3 soldiers in Falluja,” 4/1/11
- “Teacher killed, 2 policemen injured in Falluja IED blast,” 4/9/11
- “Three Iraqis, among them officer, killed, in Baghdad attacks,” 4/23/11
- “Three mortar shells fall close to Ninewa’s Operations Command,” 4/2/11

DPA, “Five killed in Iraq attacks,” 4/2/11

Iraq Body Count, "Recent Events"

Reuters, “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 4,” 4/4/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 9,” 4/9/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 11,” 4/11/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 12,” 4/12/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 12,” 4/12/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 13,” 4/13/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 14,” 4/14/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 15,” 4/15/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 16,” 4/16/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 17,” 4/17/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 18,” 4/18/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 19,” 4/19/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 20,” 4/20/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 21,” 4/21/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 24,” 4/24/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 25,” 4/25/11
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 27,” 4/27/11

Ria Novosti, “Iraqi industry minister survives assassination attempt,” 4/3/11

Xinhua, “Five killed, 18 wounded in Iraq’s violence,” 4/4/11
- “Five killed in Baghdad attacks,” 4/17/11
- “Four killed, 21 wounded in Iraq’s violence,” 4/27/11
- “Four people killed in Iraq violence,” 4/26/11
- “Three women, govt. official killed in Iraq’s violence,” 4/19/11
- “Two killed in bomb attacks in Iraq’s Diyala,” 4/25/11


Ryan West said...

As always, you're a day behind The Common Ills. And you're not explaining your count. Do you know how to do links? Iraqi Body Count counted 283 civilians, not security forces, killed in April. Where in your listing is that?
Again, C.I. handled this and more in her snapshot yesterday:

Joel Wing said...

That's because it's not about the total number killed for the month. Rather it's trying to explain what violence looks like in Iraq right now.

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