Thursday, December 12, 2013

Security Situation In Southern Iraq November 2013

November 2013 saw southern Iraq return to its annual average in terms of attacks and casualties. There were two waves of car bombings during the month, but otherwise violence was scattered and low level across the region. That was different from the previous two months that saw a huge amount of fatalities. Compared to the rest of Iraq the south remains relatively peaceful despite the best laid plans of insurgents.

November saw a decline in deaths from the previous two months. There were 29 incidents for the month. Almost half, 14 were in Babil, which is a militant hotbed. After that there were 5 attacks in Basra, 3 in Dhi Qar and Wasit, 2 in Najaf, and one each in Karbala and Qadisiyah meaning that seven of the nine provinces in the south saw some sort of violence. That resulted in 40 killed and 102 wounded. The weapon of choice was the car bomb, 13 total, showing the hand of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). There were 23 bombings of all sorts in November. The two notable days were November 10 when two car bombs went off in Basra wounding 10, two more exploded in Qadisiyah leaving five injured, and a fifth car bomb was discovered and dismantled in Hillah. Then on November 28 there was a car bomb in Najaf leaving four dead and fourteen wounded, six car bombs in Babil’s Imam, Qaryeh Asiriya, Hindiya, and Hillah leaving four killed and thirty wounded, two more vehicle bombings in Wasit’s Kut and Essaouira with one dead and 10 wounded, and another car bomb being discovered in Diwaniya. Less spectacular attacks were far more common such as an improvised explosive device (IED) that killed two Sons of Iraq in Babil’s Fadhilya, a roadside bombing in Babil’s Jurf al-Sakhr on three soldiers, and the assassination of a former parliamentarian in Nasiriyah. October and September were far more bloodier with a concerted campaign by insurgents to terrorize the south. In October for example there were fewer attacks, 26, but they led to 67 killed and 89 wounded, while in September there were 33 incidents with 118 fatalities and 74 wounded, which was by far the highest number of casualties seen in the year. The lower levels of violence might have been due to the fact that Ashura occurred in November and the army and police were out in force to protect the pilgrims. Al Qaeda might have simply been reloading after expelling all its resources in the previous two months. According to Jessica Lewis of the Institute for the Study of War Al Qaeda has re-established itself in Jurf al-Sakhr in northern Babil. Its bases there are probably where the car bombs are being manufactured for the attacks upon the south, as well as into Baghdad. The group has only been able to carry out one to two days worth of coordinated attacks in the south each month however, so November was more like the norm for the region. The goal of these mass casualty attacks is to anger the Shiite population, and get them to retaliate against Sunnis, which the Islamists are hoping would lead to a new civil war.

Security Incidents Southern Iraq Nov. 2013

Attacks: 14
Locations: 4 Hillah, 2 Jbalah, Fadhiliya, Hindiya, Imam, Jurf al-Sakhr, Musayib, Qaryeh Asiriya
Types: 6 Car Bombs, 5 Bombs, 3 Gunfire, Mortar
Deaths: 8 Civilians, 3 Soldiers, 2 Sons of Iraq,
Wounded: 40 Civilians

11/1/13 Fadhiliya IED on Sons of Iraq killing 2
11/9/13 Musayib Mortar on residential area
            Jurf al-Sakhr Roadside Bomb on military patrol killing 3 soldiers
11/10/13 Hillah Sticky Bomb wounding 10
Hillah Car bomb dismantled
11/17/13 Hillah Gunfire killing 1
Jbalah IED killing 1
11/18/13 Hillah Gunfire killing 1
11/28/13 6 Car Bombs Imam, Qaryeh Asiriya, Hindiya, Hillah killing 4 wounding 30
11/30/13 Jbalah bombing of policeman’s home, gunfire killing 1

Attacks: 5
Locations: 3 Basra, Abu Al-Khasib, Tannoma
Types of Attacks: 2 Car Bombs, 4 Gunfire
Deaths: 5 Civilians
Wounded: 10 Civilians

11/10/13 Basra 2 Car Bombs wounding 10
11/11/13 Abu Al-Khasib Gunfire on real estate office killing 1
11/26/13 Tannoma Gunfire assassinating Sheikh Adnan al-Ghanem
            Basra Gunfire 2 bodies found
11/27/13 Basra Gunfire killing one reporter

Dhi Qar
Attacks: 3
Locations: 3 Nasiriyah
Types of Attacks: 2 Gunfire, Roadside Bomb
Deaths: 2 Civilians
Wounded: 2 Civilians

11/21/13 Nasiriyah Gunfire 1 body found
11/23/13 Nasiriyah Roadside Bomb wounding 2
11/25/13 Nasiriyah Gunfire assassination of former parliamentarian

Attacks: 1
Locations: Karbala
Types of Attacks: IED
Deaths: 4 Civilians
Wounded: 0

11/7/13 Karbala IED wounding 4

Attacks: 2
Locations: 2 Najaf
Types of Attacks: Car Bomb, Sticky Bomb
Deaths: 6 Civilians
Wounded: 19 Civilians

11/20/13 Najaf Sticky Bomb killing 2, wounding 5
11/28/13 Najaf Car Bomb killing 4, wounding 14

Attacks: 2
Locations: 2 Diwaniya
Types of Attacks: 3 Car Bombs
Deaths: 0
Wounded: 5 Civilians

11/10/13 Diwaniya 2 Car Bombs wounding 5
11/28/13 Diwaniya car bomb discovered and dismantled

Attacks: 2
Locations: 2 Kut, Essaouira
Types of Attacks: 4 Car Bombs
Deaths: 10 Civilians
Wounded: 34 Civilians

11/14/13 Kut 2 bombs against Ashura event killing 9, wounding 24
11/28/13 Kut Car Bomb killing 1
            Essaouira Car Bomb wounding 10

Despite the bombings and sporadic gunfire experienced throughout the South in November, violence remained at a very low level compared to the rest of Iraq. If Babil were taken out of the equation the rest of the region was relatively untouched. Even the two waves of car bombings were just two days out of the month. That showed that Al Qaeda can reach into the south and bomb almost any big city, but they don’t have the ability to challenge the security forces there or attack the general citizenry outside of Babil. As the insurgency picks up in the center and north that means it will try to carry out more operations in the south as well, but it still has a limited affect upon the day to day routine there.


AIN, "Civilian killed in Hilla," 11/17/13
- "IP's house detonated northern Babel," 11/30/13
- “Muharram security plan declared in Babel,” 11/3/13
- "Najaf suicide bombing causes 17 deaths, injuries," 11/28/13
- "Sahwa elements killed in western Hilla," 11/1/13
- "Urgent….2 car bombs explode successively in Diwaniya," 11/10/13
- "Urgent…Car bomb seized in central Babel," 11/10/13

Aswat al-Iraq, "3 casualties in Najaf explosion," 11/20/13
- "9 killed, 24+ in two Wassit explosions," 11/14/13
- "10 casualties in two explosions in Wassit province," 11/28/13
- "Bombed car dismantled in Nassiriya city," 11/28/13

Iraq Body Count

Al Mada, "The assassination of former vice Sunni tribal leader in front of his home north of Nasiriyah," 11/25/13

National Iraqi News Agency, "2 Mortar shells hit residential neighborhood north of Hilla," 11/9/13
- "An army checkpoint under fire in Hilla," 11/20/13
- "Blasts in Babil resulted in 33 killed, wounded," 11/28/13
- "Breaking news. Explosion of two car bombs in Essaourira and Kut," 11/28/13
- "Car bomb seized in Diwaniyah," 11/28/13
- "A former Iraqi army officer killed , North of Babil," 11/30/13
- "Gunmen attack real estate office, kill the owner, in Basra," 11/11/13
- "Interior Ministry: Najaf blast resulted in 4 killed, 5 wounded," 11/28/13
- "Ten people injured in two car bombs explosion in Basra," 11/10/13
- "Three soldiers killed,north of Babil," 11/9/13
- "Two civilians injured in Nasiryah," 11/23/13
- "Two people wounded in Hilla," 10/11/13
- "Urgent .. Bodies of Sheikh Adnan al-Ghanim and Jubouri found east of Basra," 11/26/13

Al Rayy, "The death of two people and wounding five others, the outcome of the bombing of the Najaf bombing," 11/20/13

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