Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Iraq Suffers Through New Car Bomb Wave

As part of the Islamic State’s (IS) summer offensive it has launched more and more car bombs across the country. In the past, these series of bombs would be separated by several days lasting sometimes up to a week. In August there have been five car bombs waves so far with only one day in between them showing that IS is ramping up its operations.

Aftermath of car bombing in Kirkuk Aug 23 part of the most intense VBIED waves seen in Iraq for years (EPA)

IS has used car bombs for two purposes in recent months. Before they were just an instrument of terror aimed mostly at civilian targets to undermine the government and stoke sectarian tensions by striking Shiite targets in Baghdad. Those still occur today, but the Islamists are also using them as tactical weapons to hit targets on the frontlines with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and peshmerga. For instance, in recent weeks IS has been attempting to take Haditha and its adjacent dam. The latter could be used to provide electricity to its conquered territories, while also threatening the rest of Anbar and Baghdad with flooding. On August 1 a car bomb hit a checkpoint leading into Haditha as IS began its assault upon the town. Another vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was used in the fight on August 3. Another example was when IS successful took Jalawla in Diyala it began with 3 car bombs on August 10 with another one being deployed on August 14. At the same time, regular terrorist attacks hitting Shiite targets such as eastern Baghdad continue. August 1, Sadr City was hit leaving 16 dead and 25 wounded. August 6, New Baghdad, Ur, and Sadr City were struck with 47 killed and 117 injured. Sadr City was targeted a third time on August 8 leaving 2 fatalities and 7 wounded. August 13 New Baghdad was hit for the second time with 7 dead and 21 wounded. August 20 a VBIED went off on Palestine Street killing 1 and wounding 6. Finally on August 26 a third car bomb detonation occurred in New Baghdad with 12 dead and 35 injured. These duel uses of VBIEDs will likely increase in the future as the Islamic State is using them more and more.

Car Bomb Attacks In Iraq Jul 30-Aug 26, 2014

Jul 30
Baghdadi, Anbar
Amin & Sadr City, Baghdad
Jul 31

Aug 1
Haditha, Anbar
Sadr City, Baghdad
Aug 2
Rawa, Anbar
Balad & Dujail, Salahaddin
Aug 3
Outside Haditha, Anbar

Aug 4

Aug 5
?, Anbar

Aug 6
Outside Fallujah, Anbar
New Baghdad, Sadr City x2, Ur x2, Baghdad
Aliya Rash, Ninewa
Aug 7
Kadhimiya, Baghdad
Kirkuk, Kirkuk
Aug 8
Fallujah & West of Ramadi, Anbar
Sadr City, Baghdad
Aug 9

Aug 10
Haditha, Anbar
Jalawla x3, Diyala

Aug 11
Diyala Bridge, Baghdad
Aziziya, Wasit
Aug 12
Karrada  & Zafaraniya, Baghdad
Aug 13
Amil, Baya & New Baghdad, Baghdad
Aug 14
Jalawla, Diyala
Aug 15
Ramadi, Anbar

Aug 16

Aug 17
Yusifiya, Baghdad

Aug 18
Iskandiriya x2, Babil
Aug 19
Iskandiriya, Babil

Aug 20
Husseiniya & Palestine St, Baghdad
Aug 21

Aug 22
South of Tikrit, Salahaddin
Aug 23
Baghdadi, Anbar
Karrada, Baghdad
Kirkuk, Kirkuk
Aug 24
Shula, Baghdad
Aug 25
Hillah x2, Babil
Kadhimiya x2, Baghdad
Tweij, Karbala
Aug 26
New Baghdad, Baghdad

The other change in car bombs has been their increasing frequency. Before, there were several days in between car bomb waves. Now, that IS is in the middle of its summer campaign there have only been one day separating each series of VBIEDs this month. The last car bomb wave of July ended on the 30th with Baghdadi in Anbar, and Amin and Sadr City in Baghdad being hit. There were no such incidents on July 31. Then the next campaign started on August 1 until August 3 with six in Anbar, Baghdad, and Salahaddin. Again, there was a one day reprieve on August 4, and then 13 car bombs from August 5-8 in Anbar, Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Ninewa. August 9 was the next break before the third series of the month began lasting from August 10-16. The fourth wave came from August 17-20 hitting Babil and Baghdad. Iraq might have just gone through the last one from August 22-26 with its peak on August 25 when three car bombs went off in Baghdad, two in Babil, and one in Karbala leaving 30 dead and 84 wounded. The ability of the Islamic State to set off so many VBIEDs in quick succession shows the increasing capabilities of its networks. Carrying out car bomb attacks requires technicians, explosives, secure facilities, intelligence gathering, and the bribery and intimidation of members of the security forces to get through checkpoints. The insurgents obviously stocked up on their supplies before the summer to carry out these attacks. At the same time, as IS swept across central Iraq it has been able to pillage several large army bases and supply depots, which has given it access to huge amounts of explosives. That’s probably another reason why these car bombs are occurring so often. The Islamic State has been able to stockpile such a large amount of explosive through its recent exploits that it will be able to sustain these car bomb waves into the foreseeable future.


AIN, "11 persons killed, injured southwestern Baghdad," 8/13/14
- "14 civilians injured southern Tikrit," 8/2/14
- "18 Peshmerga elements killed, injured in Diyala," 8/14/14
- "Karrada bombing casualties hit 39 deaths, injuries," 8/23/14

Alsumaria, "Four dead and 11 wounded in the bombing of the Amil district south of Baghdad," 8/13/14
- "Killing an wounding 25 people in a bomb in Utaifiyya north of Baghdad," 8/25/14
- "Killing and wounding at least 74 civilians in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad," 7/30/14
- "The outcome of the bombing of yesterday 11 dead and 30 wounded," 8/23/14

Associated Press, "Officials: Clashes, bombing kill 17 Iraq soldiers," 8/2/14

Buratha News, "Baghdad blast toll rises to 28 new martyrs and wounded," 8/13/14
- "A car bomb explosion north of Kut without casualties," 8/11/14
- "The death and wounding of 12 people by a car bomb west of Anbar," 7/30/14
- "The high number of victims of the terrorist bombing in Karrada climbs to 13 martyrs and 25 wounded," 8/12/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 18 people, including a police car in a bomb explosion targeting the federal police headquarters southwest of Baghdad," 8/13/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding nine people, blowing up a bus in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad," 8/8/14
- "A suicide bombing targeting a military checkpoint northern Babylon, without damage or casualties thankfully," 8/19/14

Al Forat, "2 suicide bombing attacks in northern Babel," 8/18/14
- "3 Persons wounded within fourth explosion in Kirkuk," 8/23/14

Independent Press Agency, "Killed five people and wounded 40 car bomb toll Babylon," 8/25/14

Iraq Times, "34 martyrs and injured in the explosion of a car bomb on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad," 8/20/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 32 people in New Baghdad and Zafaraniya bombings," 8/6/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 41 civilians by a car bomb in eastern Baghdad Sadr City," 8/1/14
- "Martyrdom of two soldiers and wounding 12 others in the blowing up of a bridge north of Jurf al-Sakhr," 8/17/14
- "martyrs and wounded 51 and the burning of 14 cars proceeds of explosion in Kazimiyah," 8/7/14

Al Mada, "Killing and injuring 47 people in detonation of car bomb in eastern Baghdad," 8/26/14
- "Killing and injuring seven persons in sticky bomb detonation north of Baghdad," 8/20/14
- "Killing and wounding 12 people in explosion of a car bomb south of Baghdad," 8/11/14
- "Killing and wounding 27 people in explosion of two car bombs north of Baghdad," 8/25/14
- "Zafaraniyah bombing toll rises to 16 dead and wounded," 8/12/14

Al Masalah, "5 civilians killed and 12 wounded initial proceeds of bomb explosion in Shurta," 8/24/14
- "Fall between 24 people dead and wounded by a car bomb in eastern Baghdad," 7/30/14
- "Martyrdom of one civilian and wounding eight others in bombs in Alexandria, north of Babylon," 8/18/14

NINA, "5 people injured in western Anbar," 8/4/14
- "Baghdad Operations: /140/ citizens killed and wound by terrorist attacks in Baghdad," 8/6/14
- "A car bomb driven by a suicide bomber exploded on the Japanese bridge between the city of Fallujah and Ramadi," 8/6/14
- "A car bomb explosion east of Haditha," 8/3/14
- "A car bomb explosion in Haditha, west of Anbar," 8/10/14
- "A car bomb explosion near a checkpoint between Fallujah and Ramadi without knowing the size of the losses," 8/8/14
- "Urgent../15/ people killed and wounded by the explosion of two car bombs in Ur neighborhood northeast of Baghdad," 8/6/14
- "Urgent..A suicide attack on a point of the Army and the Awakening at the northern entrance to Haditha," 8/1/14

Radio Free Iraq, "23 August 2014," Daily Updates from Anbar, 8/23/14

Al Rayy, "Al-Anbar police chief and director of Zunkur police chief survive an assassination attempt in eastern Ramadi," 8/15/14
- "Killing and wounding 13 Daash in car bomb west of Anbar," 8/2/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 17 people in explosion of two car bombs in northern Babil," 8/18/14
- "Peshmerga pulled out of their headquarters amid Jalawla after three car bombs and 20 suicide bombers," 8/11/14
- "Tank explosion led by a suicide bomber western Anbar," 8/8/14

Rudaw, "Peshmerga Hit IS in Mosul," 8/6/14

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Iraq premier-designate: militias must follow state," Associated Press, 8/25/14

Salaheddin, Sinan and Salama, Vivian, "Bombings kill 42 in Iraq after Sunni mosque attack," Associated Press, 8/23/14

Xinhua, "12 killed in suicide car bombing in Baghdad," 8/7/14
- "33 killed in battles with insurgents, bomb attacks in Iraq," 8/2/14

Yacoub, Sameer and Salaheddin, Sinan, "Car bombs kill 51 in Baghdad Shiite neighborhoods," Associated Press, 8/6/14


Joel said...

Shouldn't the wounded number 'total' be more like 684?? Very interesting report, though. Best, Joel

Joel Wing said...

Thanks for catching that I totally forgot to do the wounded total.

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