Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Violence Up In Iraq In January 2015 As Insurgents Go On Offensive Again


The insurgency in Iraq carried out major offensive operations once again in January 2015 causing a decided increase in casualties. The Islamic State continued with its attempts to seize major cities and towns in Anbar. It also carried out multi pronged attacks in Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin as well. At the same time, IS lost one its major bases in Diyala. Before, attacks were going down during the winter, but they have now picked up once again.   

There were 811 attacks in January 2015. That was up from the 678 reported in December and the 593 in November. Baghdad had the most incidents with 205, followed by 164 in Salahaddin, 161 in Anbar, 124 in Ninewa, 54 in Kirkuk, 53 in Diyala, 29 in Babil, 14 in Basra, four in Maysan, two in Qadisiyah, and one in Irbil.

Those attacks led to 2,287 killed and 2,895 wounded. That was the most dead since October’s 2,347. January’s figure broke down to 326 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 83 peshmerga, 77 sahwa, 29 Asayesh, 8 members of the Syrian YPG, and 1,764 civilian deaths. The wounded consisted of 310 ISF, 192 peshmerga, 58 sahwa, 8 Asayesh, 2 YPG, and 2,325 civilians. By province, Ninewa witnessed 670 fatalities, 538 in Salahaddin, 357 in Baghdad, 318 in Anbar, 298 in Diyala, 54 in Babil, 38 in Kirkuk, 10 in Basra, two in Maysan, and one each in Irbil and Qadisiyah.

Violence In Iraq By Week Jun. 2014-Jan. 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jun 1-7
228
612
1,020
Jun 8-14
234
1,889
890
Jun 15-21
179
803
759
Jun 22-28
203
733
777
Jun 29-30
59
127
236
JUN
901
4,172
3,701
Jul 1-7
203
526
651
Jul 8-14
214
577
628
Jul 15-21
230
444
1,009
Jul 22-28
224
589
801
Jul 29-31
66
163
230
JUL
937
2,299
3,319
Aug 1-8
269
1,122
885
Aug 9-14
179
710
1,152
Aug 15-21
150
354
499
Aug 22-28
156
523
798
Aug 29-31
59
125
289
AUG
813
2,834
3,623
Sep 1-7
168
616
751
Sep 8-14
156
433
722
Sep 15-21
166
620
749
Sep 22-28
153
395
573
Sep 29-30
47
112
252
SEP
690
2,176
3,047
Oct 1-7
170
451
687
Oct 8-14
188
532
875
Oct 15-21
156
449
770
Oct 22-28
159
345
592 + 1,230
Oct 29-31
68
570
227
OCT
741
2,347
3,151 + 1,230
Nov 1-7
153
601
828
Nov 8-14
128
420
593
Nov 15-21
134
283
464
Nov 22-28
138
321
640
Nov 29-30
40
206
510
NOV
593
1,831
3,035
Dec 1-7
137
323
476
Dec 8-14
156
233 + 166
444 + 1,113
Dec 15-21
133
377
340
Dec 22-28
161
558
432
Dec 29-31
91
117
233
DEC
678
1,774
3,038
Jan 1-7
184
434
464
Jan 8-14
170
730
493
Jan 15-21
182
390
515
Jan 22-28
185
445
894
Jan 29-31
90
288
529
JAN
811
2,287
2,895

Violence In Iraq By Province, Jan. 2015
Province
Violence
Anbar
161 Incidents
318 Killed: 57 ISF, 67 Sahwa, 194 Civilians
569 Wounded: 69 ISF, 44 Sahwa, 456 Civilians
106 Shootings
4 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
18 Suicide Car Bombs
14 Mortars
3 Rockets
Babil
29 Incidents
54 Killed: 11 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 42 Civilians
156 Wounded: 7 ISF, 149 Civilians
5 Shootings
15 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Car Bomb
Baghdad
205 Incidents
357 Killed: 23 ISF, 6 Sahwa, 328 Civilians
980 Wounded: 45 ISF, 13 Sahwa, 922 Civilians
63 Shootings
118 IEDs
17 Sticky Bombs
1 Motorcycle Bomb
4 Suicide Bombers
2 Car Bombs
1 Grenade
10 Mortars
Basra
14 Incidents
10 Killed: 10 Civilians
5 Wounded: 5 Civilians
8 Shootings
2 IEDs
Diyala
53 Incidents
298 Killed: 25 ISF, 25 Peshmerga, 2 Sahwa, 246 Civilians
522 Wounded: 11 ISF, 7 Peshmerga, 1 Sahwa, 503 Civilians
34 Shootings
14 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Car Bomb
6 Mortars
Irbil
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
6 Wounded: 6 Civilians
1 Mortar
Kirkuk
54 Incidents
38 Killed: 23 Peshmerga, 3 Asayesh, 1 Sahwa, 11 Civilians
186 Wounded: 175 Peshmerga, 3 Asayesh, 8 Civilians
26 Shootings
17 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
4 Suicide Bombers
1 Car Bomb
3 Mortars
Maysan
4 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
2 Shootings
1 Stun Bomb
Ninewa
124 Incidents
670 Killed: 78 ISF, 34 Peshmerga, 26 Asayesh, 8 YPG, 524 Civilians
14 Wounded: 7 Peshmerga, 5 Asayesh, 2 YPG
88 Shootings
30 IEDs
3 Suicide Car Bombs
Qadisiyah
2 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
1 Sticky Bomb
Salahaddin
164 Incidents
538 Killed: 132 ISF, 1 Peshmerga, 405 Civilians
456 Wounded: 178 ISF, 3 Peshmerga, 275 Civilians
73 Shootings
106 IEDs
5 Sticky Bombs
4 Suicide Bombers
14 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
2 Grenades
8 Mortars


After a big dip in December, the Islamic State more than doubled the number of car bombs (VBIEDs) in January. There were just 21 in January a two year low. IS then launched 45 in January. There were many more car bomb attempts, but they were destroyed before they reached their intended targets. The vast majority of these VBIEDs were used in tactical attacks against the security forces or in attempts to penetrate cities. That shift was shown in the fact that Baghdad, which had traditionally been the major target, was only attacked two times during the month. Instead Salahaddin was hit five times and Anbar seven.

Car Bombs In Iraq Jan. 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1
Habaniya, Anbar


Jan 2



Jan 3



Jan 4
Sadoun St, Baghdad
Outside Samarra, Salahaddin

5
Jan 5
Anaz, Anbar
4
7
Jan 6



Jan 7
Ayathiya x2, Ninewa
4
3
Totals
6
8
15
Jan 8
Yusifiya Babil
Berhewa, Ninewa
Samarra x5, Salahaddin
15
23
Jan 9
Mount Sinjar x2, Ninewa


Jan 10



Jan 11
Baiji Refinery & West of Samarra, Salahaddin
1
3
Jan 12



Jan 13



Jan 14



Totals
11
16
26
Jan 15
Baquba, Diyala
Tarmiya, Salahaddin
3
21
Jan 16
Rahaliya, Anbar
Hweish, Salahaddin
23
1
Jan 17



Jan 18



Jan 19
Ramadi, Anbar
Mahmudiya, Babil
3
15
Jan 20
Abu Risha, Albu Ghanim, Nikhaib, Ramadi x7, Anbar
5
35
Jan 21



Totals
16
34
72
Jan 22
Horan, Anbar
Taji, Salahaddin
15
24
Jan 23



Jan 24
Baladrooz, Diyala
1
4
Jan 25



Jan 26



Jan 27



Jan 28



Totals
3
16
28
Jan 29
Tarmiya, Salahaddin
3
10
Jan 30
Nikhaib & Shjariya, Anbar
Babj al-Sharji, Baghdad
Kirkuk, Kirkuk
Samarra x3, Salahaddin
68
106
Jan 31
Northeast of Ramadi, Anbar
6

Total
9
77
116
JAN
TOTAL
45
151
257


In Anbar, the Islamic State increased its attempts to take the remaining towns and cities in the province, but to no avail. The number of incidents went from 129 in December to 161 in January. These took place across the breadth of the province with Baghdadi in between Haditha and Hit in the west attacked eight times, Garma in the east by Baghdad province attacked ten times, Haditha ten times, Amiriya Fallujah in the southeast by Babil assaulted 13 times, and the provincial capital Ramadi 23 times. There were also major operations such as on January 20 when an army base in Nikhaib, Sheikh Abu Risha’s compound in Abu Risha, and the Howaz district of Ramadi were attacked by suicide car bombs, followed by infantry assaults. All of these attacks were turned back, often with the help of coalition air strikes. IS has not had any real gains in the province since October when it took Hit, but it has not given up trying.

On the other hand the ISF, tribes, and militias were still working on the small towns outside of the major cities. Most of these were concentrated around Baghdadi and Shjariya outside of Ramadi. Insurgents surrounded Baghdadi in December, but that cordon was subsequently broken. Pro-government forces were especially concerned about securing that area because the Ain-Assad base is just outside of the city. It has become a major training center in Anbar with American advisers stationed there. Shjariya was focused upon to try to relieve the pressure on Ramadi, which insurgents had gained ground within in recent weeks.


Mortar and artillery hit Fallujah 23 out of 31 days. That left 126 dead and 298 wounded. That was 39% of the fatalities for the month and 52% of the injured. Sometimes this was due to dueling barrages between the government and insurgents, but more often then not it was indiscriminate shelling by the army into the center of the city. This has been going on for a year now, and has taken hundreds of lives.

Casualties Government Shelling In Anbar Jan. 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jan 2
Fallujah
20
30
Jan 3
Fallujah
3
9
Jan 5
Fallujah
4
16
Jan 6
Fallujah
4
11
Total
-
31
66
Jan 9
Fallujah
3
9
Jan 10
Fallujah
3
14
Jan 11
Fallujah
3
7
Jan 12
Fallujah
11
20
Jan 13
Fallujah
13
18
Jan 14
Fallujah
13
17
Total
-
46
85
Jan 15
Fallujah
4
7
Jan 16
Fallujah
3
6
Jan 17
Fallujah
4
17
Jan 18
Fallujah
2
25
Jan 19
Fallujah
6
19
Jan 20
Fallujah
3
7
Total

22
81
Jan 22
Fallujah
10
5
Jan 25
Fallujah
2
11
Jan 26
Fallujah
4
11
Jan 27
Fallujah

8
Jan 28
Fallujah
4
7
Total
-
20
42
Jan 29
Fallujah
2
5
Jan 30
Fallujah
5
19
TOTAL
-
126
298
  
IS is still recovering in Babil after losing its major base in Jurf al-Sakhr. It is now trying to re-group in the northern section of the province, which is where the majority of attacks now occur. There were 29 in January, which was roughly the same as December’s 27. IEDs were the main type of attack showing that the militants were not up to directly confronting the security forces like they did previously in 2014.

The type of attacks in Baghdad has also seen a change. Before the capital regularly had the most car bomb attacks as IS was attempting to stoke sectarian tensions and undermine the government. In January, Baghdad only received 2 VBIEDs. Instead, insurgents have used more and more improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In January there were 118, the most recorded in a year. That compared to 97 in December, 91 in November, 73 in October, and 85 in September.

At the end of January Badr organization head Hadi Ameri and the ISF suddenly declared that all of Diyala was secured. This was after a successful operation in Muqtadiya that cleared a major IS base in Sensl. Rather than defeating the insurgents however, they have simply been dispersed to Abu Saida and the Diyala River Valley in the east. 70 soldiers and militiamen were killed and 400 wounded in the operation. The province is still home to many insurgent groups, and the victory claim will probably mean that Diyala will not receive the manpower that it needs to hold and clear territory.

During the month a number of mass graves were also discovered in Diyala. January 14 16 bodies were discovered in Koubashi. Two days later 25 bodies were found in Sadiya, and then a second grave there turned up with another 26 people executed by IS on January 21. Finally, on January 31 11 ISF members were found dead in Sensl after it was cleared. This has occurred throughout the country. Whenever the Islamic State is pushed out of an area their victims are discovered. Many more of these types of cases can be expected in the future.

In Kirkuk the Islamic State surprised the peshmerga by attacking a number of villages. On January 10 it launched operations against six villages southwest of Kirkuk. Then January 24 and 28 it assaulted several towns in Daquq in the south. Then on January 30 IS took five villages just outside of Kirkuk that took 17 peshmerga lives including a general, and wounded 160 more. The fighting continued into the next day, and led to the death of another Kurdish general in Mullah Abdullah. This was the first time insurgents had carried out any major operations in the province in months. The drive at the end of the month was especially alarming as it threatened the provincial capital, and cost the lives of two peshmerga commanders.

IS was also active in Ninewa. There it started attacks upon Makhmour, which had just been retaken by the Kurds. On January 4 it took Gwar, and several other villages. Five days later it assaulted the same area surrounding several towns, launched two car bombs upon Mount Sinjar, and continued operations in that area until January 13. Then it attacked Makhmour again on January 25 and from January 30-31. The Kurds were on the offensives themselves in the Tal Afar area. During the winter the peshmerga seized back considerable territory from the Islamic State. Now IS was hitting back. Like in Kirkuk it gained no real ground, but let the Kurds know what it was still capable of.

The security forces and militias were still trying to consolidate ground that it had just taken in Salahaddin. There were clearing operations in Dhuluiya, one in Dujail on January 3, another on January 11 and a third on January 26, and two in Nibai. Government forces just seized these areas, but apparently did not have the manpower to fully hold the region. That was what led to the repeated sweeps through the same areas.

The Islamic State continued attacks throughout Salahaddin to try to stretch the security forces. It attacked the Baiji refinery several times, Baiji itself, Dujail, and Shirqat. There were also more sophisticated attacks such as a suicide car bomb on an army base in Taji, and two car bombings on Tarmiya. That was topped off by a truck bomb and assault upon the Samarra perimeter, a car bomb on an army base outside of the city, and then three suicide car bombs, and another infantry assault on Samarra on January 30. These were more signs that IS was picking up its activities in January. Samarra had not been seriously threatened for several weeks, and now it was a major focus. This effort was more like Anbar than Kirkuk or Ninewa. In the former, IS was attempting to take major towns and cities. Samarra is the home of the Askari shrine, which has been used as a rallying cry by the militias and Iran. While IS has gained no real ground in Salahaddin it has maintained operations throughout the province despite its losses. It is now attempting to gain back the initiative and regain some of this lost territory. For now though it is suffering huge casualties and opening itself up to coalition air strikes when it masses its forces.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "Suicide bomber kills prominent tribal leader in Iraq," 1/31/15

AIN, “5 villages liberated, 26 ISIL terrorists killed southern Salah il-Din,” 1/3/15

Alsumaria, "The killing of five members of Daash and burn their cars south of Tikrit," 1/11/15
- "Killing one and wounding four others by a car bomb east of Baquba," 1/24/15
- "The outcome of the suicide bombing in Anbar yesterday is seven dead and five wounded," 1/31/15
- "Source: 44 dead and 70 injured toll of bombings in central eastern Baghdad," 1/30/15
- "A suicide car bomb explosion in Shjariya east of Ramadi," 1/30/15

Buratha News, “Tigris Operations kill five Daash while clearing roads and orchards in Dhuluiya,” 1/1/15

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - January 10, 2015," 1/10/15
- "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - January 21, 2015," 1/21/15
- "Senior Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga officer killed in Islamic State attack in Kirkuk," 1/30/15

Al Forat, "3 Terrorists of ISIL killed in Dejel district," 1/26/15
- "13 Persons killed, wounded in Tarmiya," 1/29/15
- “ISF wage security operation to purge Nebae area of ISIL,” 1/7/15

Hars, Ghazi, "Kurdish forces recapture lost areas in pre-dawn fighting," Rudaw, 1/25/15

Iraq Times, "31 martyrs and wounded of the federal police and the army reserve in Samarra bombings," 1/30/15
- "54 martyrs and injured in Samarra five bombings," 1/8/15
- "A car bomb exploded at a gathering of the army south of Tikrit," 1/11/15

Al Jazeera, "Several killed in Iraq clashes," 1/4/15

Al Mada, "Found a mass grave containing remains of 25 victims of Daash in Saadia," 1/16/15
- "Rudaw: 201 component of the Peshmerga were killed or wounded in Kirkuk, Mosul and Diyala," 1/30/15
- "Three soldiers were killed in suicide bombing in Shjariya east of Ramadi," 1/30/15

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "Anbar police repels ISIS' deadliest attack in Ramadi," Iraqi News, 1/21/15

NINA, "/13/ Element of the Peshmerga killed and wounded southwest of Kirkuk," 1/10/15
- "26 elements of Daash killed ,in Baiji," 1/5/15
- "The IS launch an attack on the axis of Al-Kuwyr and Makhmour south of Mosul," 1/4/15
- "More than /20/ elements of the IS killed in Hamrin hills northeast of Baquba," 1/27/15
- "One Soldier Killed, Three Others Injured In A Car Bomb On A Bridge In Western Anbar," 1/22/15
- "Peshmerga besiege Tal Afar and liberated a umber of villages in the region," 1/24/15
- "The remains of /11/ employees of security forces executed by Daash found north of Muqdadiyah in Diyala," 1/31/15
- "Seven elements of Daash killed in clashes with the Peshmerga in Kirkuk," 1/24/15
- "Six elements of the IS killed south of Kirkuk," 1/28/15
- “The Sons of the clans liberated two villages western Anbar from the IS elements,” 1/2/14
- "A tribal member killed and /5/ soldiers wounded in northeast of Ramadi," 1/31/15

Radio Free Iraq, "14 January 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 1/14/15
- "20 January 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 1/20/15

Al Rayy, "The killing of four members of Daash and burning their vehicles north of Tikrit," 1/23/15
- "Security forces thwart an attack by Daash on the Baiji refinery," 1/4/15
- "Shammari announce the start of a massive operation to liberate the areas of Nibai," 1/12/15

Rudaw, "Eight Peshmerga, dozens of militants killed in fighting on various fronts," 1/30/15
- "Peshmerga repel ISIS offensive led by group's leader al-Baghdadi," 1/9/15
- "Second Kurdish commander killed as Peshmerga retake villages south of Kirkuk," 1/31/15

Shafaq News, "16 Wounded from the crowd and police in clashes with ISIS as it controls towers in Samarra," 1/30/15
- "ISIS attacks north of Samarra and south of Mosul," 1/13/15
- "ISIS controls Abu Risha's host place and a suicide bombing in Nikhaib," 1/20/15

Tomlinson, Simon, "Dozens die in wave of ISIS bombings across Iraq as terror group kills Kurdish commander in major attack on Kirkuk," 1/30/15

Xinhua, "IS militants launch major attack on Iraq's Samarra," 1/8/15

Yacoub, Sameer, "Bombings kill 14 soldiers, militiamen in Iraq," Associated Press, 1/22/15
- "Iraq Authorities Find 16 Bodies in Mass Grave," Associated Press, 1/14/15


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