Thursday, March 3, 2016

Security In Iraq, Feb 22-29, 2016


There was a large spike in violence in Iraq at the end of February 2016. The Islamic State launched several high profile terrorist attacks in Baghdad and Diyala, and began large scale attacks upon the security forces in Anbar once again. There were also a large number of executions in Kirkuk. On the government’s side, it was still focused upon clearing the suburbs of Ramadi, while starting new operations in the western section of Anbar.

There were 155 reported incidents in Iraq the last week of February. That was the most since 164 counted from September 8-14, 2015, but there was also one extra day in February due to the leap year. Baghdad was the most violent province with 70 incidents, followed by 27 in Anbar, 20 in Kirkuk, 12 in Salahaddin, 9 in Diyala, 7 in Babil, and 1 each in Irbil and Karbala.

The press had 384 deaths and 690 wounded during the week. 8 Sawha, 17 Hashd al-Shaabi, 47 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 312 civilians lost their lives, and 36 ISF, 47 Hashd, 112 Peshmerga and civilians, and 495 civilians wounded. The 112 Peshmerga and civilians figure came from an alleged chemical rocket attack by IS in Ninewa. The media did not give a breakdown, only saying more Kurdish fighters were wounded than civilians.

Baghdad was the deadliest governorate with 190 fatalities. Another 65 died in Kirkuk, 60 in Anbar, 43 in Diyala, 11 in Ninewa, 9 in Babil, and 6 in Salahaddin. 423 people were wounded in Baghdad, 115 in Ninewa, 58 in Diyala, 32 in Babil, 30 in Anbar, 24 in Salahaddin, and 8 in Kirkuk.

The Iraqi government was still focused upon Anbar. Its forces cleared out Albu Daaj and conducted a sweep in Albu Bali in the Ramadi suburbs. They also started clearing the Amiriya Fallujah area starting with Albu Hatim in response to attacks by the Islamic State. They also cleared Kubaisa for the second time since September as the forces continued to fight over the Garma district. There was also an on going operation in Niamiya south of Fallujah, which has been disputed for months.

The Islamic State also returned to the offensive in Anbar after a week’s respite. The media reported one suicide car bomb on a checkpoint in Subhait that killed five soldiers and wounded 4 Hashd and 6 soldiers. The Iraqi forces also claimed to have destroyed 8 suicide car bombs, 20 car bombs, and 35 suicide bombers. As usual, some of that was exaggeration. For example, IS admitted to launching three suicide car bombs outside Ramadi at 18 Kilo, which the Iraqi forces then turned into 6 destroyed. Likewise IS said it launched six car bombs on Subhait, which was initially reported in the press, but by the end of the day that had gone up to 10 suicide bombers killed and 10 car bombs destroyed. There were also attacks on Albu Daaj, Albu Risha, Amiriya Fallujah, Baghdadi, Habaniya, Haqlaniya, Hamidiya, Wafa, and Zankura. There were also reports of clashes between the insurgents and tribes in Hit on two separate days. Similar stories have emerged before. IS has been carrying out a large number of attacks in Anbar after it lost Ramadi. None of these operations have been successful however.

In Babil there were seven incidents, all IEDs. IS appeared to be focusing upon terrorist attacks there as five of those attacks were upon markets leading to 8 dead and 28 wounded.

There were 70 reported incidents in Baghdad, the most since 81 from May 1-7. As usual the south had the most violence with 24 attacks that included 3 sticky bombs, 5 shootings, and 17 IEDs. IS was also able to get into the center of the city with 1 sticky bomb and 3 IEDs. The militants also carried out a high profile attack upon the 24th Brigade headquarters in the Abu Ghraib district. Six IS detachments launched the attack starting with five suicide car bombs at 5 am. Four of the vehicles were destroyed, but the fifth broke through the base’s defenses. Two more IS units then moved into the gap supported by two trucks with heavy cannons, and were also able to seize the Abu Ghraib Customs Department building and a silo. The Iraqi Security Forces were eventually able to expel them. IS has lost the ability to seize territory, and is now resorting to these types of complex operations like it did pre-Mosul in 2014. Criminality and vigilantism continued in Baghdad as well with five robberies and 19 bodies being dumped on the streets.

Security Incidents In Baghdad, Feb 22-29, 2016
Center: 6 – 1 Shooting, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 3 IEDs
East: 11 – 1 Robbery, 1 Shooting/Robbery, 2 Suicide Bombers, 3 Shootings, 4 IEDs
Outer East: 1 – 1 Robbery
North: 6 – 1 Shooting, 2 Suicide Bombers, 4 IEDs
Outer North: 6 – 1 IED Dismantled, 2 Grenades, 3 Shootings
South: 14 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 3 Shootings, 10 IEDs
Outer South: 11 – 2 Shootings, 2 Sticky Bombs, 7 IEDs
West: 10 – 1 Robbery, 1 Kidnapping/Shooting, 2 Shootings, 6 IEDs
Outer West: 6 – 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 3 IEDs, 3 Shootings, 4 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed

Diyala was the site of another deadly IS terrorist attack. On February 29 IS hit a funeral in Muqtadiya that killed 38 and wounded 58. Last month, the militants set off a car bomb and an IED at a café in the same city that left over 100 casualties and led to several days of retaliatory attacks by the Hashd against Sunnis. Both attacks were aimed at killing elements of the Hashd and stoking sectarian tensions with Shiites.

Kirkuk used to be relatively quite, but in the last few weeks has seen a surge in violence mostly in the Hawija district. IS executed another 59 people there and blew up 20 homes apparently to intimidate the population there and maintain its control. There have been reports of people trying to flee the area, which provoked the Islamists to begin these mass killings. IS also attacked a Hashd unit in Bashir.

There was the usual mix of killings and attacks upon the Peshmerga in Ninewa. 7 people were reportedly executed in the province including a judge and two imams. The Kurdish press also had two chemical rocket attacks upon Sinjar that wounded 112 Peshmerga and civilians.

Security in Salahaddin remained relatively stable. There were IEDs and mortar attacks in Taji and Tarmiya in the south. Fighting continued in the Makhoul and Hamrin Mountains and Ajeel in the north, in the areas to the west of Samarra in the center, and a car bomb was destroyed in Siniya in the Baiji area. Violence has been steadily going down in the governorate since 2014. There was a temporary spike after Ramadi fell as IS carried out counter attacks there, but they have gone back down since then.

There were 37 reported car bombs launched at the end of February. Only two were successful, one in Anbar and one in Baghdad. Most car bombs get destroyed before reaching their targets, usually by anti-tank missiles, resulting in very few hitting their target. At the same time, the Iraqi forces inflate the number they destroy in their press releases so the total is impossible to tell.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015-16
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
JAN
911
2,656
3,032 + 150
FEB
730
2,345
2,366
MAR
820
2,665
2,529
APR
751
2,753
2,621
MAY
674
2,565 + 1,499
1,952 + 646
JUN
708
2,153 + 405
2,174
JUL
688
2,716
3,198 + 4,024
AUG
684
2,440 + 760
1,777
SEP
649
1,731
1,668 + 3,003
OCT
589
1,144
1,555
NOV
530
1,174
1,455 + 124 + 1,322
DEC
553
1,155
1,252 + 5,920
Jan 1-7
150
808
421
Jan 8-14
140
436
417
Jan 15-21
135
275
227
Jan 22-28
132
392
322
Jan 29-31
41
81
334
JAN
598
2,052
1,721
Feb 1-7
146
575
313
Feb 8-14
119
146
323
Feb 15-21
130
225
239
Feb 22-29
153
371
690

Security By Province Feb 22-29, 2016
Province
Jan
Anbar
25 Incidents
47 Killed: 5 Sahwa, 21 ISF, 21 Civilians
30 Wounded: 4 Hashd, 12 ISF, 14 Civilians
14 Shootings
1 IED
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Rocket
3 Mortars
35 Suicide Bombers Killed
8 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
20 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
7 Incidents
9 Killed: 9 Civilians
32 Wounded: 32 Civilians
7 IEDs
Baghdad
70 Incidents
190 Killed: 11 ISF, 13 Hashd, 166 Civilians
423 Wounded: 19 ISF, 36 Hashd, 368 Civilians
21 Shootings
38 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
4 Suicide Bombers
2 Grenades
1 Suicide Car Bomb
4 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
Diyala
9 Incidents
43 Killed: 1 ISF, 2 Hashd, 40 Civilians
58 Wounded: 58 Civilians
2 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
Irbil
1 Incident
1 Sticky Bomb
Karbala
1 Incident
1 Shooting
Kirkuk
20 Incidents
65 Killed: 1 Hashd, 64 Civilians
8 Wounded: 4 Civilians, 4 Hashd
Ninewa
8 Incidents
11 Killed: 4 Hashd, 7 Civilians
115 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 112 Civilians & Peshmerga
1 Shooting
21 IEDs
2 Rockets
Salahaddin
12 Incidents
6 Killed: 1 ISF, 5 Civilians
24 Wounded: 5 ISF, 19 Civilians
6 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Mortar
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed


Car Bombs In Iraq, February 2016
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Feb 1
Tal Kasaiba, Salahaddin
Jeraishi & Niamiya, Anbar – 9 destroyed
Alas and Ajeel, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed

2
Feb 2
Albu Diab, Anbar
Albu Diab, Jeraishi, Garma, Sjar, Thar Thar, Anbar – 10 destroyed
18

Feb 3
Albu Soda, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Kudila, Ninewa – 4 destroyed
West of Samarra, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Feb 4
Outside Fallujah, Anbar – 12 destroyed
Kudila, Ninewa – 3 destroyed


Feb 5
Baghdadi, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Alas, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Feb 6
Ain al-Assad, Fallujah, Ramadi, Anbar
Husaiba, Jubba, Thar Thar, Anbar- 8 destroyed
Kudila, Ninewa – 3 destroyed
Hamrin, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed
46
16
Feb 7
Albu Shajal, Jeraishi, west of Ramadi, Anbar – 7 destroyed
Mukashifa, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Totals
5 -  70 Destroyed
64
18
Feb 8
Garma, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Feb 9



Feb 10
Huzairan, Kirkuk
Awasel, Anbar – 3 destroyed
2
6
Feb 11
Kubaisa & Wafaa, Anbar – 5 destroyed


Feb 12
Garma, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Feb 13



Feb 14



Totals
1 – 11 Destroyed
2
6
Feb 15
70 Kilo, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Feb 16
Gwar & Rwala, Ninewa – 2 destroyed


Feb 17



Feb 18
Saqlawiya, Anbar – 4 destroyed


Feb 19



Feb 20
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar – 4 destroyed
13

Feb 21
35 Kilo & south of Fallujah, Anbar – 7 destroyed


Totals
1 – 19 Destroyed
13
-
Feb 22



Feb 23
Makhoul Mts, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed


Feb 24



Feb 25



Feb 26
Sajilia & Salam, Anbar – 12 destroyed
Siniya, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Feb 27
18 Kilo, Anbar – 6 destroyed


Feb 28
Hitawyeen, Baghdad
Subhait, Anbar – 10 destroyed
Hitawyeen, Baghdad – 4 destroyed
12
35
Feb 29
Subhait, Anbar
5
10
Totals
2 – 35
17
45

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, "Baghdad market blasts 'kill at least 24' as IS claims attack," 2/28/16

BBC, "Iraq crisis: Suicide bomb kills 38 at Shia funeral," 2/29/16

Buratha News, "Killing 9 Daash members and repel six suicide car bombs in attack west of Ramadi," 2/27/16
- "The killing of 40 Daash terrorists and cut their lines north of Ramadi," 2/26/16
- “A popular uprising in Hit and killed a number of Daash,” 2/22/16
- "Raised he Iraqi flag over the center of Kubaisa building in Hit," 2/26/16

Al Forat, "Security forces repel Daash attack and kill more than 100 terrorists in Anbar," 2/26/16

Al Maalomah, "10 Suicide bombers killed and destroyed ten car bombs in Garma and Fallujah," 2/28/16

Al Mada, "Cleared two regions and killed dozens of Daash south of Falluja," 2/25/16
- "Clearing large areas south and east of Fallujah, killing 13 Daash members," 2/25/16
- "Killing and wounding 15 members of the security forces in suicide attack west of Baghdad," 2/29/16
- "Peshmerga and the Turkmen Popular Crowd fight most violent attack by Daash south Kirkuk," 2/27/16
- "A security source reveals details to Al Mada on how six Daash detachments' attack on Abu Ghraib was thwarted

Al Masalah, "Starting Amiriya Fallujah operation," 2/26/16

NINA, "6 Terrorists Killed, Vehicles, And Nests Destroyed in Salahuddin and Al Jazeera," 2/23/16
- "Federal Police Repel An Attack By Daash, West of Ramadi Kill dozens,” 2/26/16
- “Uprising Against Daash In Hit District, West Of Anbar,” 2/22/16

Reuters, "Militants launch largest attacks in months on Baghdad outskirts," 2/28/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Security forces repel ISIS attack on al-Wafa west of Ramadi, says District Council," Iraqi News, 2/27/16

Sattar, Sardar, "IS Again Attacks Peshmerga With Chemical Weapons," 2/27/16

Shafaq News, "Federal Police repel a suicide attack west of Baiji," 2/26/16

Xinhua, "Iraqi forces tighten siege on IS stronghold Fallujah," 2/25/16

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