Thursday, March 17, 2016

Security In Iraq, March 8-14, 2016

High levels of violence continued in Iraq during the second week of March 2016. While the number of reported incidents was down from the previous week, they were still above the months before. The government’s effort to clear Ramadi’s suburbs continued with new operations in Haditha and Hit in western Anbar. Baghdad remained the main target of the Islamic State, while it launched a new wave of attacks upon the Peshmerga and civilians in Kirkuk and Ninewa that included chemical rockets. Fighting also continued in northern Salahaddin, and the Turks claimed to have killed a large number of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters in Kurdistan. All together that kept casualties high during the week.

There were 168 reported security incidents in Iraq from March 8-14, 2016. That was down from the 183 the first week of the month. So far, there have been average of 25.0 incidents per day versus 18.9 in February, 19.2 in January, and 17.8 in December.

As usual Baghdad had the most incidents with 68. There were also 22 in Anbar, 19 in Ninewa, 17 in Salahaddin, 16 in Diyala, 15 in Kirkuk, 10 in Babil, and 1 in Kurdistan.

Those led to 404 deaths and 415 injuries. 2 Asayesh, 4 Sahwa, 8 Hashd al-Shaabi, 11 members of ex-Governor Nujafi’s Hashd, 22 Peshmerga, 62 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 67 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters, and 228 civilians were killed. 2 Nujafi Hashd, 2 Asayesh, 7 Sahwa, 20 Peshmerga, 22 Peshmerga and PKK fighters, 28 Hashd, 63 ISF, and 271 civilians were also wounded. The real number of casualties is always higher than gets in the press. For example there are usually two to four times as many wounded as killed, but there were 62 ISF deaths and 63 injured during the week showing that the authorities are suppressing their losses.

Anbar had the most deaths with 109. There were 94 more in Ninewa, 88 in Baghdad, 67 in the KRG, 14 in Kirkuk, 13 in Salahaddin, 11 in Babil, and 8 in Diyala.

The government and the Islamic State remained focused upon the battle in Anbar. The Iraqi forces’ main effort was still in the Ramadi area. Zankura for the third time, Asriya, Safiriya, Dour, Qotniya, Albu Taiban were all cleared, and Hamidiya again after it was freed in February. Albu Obeid was entered as well. The government has slowly increased its hold upon the Ramadi district, and kept IS on the run. The sweep from northern Anbar to Haditha continued with the joint forces claiming to be just outside the besieged town, along with the a new move on Kubaisa in the Garma district. A new front was also opened against Hit. Three towns around Amiriya Fallujah in southeast Anbar were cleared as well. IS responded with 18 attacks in the Khalidiya, Garma, Ramadi, and Amiriya Fallujah areas. Three car bombs hit the security forces killing 25 and wounding 20. IS also appeared to have tried to set a trap for Iraqi forces. In the middle of the week, there were reports that IS fighters were withdrawing from Kubaisa, Hit, and Rutba. The next day however they moved back in. The mayor of Rutba thought that IS was trying to test the loyalty of the locals to see if any would turn on the group. A security source told New Sabah that what actually happened was that the insurgents were hoping to lure the security forces into those towns and then ambush them. That didn’t work, but it shows that IS is not completely disheveled in the governorate. The joint forces claimed they killed 1 suicide bomber and destroyed 8 car bombs. IS reportedly executed 50 people in Fallujah, which led to a clash with a local tribe. 10 bodies of civilians were also found in the rubble in Ramadi that were killed during the operation to free it.

In Babil, violence remained at a low level, but IS was still hitting markets. Three were bombed with IEDs during the week killing 6 people and wounding 22. All of the attacks remained in the north where IS retreated after it lost its base in Jurf al-Sakhr.

Security in Baghdad remained precarious with 68 incidents. The south was the most violent sector again with 31 incidents, 28 of which were probably the work of IS. After that there were 14 in the west, 10 in the north, 9 in the east, and 4 in the center. As usual there were a mix of actors responsible with 3 kidnappings, 4 major robberies, and 20 bodies being dumped in the streets pointing towards criminals, vigilantes, and Hashd as the likely culprits.

Violence In Baghdad, Mar 8-14, 2016
Center: 4 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 Shooting, 2 IEDs
East: 6 – 1 Attempted Robbery, 1 Decapitation, 2 Shootings, 3 IEDs
Outer East: 3 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 Shooting, 1 IED
North: 8 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs, 4 Shootings
Outer North: 2 – 1 Kidnapping/Robbery/Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb
South: 19 – 1 Strangling, 1 Kidnapping, 1 Grenade, 2 Sticky Bombs, 6 Shootings, 8 IEDs
Outer South: 12 – 1 Kidnapping, 4 Shootings, 7 IEDs
West: 12 – 1 Robbery/Stabbing, 1 Robbery/Shooting, 3 Shootings, 7 IEDs
Outer West: 2 – 1 Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb

Diyala was the scene of more mortar fire and a wave of kidnappings. Like the previous week, IS was firing mortars on a number of towns including Muqtadiya and Abu Saida. There were also four reported kidnappings in Muqtadiya, and in two other areas. That was a sign of the growing lawlessness in the country that is spreading due to the war. Since many of the security forces are fighting the insurgents that has opened space for criminals to act.

The Islamic State is trying a new tactic by firing rockets with chlorine and mustard gas at Kurdish positions and towns in the north. Kirkuk witnessed two such attack during the week in Taza. The first incident ended up killing three and wounding 59, and the other left 8 hurt. Some press reports have the injured in the hundreds, but that appears to be the number of people who went to the hospital to be checked, not the figure for how many actually had to be treated. Six suicide bombers were also reportedly killed in an attack upon the Peshmerga south of Kirkuk, and there was a story that tribes in Hawija got into a gunfight with IS. In that later town IS executed another three people in its crackdown on the population there.

Violence between Turkey and its Kurdish population has continued to increase in recent weeks. That has led to a new round of Turkish air strikes upon Kurdistan where the PKK has bases. Ankara claimed that one killed 67 PKK fighters in the middle of the week.

Ninewa witnessed more executions, insurgent attacks, a new offensive by Yazidi militias in Sinjar, and the continued buildup of forces for the eventual Mosul offensive. First, IS executed another 45 people in the Mosul and Tal Afar areas. It also carried out ten attacks in the province. That included a chemical rocket attack in Gwar, three suicide bombers, mortar fire on Sinjar, rockets on Zilkan, and attacks on checkpoints. In total, 1 Hashd, 11 members of ex-Governor Nujafi’s Hashd, and 22 Peshmerga were killed, and another 2 Nujafi Hashd, 4 Hashd, 20 Peshmerga, and 22 Peshmerga and PKK fighters were injured. Yazidi militias started an effort to retake villages in western Sinjar. Finally, more troops from the 15th Division arrived at their new base in Mkhamour. Iraqi soldiers have been arriving for months now for the planned push on Mosul.

IS had a renewed level of operations in Salahaddin, while the government was continuing its sweep through the Samarra district. That included 13 attacks on the security forces in places like Siniya and Baiji, the Ajeel and Alas oil fields, and the Hamrin and Makhoul Mountains. The security forces claimed they destroyed three car and bulldozer bombs in the process. They were also involved in the on going effort to clear the western Samarra district. This is focused upon all of the rural and desert areas that stretch from the city to Anbar, and is aimed at cutting off IS supply lines from western to northern Iraq.

There were a total of 17 car bombs reported during the second week of March. Three reached their targets all in Anbar, and a fourth was being defused when it exploded in Kirkuk. A total of 27 people were killed and 22 wounded all from the security forces. This weeks statistics appeared much more believable then the week before when the joint forces claimed 46 car bombs with some obvious examples of exaggeration for propaganda purposes.

Violence In Iraq 2015-16
3,032 + 150
2,565 + 1,499
1,952 + 646
2,153 + 405
3,198 + 4,024
2,440 + 760
1,668 + 3,003
1,455 + 124 + 1,322
1,252 + 5,920
Jan 1-7
Jan 8-14
Jan 15-21
Jan 22-28
Jan 29-31
Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-29
Mar 1-7
Mar 8-14

Security By Province Mar 8-14, 2016
22 Incidents
109 Killed: 1 Hashd, 48 ISF, 60 Civilians
37 Wounded: 1 Sahwa, 36 ISF
13 Shootings
1 Suicide Bomber
2 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
7 Car Bombs Destroyed
10 Incidents
11 Killed: 11 Civilians
40 Wounded: 2 ISF, 4 Hashd, 34 Civilians
1 Shooting
8 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
68 Incidents
88 Killed: 2 Hashd, 4 Sahwa, 5 ISF, 77 Civilians
165 Wounded: 6 Sahwa, 7 Hashd, 9 ISF, 143 Civilians
24 Shootings
30 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
1 Grenade
16 Incidents
8 Killed: 1 ISF, 3 Hashd, 4 Civilians
5 Wounded: 2 ISF, 3 Civilians
2 Shootings
6 IEDs
3 Mortars
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
15 Incidents
14 Killed: 2 Asayesh, 12 Civilians
74 Wounded: 2 Asayesh, 72 Civilians
5 Shootings
3 Rockets
1 Suicide Bomber Arrested
6 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Car Bomb Defused
1 Incident
67 Killed: 67 PKK
1 Turkish Air Strike
19 Incidents
94 Killed: 1 Hashd, 11 Volunteers, 22 Peshmerga
59 Wounded: 2 Volunteers, 4 Hashd, 20 Peshmerga, 22 Peshmerga & PKK
6 Shootings
40 IEDs
3 Suicide Bombers
1 Artillery
2 Rockets
1 Mortar
17 Incidents
13 Killed: 1 Hashd, 4 Civilians, 8 ISF
35 Wounded: 8 Civilians, 13 Hashd, 14 ISF
11 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
2 Car Bombs Destroyed

Car Bombs In Iraq Mar 1-7, 2016
Car Bombs
Mar 1
Leine, Tikrit & West of Samarra, Salahaddin
Samarra Island & Shirqat, Salahaddin – 8 destroyed
Mar 2
Baghdadi & Lake Qadisiyah, Anbar – 5 destroyed
Bashir, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed
Samarra & Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 18 destroyed

Mar 3
Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 3 destroyed

Mar 4
Albu Abdul, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Mansour, Baghdad – 1 destroyed

Mar 5

Mar 6
Hillah, Babil
Albu Abad, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Mar 7
East of Ramadi, Anbar – 1 destroyed

4 – 42 Destroyed
Mar 8

Mar 9
Kirkuk-Sulaymaniya Road, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed
Mar 10
Khalis, Diyala – 1 destroyed

Mar 11
Khashim, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Baiji, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed

Mar 12
Safiriya, Anbar – 3 destroyed

Mar 13
Makhoul & ?, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed

Mar 14
Albu Aasi, Albu Taiban & Safiriya, Anbar
Albu Aasi, Aqba, Keserat & Masri, Anbar – 5 destroyed
3 – 14 Destroyed


Adel, Loaa, "Clashes broke out between tribe in Fallujah and ISIS after executing 50 civilians," Iraqi News, 3/8/16
- "Federal Police forces repulse ISIS attack, seize 19 "Hell" rockets in Salahuddin," Iraqi News, 3/13/16
- "Joint forces liberate al-Khawda and Banan areas in Heet district," Iraqi News, 3/14/16
- "Kurdistan Workers Party fighters kill 21 ISIS members in Sinjar," Iraqi News, 3/13/16

Agence France Presse, "Iraq medics screen 800 people after chemical attack," 3/14/16
- "IS returns to Iraqi town, 24 hours after vacating it," 3/14/16

AIN, "Freed the entire area west Anbar," 3/13/16

Alsumaria, "14 Daash members killed by tribes southwest Kirkuk," 3/12/16
- "Security forces enter in depth into Daash territory east of Ramadi," 3/13/16

Associated Press, "Iraq officials say Islamic State chemical attacks kill child, wound 600," 3/12/16

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - March 12, 2016," 3/12/16

Faraj, Salam, "IS jihadists pull out of town in Iraq's Anbar: general," Agence France Presse, 3/13/16

Al Forat, "43 Daash killed in various areas and 66 terrorists in Samarra Island," 3/14/16

George, Susannah, “Iraqi military forces are increasingly plagued by logistical shortcomings as operations move further away from the Iraqi capital Baghdad,” Associated Press, 3/10/16

Al Jazeera, "ISIL attacks kill 47 Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi," 3/14/16

Al Maalomah, "Anbar provincial council declared fully freed Hamdiya area east of Ramadi," 3/12/16
- "The dismantling of a car bomb near a school in Khalis," 3/10/16

Al Mada, "Army besieges Mohammedi on 3 axis and approaching Hit," 3/13/16
- "Cleared two regions and killing 20 Daash members west of Ramadi," 3/11/16
- "Daash executed three people in Hawija and air strikes kill 20 members of the organization," 3/10/16
- "Freed village west of Ramadi security forces freed 6000 families," 3/9/16
- "Recovered the remains of ten people from under the rubble of homes destroyed by Daash in central Ramadi," 3/8/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "9 ISIS militants including Arabs killed in southern Fallujah," Iraqi News, 3/9/16
- "20 areas liberated, 20 ISIS militants killed in western Ramadi," Iraqi News, 3/12/16
- "Gaood: Cleared 50% of Muhammadi area and killed dozens of Daash west of Ramadi," 3/14/16
- "Iraqi joint forces liberate Meteorological Center in western Ramadi," Iraqi News, 3/8/16
- "Iraqi security forces cleanse Zankoura area, kill dozens of ISIS militants in western Ramadi," Iraqi News, 3/8/16
- "Iraqi security forces liberate al-Safiriya area west of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 3/12/16

Al Masalah, "Popular crowd moving towards Haditha," 3/8/16

New Sabah, “Joint Operations thwarted Daash plot to drag out battle in Rutba,” 3/15/16

NINA, "7 Vehicles, an Armored Bomb in the Island Operations Sector In Jazerrah Sector," 3/14/16
- "/13/ elements of the National Crowd killed and wounded in bombing by Daash northern Mosul," 3/10/16
- "/22/ elements of Daash killed and a contract for Daash seized in Anbar and Samarra Island," 3/8/16
- "Anti-terrorist forces liberated Aqaba area South of al-Mohammadi in Anbar," 3/13/16
- "Anti-terrorism forces liberated Al-Asriya village west of Ramadi and raised the Iraqi flag over their buildings," 3/9/16
- "Anti-terrorism forces surrounded Heet from the south and north, "3/13/16
- "A car bomb destroyed and killed those in it in Salah al-Din," 3/13/16
- "Dozens Of Peshmerga Killed and Wounded After Being Exposed To Rockets Carrying Gas," 3/14/16
- "Federal Police Blow Up A Vehicle Before Reaching Block Line In Tharthar," 3/11/16
- "Joint Forces Storm Kbaysa Cement Plant," 3/14/16

Alsumaria, "14 Daash members killed by tribes southwest Kirkuk," 3/12/16

Rudaw, "Explosive Car kills two in Kirkuk-Sulimani checkpoint," 3/9/16
- “New Iraqi troops arrive in Makhmour to join Mosul battle force,” 3/8/16
- "Peshmerga shoot dead six ISIS suicide bombers west of Kirkuk," 3/12/16

Shafaq News, "Daash foil suicide attack on Baiji," 3/11/16
- "The death of two women by chemical attacks on Taza," 3/16/16
- "Iraqi forces regain Zankura and kill 80 Daash," 3/10/16
- "Turkish air strikes kill 67 Kurdish militants in north Iraq: army," 3/12/16
- "Urgent.. War media cell announced the freeing of Safiriya and Albu Tibane western Anbar," 3/12/16

Sotaliraq, "Officer killed in tribal mobilization of Anbar by a roadside bomb east of Ramadi," 3/11/16
- "Repelled a Daash attack in Amiriyah Fallujah area," 3/14/16

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