Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Iraq’s First Battle of Fallujah 1941

Today the Iraqi forces are attempting to take the city of Fallujah back from the Islamic State. The first time the town was fought over however was in 1941 during World War II. During that time the British were attempting to take Baghdad and overthrow the government of Premier Rashid Ali Gaylani that was allied with the Germans and Italians.

When World War II broke out in Europe a group of Iraqi politicians and military officers sided with the Axis. This was due to three major factors. First, the Germans swept through Europe, and were threatening Egypt by 1941 leading many in the Iraqi elite to believe that the British would eventually lose. Second, politicians, members of the military, and the general public were all resentful of England’s domination of the country, which had created the nation after World War I as a mandate, imposed the monarchy, and ran the country’s oil industry. At the same time, Berlin and Rome were actively courting Baghdad, and those two countries were seen as possible role models for the development of Iraq. Together that led to the April 1941 coup led by four officers known as the Golden Square that put Rashid Ali Gaylani into power and forced Abdullah Regent of Iraq to flee the country. The new government was widely popular because of its anti-British stance. Germany and Italy immediately released a joint statement saying they supported the coup and offered military support as well. The prime minister and the Golden Square officers wanted to push the British out of Iraq, but did not want to use force. They believed that England would let Iraq slide out of its control as it was defeated in the war. That did not play out as planned as the country became a battlefield in the conflict

Immediately after the coup, Prime Minister Winston Churchill began making plans to remove Gaylani from power to make sure that Iraq stayed under Britain’s influence. In April Churchill ordered forces from India, Transjordan, and Egypt to be sent to Iraq. By the middle of the month, the first troops had arrived at an airbase in Shaibah, Basra, the port of Basra, and the Habaniya airbase in Anbar. PM Gaylani responded by sending the army to surround the Habaniya where they gave an ultimatum to the British to stop their operations there. That was rejected, and the Battle of Habaniya ensued with an Iraqi defeat. The British then started a march on Baghdad, which led to the Battle of Fallujah.

Fallujah was considered the best crossing point of the Euphrates River in Anbar on the road to Baghdad. The Iraqis had flooded most of central Anbar by releasing water from the river. Ramadi had a large Iraqi army contingent and was also isolated by the flooding so that was not considered a good target. Fallujah was considered much easier, and had a bridge across the Euphrates.

The British commander Colonel Ouvry Roberts planned a multi-pronged approach to taking the town. First, there would be heavy bombing of Fallujah to undermine morale. Then leaflets would be dropped demanding that the Iraqis surrender. A four pronged attack on the town would then be launched hoping to seize the bridge before it could be blown up. The main task of seizing the structure would fall on 100 Iraqi levies that had been trained by the British to originally protect the Habaniya base. Another attack would be made by more levies and Indian Ghurkas supported by armored cars and howitzers from the north to cut off reinforcements that might be sent from Ramadi. A thrust from the south would be made using boats to maneuver the flooded Eurphrates. Another contingent of troops would be flown into the east to cut the Fallujah-Baghdad road and block any Iraqi forces being sent from the capital.

On May 19, 1941 the Battle of Fallujah began. At 5 am 57 British planes bombed the town for an hour. The leaflets were then dropped calling for the Iraqis to give up. At dawn, the troops were landed in the west by plane to cut the Fallujah-Baghdad road. Another bombing run was made on the town, and then the Iraqi levies made a charge on the bridge backed by some armored cars. The bridge was seized and the town taken by the end of the day. Ten tons of bombs had been dropped on the city, 300 Iraqis were captured, and the levies didn’t take a single casualty as they rushed the Fallujah Bridge. Most of the Iraqi troops in the town did not put up a fight and stripped off their uniforms and either tried to blend in with the population or fled.

The Iraqis were not so easily defeated however, and tried to take back the town on May 22. A unit from the Iraqi 6th Infantry Brigade launched a counter attack to try to expel the British. They were discovered at night as they were approaching, but could not be turned back by a small reconnaissance force. At 3 am they reached the outskirts of town on the northeast and started firing mortars on the British positions leading to their withdrawal inside Fallujah proper. Two Iraqi tanks then entered the town, but were destroyed. The British then launched their own attack, which pushed the Iraqis out of Fallujah just as the sun rose. The Iraqis then switched to the southeast with an infantry and tank assault. Nine hours of fighting later and they were turned back. By then reinforcements arrived from Habaniya and cleared the town by 6 pm after some very heavy fighting. A few days later German planes, which had been sent to aid Gaylani’s government strafed the town while Iraqi artillery shelled it. By then it was firmly under British control. Their next move was to take the Iraqi capital, which eventually happened leading Gaylani to flee to Iran.

The Battle of Fallujah played a major role in defeating the pro-German and pro-Italian government in Baghdad and ensure that Iraq would stay in the Allied camp during World War 2. London was worried that if Iraq fell to the Axis it would cut off an important source of oil and threaten its petroleum interests in Iran as well. Iraq also operated as part of the trade route to India. Winston Churchill therefore saw Iraq as a strategic asset to maintain the British empire. Some of the tactics used then are also being employed now such as attacking the city from all sides, heavy bombardments to loosen the defenses, and the dropping of flyers. In 1941 the Iraqis were defeated, but in 2016 they will come out victorious.

Timeline Of Anglo-Iraq War During World War 2
Jan 28 Regent Abdullah made moves against PM Gaylani for his pro-German views
leading to plot against Regent
Jan 31 PM Gaylani forced form office by British pressure
Apr 1 Golden Square officers back coup leading to Gaylani to return to power and
            Regent Abdullah fleeing country to Palestine under British protection
Apr 3 Germany sent letter saying it supported coup and offered military aid
Apr 8 PM Churchill orders forces to be put together in India to be sent to Iraq
Apr 9 Germany and Italy make joint statement supporting PM Gaylani and promising
            military and financial support
Apr 10 Hitler decided to give military aid to Iraq
- PM Gaylani said he would honor 1930 Anglo-Iraq Treaty because didn’t want
            confrontation with London
Apr 12 British forces leave India heading for Basra
Apr 16 British tell Iraq that troops will be landing in Basra under Anglo-Iraq Treaty
            Gaylani agrees but says they most leave for other destinations immediately
- German letter arrives in Baghdad saying it would support Iraq revolt against British
Apr 17 Gaylani asked Germany for military assistance
- British battalion from Indian starts arriving at Shaibah airbase in Basra
Apr 18 British troops from India land at Port of Basra
Apr 29 Gaylani sends forces to surround England’s Habaniya airbase in Anbar
Apr 30 Iraq issued ultimatum to British to cease operations at Habaniya base
May 1 Iraqi police opened fire on British workers in Fort Rutba, Anbar
- British bombers sent from Egypt to Habaniya base
May 2 British planes bomb Iraqi forces outside Habaniya starting Anglo-Iraq War
- Grand Mufti in Baghdad declared jihad against England
- Iraqi forces take British fort at Rutba
May 3 British planes bomb Iraqi forces outside Habaniya and Iraqi airbase at Rasheed,
- Churchill orders British troops from Palestine to Iraq
May 4 British expand bombing to Iraqi bases in Rasheed Mosul and Baghdad
May 6 British break siege at Habaniya
- Germany makes deal with Vichy France to send military equipment from Syria to Iraq
- Germany sends air unit to Syria bound for Iraq
May 8 British Arab Legion leaves Palestine for Iraq heading to take back Fort Rutba
            Are attacked by German planes during march
- British take Ashar, Basra
- British air strikes destroy most of Iraqi air force
May 9 German and Italian planes leave Syria to land in Mosul
- British planes bomb Fort Rutba
May 13 German military aid begins arriving from Syria to Mosul
- British forces take Fort Rutba and find it abandoned by Iraqis
- German planes based out of Mosul begin attacking Habaniya base
May 14 German commander arrives to take control of German-Italian forces in Iraq
- German planes bomb British forces in Anbar heading for Habaniya base from Palestine
            and Fort Rutba
May 16 British and German planes bomb opposing forces in Anbar
May 18 British bomb Fallujah
May 19 British forces take Fallujah
May 22 Iraqi counterattack to retake Fallujah repulsed
May 23 German planes attack Fallujah while Iraqis shell town
May 26 Italian planes land in Kirkuk from Syria and start attacking British forces in
May 27 Operation Regulta starts with British marching from Fallujah and Basra on
May 28 British forces stopped by Iraqis at Abu Ghraib
- British intelligence officer spread rumors amongst Iraqi military that 100 tanks heading
            for Baghdad
May 29 British forces defeated by Iraqis at Kadhimiya while English break through Iraqi
            defense at Abu Ghraib
- PM Gaylani leaves office and flees to Iran
May 30 British take Baghdad
Jun 1 Regent Abdullah returns to Iraq


Farouk-Sluglett, Marion and Sluglett, Peter, Iraq Since 1958: From Revolution to Dictatorship, London, New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2003

Lyman, Robert, Iraq 1941, The battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad, Oxford, Long Island: Osprey Publishing, 2006

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sadr Takes Over Protests In Iraq’s Capital But What’s Next?

In May 2016 the Sadrists confirmed their control of the Baghdad protest movement. The demonstrations originally started in the south and spread to Baghdad in July 2015. Secular civic groups and the Communist Party were the early organizers of the movement. In the spring of 2016 however, Moqtada al-Sadr decided to co-opt the weekly marches in the capital in an attempt to make him the pre-eminent party boss in Iraqi politics. That didn’t work out as planned, but Sadr has kept up pressure on the government each Friday in Baghdad.

On May 20, 2016 the Sadrists took over the Green Zone for a second time. Thousands marched from Sadr City to Tahrir Square and then were able to move into the government sector. There they entered the parliament building once again, which had not been in session since the last time the Green Zone was occupied. The first time the security forces stood by and watched. This time however they used tear gas and fired shots. Four people were killed as a result, and up to 90 went to the hospital mostly for inhaling gas. Prime Minister Hadiar Abadi condemned the take over saying that such lawlessness was unacceptable. Sadr originally thought marching on the government sector would make the premier dependent upon him to pass his reforms, and pressure the other parties to follow suit. Instead, Sadr obliterated parliament. The Kurds left Baghdad in protest, while a block of parliamentarians opposed to Abadi tried forming an opposition party. Sadr’s plan completely backfired, but it didn’t appear he had a follow up strategy.

That was shown on May 27 when the Sadrists returned to the streets of the capital. The day before Abadi asked for no protests because of the military campaign in Fallujah. The secular protest movement complied, but Sadr did not. Again, there were clashes with the security forces to keep people away from the Green Zone. There were protests in southern cities as well that the Sadrists did not appear to be involved with, but in Baghdad they had taken over. Still, there appeared to be no method behind the demonstrations. Parliament is no closer to coming together and moving on Abadi’s reforms that Sadr has been demanding. In fact, the marches and continued moves into the Green Zone are perpetuating the current crisis.

Sadr has always aspired to be the dominant figure in Iraqi politics. His problem is that he never appears to think long term. The on going protests are a perfect example. He succeeded in taking over the Baghdad protests and the Green Zone, but there is nothing else to his strategy. Iraqi politics has been effectively blown up by Sadr’s actions, and he has no solutions to what he’s created other than to continue on his path.


eKurd, “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – May 16, 2016,” 5/16/16

Habib, Mustafa, “The Danger Of Dictatorship: How To Replace Iraq’s Flawed Political System?” Niqash, 5/12/16

Iraq Times, “Health Ministry: 39 wounded in the process of breaking into the Green Zone,” 5/20/16

Al Mada, “Secret meetings to form new alliances to isolate the Sadrists and end the paralysis in parliament and the government,” 5/7/16
- “Tahrir protesters postpone demonstrations Friday until further notice,” 5/26/16

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “At Least Two Killed In Iraqi Protests In Baghdad’s Green Zone,” 5/21/16

Rudaw, “Protesters ignore Abadi’s plea to stay home and gather in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square,” 5/27/16

Sotaliraq, "The funeral of four protesters killed in Najaf," 5/21/16
- “Protesters stormed the parliament building and continuing firing to disperse them,” 5/20/16
- “Thousands head from Sadr City towards the Green Zone,” 5/20/16

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was interviewed by Joe Geni for his podcast about the anniversary of the Sykes-Picot treaty and current Iraqi politics and security matters.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Bureaucratic Structure Of the Islamic State

For a period there was a debate over how the Islamic State and its predecessors Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq were organized. The two main concepts were of a decentralized networked organization of cells or a centralized bureaucratic one. The RAND Corporation recently released a report on the Islamic State of Iraq, “Foundations of the Islamic State, Management, Money, and Terror in Iraq, 2005-2010,” based upon captured documents from the group. What those papers revealed was that the Islamic State was based upon a hierarchical, top down model.

When the Iraq insurgency first began in 2003 a network might have been the best way to describe it. Iraqis would draw upon a number of identities and ties they had with others whether that be service in the military or intelligence agencies, Baath Party membership, tribes, mosques, extended families, etc. and form cells to carry out operations. Eventually these coalesced together in loose organizations. Eventually if the groups had staying power they became more highly organized.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s group, which would eventually become the Islamic State, was an established group with a highly organized structure. Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq were based upon an emir, with a deputy, and then separate committees for specific tasks like administration, security, military operations, etc. This structure was replicated at each level of the organization. What RAND found from its analysis of captured documents was that IS was set up almost identical to Al Qaeda. It hypothesized that bin Laden and his lieutenants promoted a specific type of administration to other groups, which Zarqawi and his followers picked up on. Many of the group’s leaders also had connections to Al Qaeda such as Abu Ayub al-Masri who took over after Zarqawi’s deaths. He was an Egyptian and follower of Aymenn al-Zawahiri. That cross mingling might have helped with adopting a similar organizational structure as well.

The top down, bureaucratic structure of the Islamic State is evident in its voracious record keeping. All of its captured papers show that the group loves documenting its members and activities. Who would have guessed that the most successful jihadist terrorist group in the world would love paper pushing so much. Its emphasis upon organization was what helped it run the territory it captured in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, this presented a huge vulnerability, because a successful raid on a base could turn over thousands of papers that would expose all of its workings. That happened in May 2015 when U.S. Special Forces killed Abu Sayaf in Syria, an Islamic State oil manager. The documents captured revealed hundreds of details about how the group was running its petroleum industry. That information was then put to use to destroy its infrastructure and undermine a major money maker for the group. Despite that threat, IS continues with its model because it provides the best means to manage its territory and keep track of its membership.


Faucon, Benoit and Coker, Margaret, “The Rise and Deadly Fall of Islamic State’s Oil Tycoon,” Wall Street Journal, 4/24/16

Johnson, Patrick, Shapiro, Jacob, Shatz, Howard, Bahney, Benjamin, Jung, Danielle, Ryan, Patrick, Wallace, Jonathan, “Foundations of the Islamic State, Management, Money, and Terror in Iraq, 2005-2010,” RAND Corporation, May 2016

McGrath, John, “An Army at War: Change in the Midst of Conflict,” Combat Studies Institute Press, 8/2-4/05

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Saddam: Iraq’s Fighting Spirit Would Defeat The US In 91 and 03 Wars

“[Iraq would put up] a heroic resistance and inflict such enormous losses on the Americans that they would stop their advance.”
- Saddam Hussein, 2003

Saddam Hussein had no formal military training or combat experience, but he believed that he was a strategist. His main belief was that Iraqis possessed a martial spirit that manifested itself in the ability to take casualties. He thought that this toughness would allow Iraq to defeat the U.S. led coalitions in the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion. Unfortunately for him, few of his soldiers were willing to fight for him leading to two devastating defeats.

Saddam’s understanding of war was very limited, which made him believe in a series of miscalculations when faced with the Americans. In February 1991 Saddam had a meeting with his commanders in anticipation for the war against the U.S. led coalition to free Kuwait. Saddam believed that the war would unite Iraqis to fight together against the foreign invaders. Mohammed Zubaidi, a regional commander, voiced the belief that if the Iraqis were able to inflict casualties upon the Americans they would give up. There were some very heated engagements at the beginning of the Gulf War, but the Iraqis were easily defeated, and a general retreat was quickly called. Despite that, Saddam came out of the conflict believing that he had actually won, because he was still in power. His thought that Iraqis were superior fighters was not shaken by the turn of events, and would be voiced again twelve years later.

In 2003 Saddam and his advisers would express the same set of beliefs when faced with the U.S. invasion. Saddam talked about the Iraqi soldiers being superior to the Americans. He mentioned the huge casualties that the Iraqis suffered during the Iran-Iraq War as proof of their abilities. In comparison, Saddam and his advisers believed that Vietnam and Somalia proved that the Americans were risk averse, and a few dead and wounded would lead them to give up. As it turned out, the Iraqis put up even less resistance in 2003 than in 1991. Besides a few fanatical attacks by the Fedayeen, most of the Iraqi army quit without putting up a fight, threw off their uniforms and went home.

Saddam like many dictators lived in a bubble of his own creation where sound advice was rare. Twice faced with a superior enemy in 1991 and 2003 Saddam believed that his military could take anything dished out and still prevail. Somehow the ability to die was believed to be an asset. It turned out most of his soldiers gave up both times instead of sacrificing themselves. Still, Saddam believed that his men were fighting the Americans to a standstill until they got to Baghdad. It wasn’t until the very end that he was willing to admit defeat.


Woods, Kevin, Palkki, David, and Stout, Mark, The Saddam Tapes, Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Delhi, Tokyo, Mexico City: Cambridge University Press, 2011

Woods, Kevin with Pease, Michael, Stout, Mark, Murray, Williamson, and Lacey, James, “A View of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam’s Senior Leadership,” Iraqi Perspectives Project, 3/24/06

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Security In Iraq, May 15-21, 2016

The Islamic State was still in the midst of its spring offensive in the third week of May. Attacks actually went down, but casualties remained high because of a number of mass casualty bombings that mark the current insurgent campaign.

There were 121 incidents reported in Iraq from May 15-21. That was the fewest incidents since the second week of February when there were 119. There were 67 attacks in Baghdad, 16 in Anbar, 11 each in Diyala and Ninewa, 7 in Salahaddin, 4 in Kirkuk, 2 in Babil, and one each in Basra, Dhi Qar, and Qadisiyah.

Despite those low figures casualties were very high in the country. There were 349 people killed, made up of 1 Iranian Basij, 1 Nujafi volunteer, 4 Sahwa, 4 Peshmerga, 5 Hashd, 32 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 302 civilians. Another 604 were wounded, which consisted of 2 Peshmerga, 2 Sahwa, 15 Hashd, 65 ISF, and 520 civilians.

As usual, Baghdad led the way as the deadliest province with 197. There were another 80 in Ninewa, 33 in Anbar, 30 in Salahaddin, 8 in Diyala, and 1 in Kirkuk.

In Anbar the Iraqi forces continued its sweep westward. In previous weeks Hit was freed, and the siege of Haditha ended. During the third week of May there was continued operations from Hit to Baghdadi to Haditha with several towns freed. The Iraqi forces then moved south and cleared Rutba, and reached the Jordanian border crossing of Trebil. In eastern Anbar, the Hashd continued to talk about freeing Fallujah, but were busy sweeping through Amiriya Fallujah again after it was declared 75% freed during the first week of the month. The new operation was due to a wave of suicide bombers that attacked the town the week before. Still, forces were being assembled around Fallujah for the campaign that started on May 23. With the inclusion of the ISF and U.S. air strikes the city will be eventually freed, but what’s left in the aftermath will be a big question. This will top off the series of victories that have occurred in the governorate with only the Syrian border area remaining firmly in IS hands. There is still a threat in Anbar however, as IS is alive and well in the rural and desert areas and the small towns surrounding the major centers.

In an interesting turn of events, as the Fallujah operation finally got underway the Iraqi press began reporting on shelling of the city again. Artillery, mortars and air strikes have pounded the place since January 2014 causing hundreds of casualties. This used to be regularly reported, but that ended in the fall of last year. From May 15-21 three artillery incidents were mentioned leading to 14 civilians being killed and 36 wounded.

Baghdad was still the focus of the Islamic State’s spring campaign. There were 67 incidents during the week. That included 2 car bombs, 4 suicide car bombs, and 8 suicide bombers. Another two car bombs were discovered and dismantled before they detonated, and 10 suicide bombers were either arrested or killed. Those bombs were in the center, east, north, outer north, south, and outer south of the province showing IS’s ability to reach every part of Baghdad. Those attacks came in two waves. On May 15 one went off in the outer south in a market in Latifiya, while three were used in an assault upon a gas plant in Taji, which took the facility off line for a few days cutting off electricity to part of the capital. Then on May 17 two car bombs and 2 suicide bombers hit a restaurant and three markets. Another suicide bomber was arrested, and two car bombs were dismantled. Overall, IS was most active in the outer regions hitting the small towns.

Violence In Anbar, May 15-21, 2016
Center: 5 – 1 Car Bomb Dismantled, 1 Stabbing, 1 Shooting, 1 IED Dismantled, 1 Sticky Bomb
East: 11 – 1 Suicide Bomber Arrested, 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 2 IEDs, 3 Sticky Bombs,
3 Shootings
Outer East: 2 – 1 Shooting, 1 IED
North: 9 – 1 Kidnapping, 1 Shooting/Kidnapping, 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 Shooting, 1 Suicide Bomber, 5 IEDs
Outer North: 11 – 1 Shooting, 3 Suicide Car Bombs, 4 Shootings, 6 IEDs, 6 Suicide Bombers
South: 9 – 1 Car Bomb Dismantled, 1 Car Bomb, 1 Stabbing, 1 Mortar, 2 Sticky Bombs, 3 IEDs
Outer South: 12 – 1 Car Bomb, 11 IEDs
West: 1 – 1 IED
Outer West: 6 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 4 IEDs, 9 Suicide Bombers Killed
Unknown: 1 – 1 Mortar

Violence in Ninewa dropped apparently because the Makhmour offensive ground to a halt. When it started IS launched its usual wave of counterattacks. From May 15-21 the volunteers organized by ex-Governor Atheel Nujafi made their second foray trying to clear a town near Bashiqa with Turkey support but were turned back. IS also launched two major attacks upon the Kurdish positions. 75 people were also reported executed by the militants in Mosul.

In Diyala, Kirkuk, and Salahaddin violence either declined or remained the same. IS has picked up its operations in Diyala lately and a car bombing was avoided when it was discovered before it could go off. In Kirkuk there were only four incidents reported during the week, as the Islamists had given up with their counter attacks after the town of Bashir was freed at the start of the month. Finally, Salahaddin has been very quiet for weeks now.

There were 8 car bombs during the week, another sign of IS’s spring campaign. There were six in Baghdad and 1 in Anbar. Another 17 were reported destroyed, but those figures are usually exaggerated. Altogether the bombs took the lives of 69 people and wounded another 155, almost all of which were in the capital.

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
Mar 15-21
Mar 22-28
Mar 29-31
Apr 1-7
Apr 8-14
Apr 15-21
Apr 22-28
Apr 29-30
May 1-7
May 8-14
May 15-21

Security By Province May 15-21, 2016
16 Incidents
33 Killed: 1 Iranian Basij, 5 ISF, 27 Civilians
92 Wounded: 9 ISF, 83 Civilians
2 Shootings
2 IEDs
2 Car Bombs
2 Mortars
2 Rockets
6 Suicide Bomber Killed
5 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
6 Car Bombs Destroyed
2 Incidents
4 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber Arrested
67 Incidents
197 Killed: 3 Hashd, 4 Sahwa, 23 ISF, 167 Civilians
447 Wounded: 2 Sahwa, 8 Hashd, 51 ISF, 386 Civilians
12 Shootings
34 IEDs
8 Sticky Bombs
8 Suicide Bombers
4 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Car Bombs
2 Mortars
10 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
2 Car Bombs Dismantled
1 Incident
1 Sticky Bomb
Dhi Qar
1 Incident
11 Incidents
8 Killed: 1 Hashd, 2 ISF, 5 Civilians
9 Wounded: 1 Civilian, 4 Hashd, 4 ISF
4 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
2 Mortars
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
4 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Wounded: 1 ISF
1 Shooting
1 Mortar
11 Incidents
80 Killed: 1 Volunteer, 4 Peshmerga, 75 Civilians
2 Wounded: 2 Peshmerga
6 Shootings
25 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Mortar
17 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
1 Incident
1 Shooting
7 Incidents
30 Killed: 1 Hashd, 2 ISF, 27 Civilians
53 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 50 Civilians
4 Shootings
1 Suicide Bomber

Car Bombs In Iraq May, 2016
Car Bombs
May 1
Samawa x2, Muthanna
Albu Hussein & West of Hit, Anbar – 3 destroyed
May 2
Sadiya, Baghdad
Hit, Dabiya & Satamiya, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Alas & Ajeel, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
May 3
Bashiqa x2 & Tel Skuf, Ninewa
South of Fallujah, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Tel Skuf, Ninewa – 2 destroyed
May 4
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar – 8 destroyed
Tel al-Gol, Ninewa – 1 destroyed
Mashak, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed

May 5
Thar Thar, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Bashir, Kirkuk 1 destroyed
Kharaib, Ninewa – 2 destroyed

May 6
Radwaniya, Baghdad
May 7
Thar Thar, Anbar – 7 destroyed

7 – 33 Destroyed
May 8
Salam, Anbar – 3 destroyed

May 9
Baquba, Diyala
Albu Shihab, Anbar – 1 destroyed
May 10
Thar Thar, Anbar – 1 destroyed

May 11
Jamiya, Kadhimiya, Sadr City, Baghdad
Jeraishi, Anbar – 2 destroyed
May 12
Jeraishi, Anbar
Albu Aetha, Albu Diab, Albu Faraj, Albu Veab, Anbar – 19 destroyed
Baiji, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed

May 13
Albu Aetha, Dwylih, Garma, Anbar – 10 destroyed

May 14
Albu Hayat, Anbar
Albu Aetha & Barwana, Anbar – 2 destroyed
6 – 39 Destroyed
May 15
Latifiya & Taji x3, Baghdad
Baghdadi, Anbar – 2 destroyed
May 16
Rutba, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Khalis, Diyala – 1 destroyed

May 17
Rutba, Anbar
Rasheed & Sadr City, Baghdad
Barwana, Anbar – 3 destroyed
Amil & Zafaraniya, Baghdad – 2 destroyed
May 18
Aski Mosul, Ninewa – 3 destroyed

May 19
?, Anbar – 3 destroyed

May 20
Southeast of Fallujah, Anbar

May 21

8 – 17 Destroyed


Adel, Loaa, "Iraqi army retakes 15 villages from ISIS grip west of Anbar," Iraqi News, 5/18/16
- "Security forces control Akashat area and cut off ISIS supply lines toward Qaim," Iraqi News, 5/19/16

Associated Press, "ISIS Attack and Bombings Leave 29 Dead in and Around Baghdad," 5/15/16

BBC, “Fallujah assault: Iraq PM announces beginning of military operation,” 5/22/16
- "Iraq conflict: IS suicide bombers hit Tai gas plant," 5/15/16
- "IS conflict: Iraq forces retake remote western town of Rutba," 5/18/16

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - May 18, 2016," 5/18/16

Al Maalomah, "31 martyrs and 74 wounded, the outcome of the criminal bombing in Sadr City," 5/17/16
- "Deputy governor of Anbar announces the launch of a campaign of raids after outbreaks near Amiriyah Fallujah," 5/15/16
- "Dismantled car bomb loaded with TNT in Khalis," 5/16/16
- "Dismantling of a car bomb south Baghdad," 5/17/16
- "Engineers dismantled a car bomb west Baghdad," 5/17/16
- "Foiled two suicide car bombs on security checkpoint west Anbar," 5/15/16
- "Four thousand fighters of the popular crowd arrive in Fallujah district," 5/18/16
- "The killing of five suicide bombers and three car bombs in western Anbar," 5/19/16

Al Mada, "Killing 15 Daash militants and the destruction of three car bombs in western Anbar, 5/16/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "9 security members killed, wounded in battles of Rutba District," Iraqi News, 5/17/16
- "24 dead, wounded in Taji Gas Plant bombing north of Baghdad," Iraqi News, 5/15/16
- "Security forces liberate 2 areas in western Heet District, dozens of ISIS militants killed," Iraqi News, 5/17/16
- "Security forces liberate 4 villages west of Ramadi, 200 bombs dismantled," Iraqi News, 5/18/16
- "Security forces liberate area in Baghdadi, 7 ISIS members killed west of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 5/16/16
- "Security forces start cleansing borderline between Iraq, Syria and Jordan," Iraqi News, 5/19/16
- "Security forces to start liberation operation of Heet Island," Iraqi News, 5/15/16

NBC News, "Baghdad Attacks: Wave of Bombings Kills 76, Wounds 110," 5/17/16

New Sabah, "Security forces are up to the gate of Fallujah and liberated 160 Kilo," 5/16/16
- "Security forces free Trebil in preparation for the opening of the Baghdad-Amman way," 5/20/16
- "Security forces stormed the center of Rutba from four axes and the liberation of many villages," 5/17/16

NINA, "Security Forces Liberate Rub'I Area, North Of Baghdadi," 5/15/16

Rudaw, "Iraqi forces launch operation to liberate Anbar town from ISIS," 5/16/16
- "Peshmerga foil ISIS suicide bombers near Mosul; 11 militants killed," 5/18/16

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Islamic State attack and bombings leave 29 dead across Iraq," Associated Press, 5/15/16
- "Wave of Bombings Hits Baghdad Shiite Areas, Killing 69," Associated Press, 5/17/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Iraqi security forces free 3 villages west of al-Baghdadi vicinity, Anbar," Iraqi News, 5/15/16
- "Security forces free Ameriya village northeast of Bruwana," Iraqi News, 5/16/16
- "Security forces liberate 4 villages northwest of al-Baghdadi vicinity," 5/18/16

Sotaliraq, "National Crowd fails in its first test," 5/19/16

Security In Iraq May 15-21, 2024

The Islamic State and the Iraqi Islamic Resistance were both active in Iraq during the third week of May.