Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Security In Iraq, Jan 15-21, 2018

There was a large jump in casualties in Iraq during the third week of January 2018. Part of that was due to two mass graves being discovered in Ninewa. The main reason however was a suicide bombing in Baghdad that left 143 casualties. This was the second week the Islamic State launched such attacks.

There were 68 incidents reported in Iraq during the week. That was up from 64 the week before and below the 71 recorded the first week of the month. There was 1 incident in Anbar, 1 in Sulaymaniya, 2 in Basra, 3 in Kirkuk, 4 in Babil, 8 in Salahaddin, 11 in Ninewa, 16 in Diyala, and 22 in Baghdad.

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province Jan 8-14, 2018
Anbar 1 Incident
Sulaymaniya 1 Incident
Basra 2 Incidents
Kirkuk 3 Incidents
Babil 4 Incidents
Salahaddin 8 Incidents
Ninewa 11 Incidents
Diyala 16 Incidents
Baghdad 22 Incidents

Casualties In Iraq By Province Jan 8-14, 2018
Kirkuk 2 (1 Killed, 1 Wounded)
Anbar 6 (3 Killed, 3 Wounded)
Babil 6 (4 Killed, 2 Wounded)
Diyala 26 (14 Killed, 12 Wounded)
Ninewa 85 (85 Killed)
Baghdad 182 Killed (49 Killed, 133 Wounded)

There were 156 deaths and 151 injured from January 8-14. 3 Hashd al-Shaabi, 9 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 144 civilians lost their lives and 1 Hashd, 11 ISF, and 139 civilians were wounded. 2 of those casualties occurred in Kirkuk, 6 in Anbar, 6 in Babil, 26 in Diyala, 85 in Ninewa, and 182 in Baghdad due the suicide bombing.

This was the second week in a row with only one incident reported in Anbar. An IED went off near a policeman’s house in Albu Diab in the center of the province killing 3 and wounding another 3. An Anbar councilman warned that the Islamic state was still infiltrating across the border from Syria. This has been going on for quite some time leading to regular sweeps through the area by the security forces.

There were 4 incidents in northern Babil. These were spread across Jurf al-Sakhr, Hillah and the Iskandirya areas. That included the assassination of two Hashd leaders, one from Asaib Ahl Al-Haq and the other from Badr. Since the summer the insurgents have increased their activity in the province, and have routinely targeted Hashd units with IEDs. This was an escalation going after their leadership. The insurgents are said to be based in eastern Anbar and infiltrate into Babil to carry out their operations.

For the last two weeks Baghdad has been hit by suicide bombers. During the second week of January a bomber targeted the caravan of the head of the provincial council. The third week two suicide bombers detonated their devices in a square in the center of the city killing 38 and wounding 105. The last major mass casualty bombing in the province was during the third week of February 2017 when a car bomb left 125 dead and wounded. Al Mada reported that January’s bombings were revenge for a senior IS leader being killed in the province, and that the bombers came from Diyala. On another note, there was a sensational arrest when a drug ring was busted that included the son of the governor of Najaf. The publication of his crime could very well be election politics as Iraq is set to vote in May.

Diyala had 16 incidents, almost half of which occurred on just one day. On January 17, there were 7 incidents alone. The governorate is one of the main areas where the insurgents are rebuilding, and are said to be active in almost all the rural areas. In Qara Tappa to the north, the district director called for more security forces to be sent to stop infiltrations and kidnappings by IS. There was also a sweep through the Jalawla district in the northeast. So far, the security forces have not been able to retard the militants.

Another area where violence declined was Kirkuk. There were just 3 incidents there. Since federal forces moved into the province in October there has been a spurt of violence by both IS and political actors. That was not true for the third week of January. It’s too early to tell whether this means things have cooled off or whether it was just a temporary dip.

The big news of the week in Ninewa was that two more mass graves were discovered. In Badush, just outside of Mosul 52 bodies were found, and 23 more in Athba in the south. There were 9 other incidents, which were mostly gunfire, including three shootouts with insurgents in the west and south. Two parliamentarians told the press that militants were using fake IDs to move throughout the province and within Mosul. In response, there was a sweep south of the city. As soon as the Mosul battle was over IS switched to low level attacks and infiltration attempts from Syria, which have defined the security environment since then.

There were 8 incidents in Salahaddin, but no casualties. That included 5 Suicide bombers arrested or killed in four different events. Tuz Kharmato continued to be a problem area. First, the new White Flags insurgent group kidnapped four Kurds. The federal forces who have taken over responsibility in the district from the Hashd arrested an Asaib Ahl Al-Haq official and his aide. After the Peshmerga withdrew in October the Hashd and local Turkmen went on a rampage through the area killing people, looting, and destroying buildings. The first displaced Kurds also returned responding to the change in authority. Finally there were two clearing operations in the Samarra district. This is the other governorate where IS has been attempting a comeback. Attacks are still low, but the large number of suicide bombers defeated show that the insurgents are still active there.

Security In Iraq 2017-18
1,891 + 399
2,511 + 1,634
3,504 + 278
3,302 + 2,925
865 + 1,700
Jan 1-7
Jan 8-14
Jan 15-21

Violence By Province Jan 8-14, 2018
1 Incident
3 Killed
3 Civilians
3 Wounded
3 Civilians

4 Incidents
4 Killed
2 Civilians
2 Hashd
2 Wounded
1 Hashd
1 Civilian

4 Shootings
22 Incidents
49 Killed
1 Hashd
48 Civilians
133 Wounded
133 Civilians

5 Shootings
9 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
2 Suicide Bombers
1 Grenade
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
2 Incidents

2 IEDs
16 Incidents
14 Killed
9 Civilians
12 Wounded
1 Civilian
11 ISF

9 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
3 Incidents
1 Killed
1 Civilian
1 Wounded
1 Civilian

2 Shootings
11 Incidents
85 Killed
81 Civilians

8 Shootings
8 Incidents

4 Shootings
5 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
1 Incident

1 Shooting


Associated Press, "The Latest: Iraq raises death toll in Baghdad attack to 38," 1/15/18

Baghdad Post, "Judge injured in armed attack by unknown gunmen in Babel," 1/16/18
- "Saraya al-Salam thwarts suicide attack in eastern Samarra," 1/16/18

Al Baghdadiya News, "Launch of a military operation east Diyala to track Daesh cells," 1/17/18

Ebraheem, Mohammed, "Two IS militants killed as paramilitary troops repel attack on border area with Syria," Iraqi News, 1/15/18
- "Two Islamic State suicide bombers killed in Salahuddin military operation," Iraqi News, 1/21/18

Al Ghad Press, “Drug trafficking ring in Baghdad arrested, including the son of Najaf governor,” 1/21/18
- “Parliamentary defense committee calls for the activation of a national card to reduce movement of Daash in Mosul,” 1/17/18
- “Qara Tappa calls for military reinforcements to prevent abductions by Daesh,” 1/21/18

Hath al-Youm, "Ninewa operations begin the process of clearing the Bosifian Islands and bodies of Daash members were found," 1/15/18

Iraq Newspaper, "The Killing Of A Leader In The Badr Corps In Babylon Marwan Ibn Alawi," 1/19/18

Al Maalomah, “Anbar warns of Daash criminals infiltrating across the Syrian border into Iraq,” 1/17/18
- “A deputy in Ninewa confirms the movement of terrorist cells in Mosul,” 1/18/18
- "A suicide bomber was arrested west of Tikrit," 1/17/18

Al Mada, “Diyala behind the recent attacks in Baghdad to avenge the killing of a Daash leader,” 1/17/18
- “Return of first group of displaced Kurds to Tuz,” 1/20/18

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Relics of 23 people, including police members, found south of Mosul," Iraqi News, 1/18/18

Mostafa, Nehal, "Mass grave with relics of security personnel found, north of Mosul," Iraqi News, 1/15/18
- "Three Islamic State members killed as paramilitary troops foil attack, west of Mosul," Iraqi News, 1/17/18

NINA, "2 Policeman Killed In Repelling An Attack To Daesh South Of Mosul," 1/20/18
- "The dead body of a young man found north of Hilla," 1/18/18
- "Gunmen assassinate two people, including a leader in the popular crowd north of Hilla," 1/16/18

Rudaw, "Explosion targets convoy of head of Baghdad Provincial Council, kills 8," 1/13/18

Shafaaq News, “The arrest of an Asaib Ahl Al-Haq official and one of his aides in Tuz Kharmato,” 1/17/18
- "Six people killed and injured from one family of a police officer in Anbar when their house was blown up," 1/18/18
- “The White Flags kidnap four Kurds, including two women near Tuz Kharmato,” 1/20/18

Al Sumaria, "A suicide bomber was killed in Albu Badri," 1/18/18

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