Monday, June 7, 2021

Islamic State’s Offensive Appears Over While Pro-Iran Groups Maintain Campaign In May 2021


Security in Iraq went through different trends in May 2021. First, the Islamic State might have ended its annual Ramadan campaign after the second week of the month. If that proves true it will be the shortest ever by the group and another sign that it is barely holding on in the country. On the other hand, Hashd factions aligned with Iran continued their campaign against the U.S. presence.

 

There were a total of 113 security incidents recorded in May versus 107 in April. 24 of those were by groups aligned with Tehran and the remaining 89 by the Islamic State.

 

That led to 59 deaths and 100 wounded. 9 Peshermga, 11 civilians, 14 Hashd al-Shaabi, and 25 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) lost their lives and 1 foreign contractor, 11 Peshmerga, 11 Hashd, 24 civilians and 52 ISF were injured. Kirkuk had the most casualties with 53 followed by 31 in Salahaddin and 26 in Diyala. That was a change because Diyala is usually the most violent province in Iraq. The difference this month was the Ramadan offensive which saw IS cells in Kirkuk and Salahaddin come alive after they’d been largely dormant for months.

 

The 24 attacks by pro-Iran groups was down from 27 in April but was still the second highest monthly total of the year. As usual there was a mix of bombings of convoys providing logistics for the United States with 17 occurring across Anbar (3), Babil (2), Basra (1), Dhi Qar (3), Diwaniya (4), Muthanna (3), and Salahaddin (1), and rocket attacks. Ain Al-Asad Base in Anbar (2), Baghdad International Airport, and Balad Air Base in Salahaddin (1) were all hit and rocket launchers were also found and dismantled in Baghdad. Finally, there was a drone attack upon Ain al-Assad. Southern Iraq is where most of the IED incidents occur but now they have expanded out to Anbar and Salahaddin. Hashd units are based around the country so there is logistical support for these attacks everywhere. The stated goal of these factions is to force the United States out of the country. In the meantime they hope to impede their ability to move within the country, limit their support for the Iraqi forces and they have succeeded in grounding most of the F-16s of the Iraqi Air Force with the rocket attacks which led the American contractors that service those planes to leave. Larger picture Iran is trying to pressure Washington over sanctions and its nuclear program.

 

Incidents by the Islamic State have been climbing since the start of the year. There were 47 in February, 59 in March, 80 in April when the Ramadan campaign begin and 89 in May. In the middle of May however IS attacks tapered off from 26 the second week to 13 during the third and 11 during the last week. That points to the offensive coming to an end. It only lasted four weeks which would be one of the shortest since the U.S. invasion.

 

There is much speculation about the future of IS. The group has weapons caches across the country which are constantly found by the Iraqi forces. The U.S. said it has millions in its treasury. That begs the question if it has these resources why isn’t it using them in Iraq? Before April the insurgents were only carrying out attacks in the single digits to teens each week. When Ramadan came incidents only went up to the 20s. Perhaps IS is focusing upon rebuilding its cadres and networks which are obviously devasted. During its previous low points for example it was still able to deliver a constant flow of deadly car and suicide bombings. This year it only launched two vehicle bombs, one in April and one in May, and two suicide bombers, both in January. On the other hand, maybe the group has taken such losses it’s not capable of doing more even if it wanted to. Only time can tell which direction it’s going in.




 

Anbar, Babil, Baghdad, and Ninewa are secondary fronts for IS. Attacks in Anbar went from 4 in April to 6 in May. It was the site of the sole car bomb during the month. Incidents remained the same in Babil with 3 in April and 3 in May. Almost all the attacks there happen in the Jurf al-Sakhr district in the northeast which is a large Kataib Hezbollah base. The militants have given up trying to infiltrate into Baghdad city but its cell in the Tarmiya district in the north carries out about one incident per week. 6 of the 7 attacks in May were in that area. 7 of the 8 incidents in Ninewa were IEDs. Anbar and Ninewa are logistics hubs for IS to move men and material back and forth from Iraq and Syria.


 


Kirkuk and Salahaddin have major bases for the insurgents but violence varies wildly there. The pattern of attacks followed the same pattern in both provinces. They dramatically dropped at the end of last year and then starting climbing in 2021. In Kirkuk incidents went from 3 in January to 8 in February, 10 in March, 14 in April and 20 in May. Likewise in Salahaddin there were 3 attacks in February to 11 in March to 16 in April and 13 in May. From April to May during the Ramadan offensive IS also went after the security forces with 2 Hashd, 7 ISF and 8 Peshmerga being killed and 2 Hashd, 10 Peshmerga and 21 ISF being injured in Kirkuk and 1 ISF and 7 Hashd dying in Salahaddin along with 5 Hashd and 14 ISF wounded versus just 7 civilian casualties overall.


 

Diyala however is the center of the Islamic State in Iraq. It had the most incidents with 31 including 2 towns being assaulted, 3 gun battles, and 9 checkpoints attacked. Almost all of these were in the Khanaqin district in the northeast and Muqdadiya in the center. There the militants have driven out people and taken over their villages while exploiting the gap between the ISF and Peshmerga.

 

Security Incidents In Iraq By Province

Province

May 1-7

May 8-14

May 15-21

May 22-28

May 29-31

Total

Anbar

3/2 Pro-Iran

5/3 Pro-Iran

-

4/2 Pro-Iran

1

13/7 Pro-Iran

Babil

2/1 Pro-Iran

1

-

2/1 Pro-Iran

-

5/2 Pro-Iran

Baghdad

3/1 Pro-Iran

2

-

3/1 Pro-Iran

1

9/2 Pro-Iran

Basra

1 Pro-Iran

-

-

-

-

1 Pro-Iran

Dhi Qar

-

1 Pro-Iran

1 Pro-Iran

1 Pro-Iran

-

3 Pro-Iran

Diwaniya

-

1 Pro-Iran

1 Pro-Iran

2 Pro-Iran

-

4 Pro-Iran

Diyala

9

9

6

1

6

31

Irbil

-

1

-

-

-

1

Kirkuk

10

3

3

2

1

20

Muthanna

1 Pro-Iran

-

-

2 Pro-Iran

-

3 Pro-Iran

Ninewa

4

1

2

1

-

9

Salahaddin

3/2 Pro-Iran

6

2

2

2

15/2 Pro-Iran

TOTAL

36/8 Pro-Iran

30/5 Pro-Iran

15/2 Pro-Iran

20/9 Pro-Iran

11

113/24 Pro-Iran

 

Casualties In Iraq By Province

Province

May 1-7

May 8-14

May 15-21

May 22-28

May 29-31

Total

Anbar

5 (2K, 3W)

2 (2K)

-

12 (12W)

-

19 (4K, 15W)

Babil

2 (1K, 1W)

-

-

-

-

2 (1K, 1W)

Baghdad

12 (12K)

-

-

2 (2K)

2 (2K)

16 (16K)

Diyala

7 (2K, 5W)

9 (1K, 8W)

1 (1K)

2 (2W)

7 (4K, 3W)

26 (8K, 18W)

Irbil

-

2 (1K, 1W)

-

-

-

2 (1K, 1W)

Kirkuk

35 (15K, 20W)

8 (2K, 6W)

1 (1K)

7 (1K, 6W)

2 (2W)

53 (19K, 34W)

Ninewa

4 (1K, 3W)

1 (1W)

3 (3W)

2 (2W)

-

10 (1K, 9W)

Salahaddin

5 (5W)

17 (8K, 9W)

1 (1K)

2 (2W)

6 (6W)

31 (9K, 22W)

TOTAL

70 (33K, 37W)

39 (14K, 25W)

6 (3K, 3W)

27 (3K, 24W)

17 (6K, 11W)

159 (59K, 100W)

 

Attacks by Pro-Iran Groups 2021

 

Date - Incident - Location

Jan, 2021

1/1/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Muthanna

1/4/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Salahaddin

1/8/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad & Muthanna

1/9/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil, IED dismantled – Dhi Qar

1/18/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

1/20/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

1/21/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

1/22/21 - Rockets – Baghdad International Airport/Jihad, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

1/26/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

1/31/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

 

January Totals – 13

Feb

2/4/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

2/7/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

2/8/21- IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

2/10/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

2/11/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

2/15/21 - Rockets – Irbil Airport – 2 Killed, 8 Wounded, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

2/17/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

2/18/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Basra & Diwaniya

2/19/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Basra

2/20/21 - Rockets – Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base – 2 Wounded

2/22/21 - Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

2/25/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

2/26/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

2/27/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

 

February Totals – 16 – 2 killed, 10 wounded

Mar

3/2/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

3/3/21 - Rockets – Anbar’s Al-Asad Air Base, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad, Diwaniya & Muthanna

3/11/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar

3/13/21 – Rockets - Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

3/15/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

3/18/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya & Muthanna

3/20/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Salahaddin

3/21/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

3/25/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil & Baghdad

3/29/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil & Dhi Qar

3/30/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar & Salahaddin

3/31/21 - IED dismantled – Diwaniya

 

March Totals – 20

Apr

4/1/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

4/4/21 – Rockets -  Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

4/5/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil, Baghdad & Diwaniya

4/7/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar, Babil x2 & Salahaddin

4/8/21 – Rockets found – Anbar, Ain Al-Asad Base, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

4/13/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Muthanna

4/14/21 – Drone/Rockets – Irbil Airport, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil, Dhi Qar

4/15/21 – Rockets – Dohuk Turkish Army Base – 1 Turk killed, 1 wounded

4/16/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar

4/17/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

4/18/21 – Rockets – Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base – 5 wounded

4/22/21 – Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Victory

4/25/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar

4/27/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar, Dhi Qar, Diwaniya

4/28/21 – Gunfire checkpoint – Anbar

4/29/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar

 

April Totals – 27 – 1 Killed (Turk), 6 Wounded

May

5/2/21 – Rockets – Baghdad’s International Airport, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil, Muthanna

5/3/21 – Rockets – Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base – 1 wounded

5/4/21 – Rockets – Anbar’s Ain Al-Asad Base, IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Basra

5/6/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar, Salahaddin

5/8/21 – Rockets – Anbar’s Ain Al-Asad Base

5/11/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

5/13/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar

5/14/21 - IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

5/18/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar, Diwaniya

5/23/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Anbar – 1 wounded, Babil, Dhi Qar, Diwaniya, Muthanna

5/24/21 – Rockets – Anbar’ Ain Al-Asad Base

5/27/21 – IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Muthanna, Diwaniya

5/28/21 – Rockets dismantled - Baghdad

 

May Totals – 24 – 2 Wounded

 

 

Islamic State Activity in Iraq 2018-20

Diyala

Shootings

(Totals)

IEDs/

Sticky Bombs

(Totals)

Gun Battles

Attacks on Checkpoints

Attacks on Mukhtars/

Sheikhs

Kidnappings

Attacks on Towns

Suicide Bombers

Car Bombs

2018

Totals

219

198

47

43

5

13

25

3

1

2019

Totals

185

112

33

63

2

6

29

2

-

2020

Totals

215

103

28

41

3

13

41

-

-

Jan

2021

11

4

1

3

-

1

1

-

-

Feb

16

2

3

3

-

2

2

-

-

Mar

12

8

1

1

-

1

-

-

-

Apr

12

13

3

4

-

-

2

-

-

May

20

6

3

9

-

2

2

-

-

 

Kirkuk

Shootings

(Totals)

IEDs/

Sticky Bombs

(Totals)

Gun Battles

Attacks on Checkpoints

Attacks on Mukhtars/

Sheikhs

Kidnappings

Attacks on Towns

Suicide Bombers

Car Bombs

2018

Totals

172

182

39

18

10

14

29

9

6

2019

Totals

77

116

24

19

6

8

18

-

1

2020

Totals

87

44

20

24

1

14

21

4

-

Jan

2021

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Feb

5

2

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

Mar

4

5

2

2

-

-

-

-

-

Apr

7

4

3

2

1

3

1

-

-

May

14

6

8

1

-

-

2

-

-

 

Salahaddin

Shootings

(Totals)

IEDs/

Sticky Bombs

(Totals)

Gun Battles

Attacks on Checkpoints

Attacks on Mukhtars/

Sheikhs

Kidnappings

Attacks on Towns

Suicide Bombers

Car Bombs

2018

Totals

110

102

41

18

1

16

4

9

5

2019

Totals

60

54

32

5

2

6

8

2

6

2020

Totals

82

41

30

13

3

5

4

-

-

Jan 2021

4

3

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

Feb

1

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

Mar

8

4

2

2

-

-

-

-

-

Apr

10

6

6

1

1

1

-

-

-

May

9

5

4

3

-

-

-

-

-

           

Security In Iraq 2019-20

Week

Security

Incidents

(Total/By IS)

Dead

(Total/By IS)

Wounded

(Total/By IS)

Jan 1-7

25/7

16

84

Jan 8-14

24/3

12

34

Jan 15-21

23/2

11

12

Jan 22-28

11/1

10

8

Jan 29-31

8/1

4

1

JAN 2020

91/12

53

139

Feb 1-7

22

13

11

Feb 8-14

18/1

5

38

Feb 15-21

16/2

42

18

Feb 22-28

25

15

34

Feb 29

4

5

2

FEB

85/3

80

103

Mar 1-7

17/3

11

17

Mar 8-14

15/2

13

33

Mar 15-21

14/2

5

19

Mar 22-28

14/1

13

11

Mar 29-31

9

5

10

MAR

69/8

47

90

Ap 1-7

27/1

27

37

Apr 8-14

24

25

51

Apr 15-21

33/1

19

34

Apr 22-28

22

8

40

Apr 29-30

5

2

4

APR

111/2

81

165

May 1-7

44/1

47

36

May 8-14

49

21

47

May 15-21

66/1

45

64

May 22-28

30

9

21

May 29-31

7

3

12

MAY

196/2

125

180

Jun 1-7

17

13

19

Jun 8-14

16/4

10

15

Jun 15-21

16/3

11

19

Jun 22-28

10/1

8

13

Jun 29-30

1

4

2

JUN

60/8

46

68

Jul 1-7

12/2

3

9

Jul 8-14

16/2

15

15

Jul 15-21

19/1

17

28

Jul 22-28

13/5

9

8

Jul 29-31

13/2

3

7

JUL

73/12

47

67

Aug 1-7

10/4

7

10

Aug 8-14

19/8

7

22

Aug 15-21

14/5

13

20

Aug 22-28

32/3

23

41

Aug 29-31

13/3

4

12

AUG

88/24

54

105

Sep 1-7

19/4

13

26

Sep 8-14

27/6

8

29

Sep 15-21

32/10

12

14

Sep 22-28

28/7

19

11

Sep 29-30

6/3

1

6

SEP

113/31

53

86

Oct 1-7

19/5

9

12

Oct 8-14

14/1

8

10

Oct 15-21

30/1

25

26

Oct 22-28

25/1

16

24

Oct 29-31

5

4

5

OCT

93/8

62

77

Nov 1-7

11

7

10

Nov 8-14

25

23

39

Nov 15-21

19/1

18

25

Nov 22-28

24

11

26

Nov 29-30

8

1

10

NOV

87/1

60

110

Dec 1-7

19

4

30

Dec 8-14

21/2

13

26

Dec 15-21

15/2

6

8

Dec 22-28

17/6

3

22

Dec 29-31

11/2

3

4

DEC

83/12

29

90

Jan 1-7

21/2

13

19

Jan 8-14

17/3

12

6

Jan 15-21

20/3

52

133

Jan 22-28

10/3

13

12

Jan 29-31

9/1

2

6

JAN

77/13

92

176

Feb 1-7

19/2

11

23

Feb 8-14

11/3

4

8

Feb 15-21

20/7

11

23

Feb 22-28

13/4

13

23

FEB

63/16

39

77

Mar 1-7

19/5

5

8

Mar 8-14

12/2

13

15

Mar 15-21

24/6

8

7

Mar 22-28

14/2

8

13

Mar 29-31

9/5

2

1

MAR

79/20

39

44

Apr 1-7

16/10

3

5

Apr 8-14

15/6

6

18

Apr 15-21

32/4

19

44

Apr 22-28

31/6

15

42

Apr 29-30

12/1

11

23

APR

107/27

54

132

May 1-7

36/8

33

37

May 8-14

30/5

14

25

May 15-21

15/2

3

3

May 22-28

20/9

3

24

May 29-31

11

6

11

MAY

113/24

59

100

 

Violence By Province May 2021

Province

Violence

Anbar

13/7 Pro-Iran Incidents

4 Killed

2 Civilians

2 ISF

15 Wounded

5 ISF

10 Civilians

 

1 Shooting

6 IEDs

1 Car Bomb

1 Drone Attack

2 Rockets

1 Motorcycle Bomb Dismantled

Babil

5/2 Pro-Iran Incidents

1 Killed

1 ISF

1 Wounded

1 ISF

 

1 Shooting

3 IEDs

1 Motorcycle Bomb Dismantled

Baghdad

9/2 Pro-Iran Incidents

16 Killed

2 Civilians

3 Hashd

11 SIF

 

5 Shootings

2 IEDs

1 Grenade

2 Rockets

1 Burned Crops

Basra

1 Pro-Iran Incidents

 

1 IED

Dhi Qar

3 Pro-Iran Incidents

 

3 IEDs

Diwaniya

4 Pro-Iran Incidents

 

4 IEDs

Diyala

31 Incidents

8 Killed

2 Hashd

2 ISF

4 Civilians

18 Wounded

4 Hashd

6 Civilians

8 ISF

 

20 Shootings

6 IEDs

1 Mortar

1 Rockets

1 Motorcycle Bomb Dismantled

1 Bicycle Bomb Dismantled

Irbil

1 Incident

1 Killed

1 Peshmerga

1 Wounded

1 Peshmerga

 

1 Shooting

Kirkuk

20 Incidents

19 Killed

2 Civilians

2 Hashd

7 ISF

8 Peshmerga

34 Wounded

1 Civilian

2 Hashd

10 Peshmerga

21 ISF

 

14 Shootings

6 IEDs

1 Mortar

1 Rocket

1 Crop Burned

Muthanna

3 Pro-Iran Incidents

 

3 IEDs

Ninewa

8 Incidents

1 Killed

1 ISF

9 Wounded

4 ISF

5 Civilians

 

1 Shooting

7 IEDs

Salahaddin

15/2 Pro-Iran Incidents

9 Killed

1 Civilian

1 ISF

7 Hashd

22 Wounded

1 Foreign Contractor

2 Civilians

5 Hashd

14 ISF

 

9 Shootings

5 IEDs

1 Rockets

 

SOURCES

 

Bas News, "Iraq: Two Bomb Blasts Hit US-led Coalition Convoys," 5/23/21

 

Al Bawaba, "Roadside Bomb Target Four US Convoys in Iraq," 5/23/21

 

Iraq Newspaper, "Iran targets an American convoy at the Jerishan port in Basra, for the occupation convoy at the Kuwait border," 5/4/21

- "Iran targets an American convoy in Babil and Qadisiya," 5/11/21

 

Lead Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense, “Operation Inherent Resolve, Lead Inspector General Report To The United States Congress, January 1, 2021-March 31, 2021,” 5/4/21

 

Al Monitor, "Dozens killed in Baghdad suicide bombings," 1/21/21

 

NINA, "A convoy of logistical support for the international coalition forces targeted in Anbar," 5/13/21

- "Reports About Targeting A Convoy Of Logistical Support For The Int'l Coalition Forces In Anbar," 5/10/21

- "Two convoys of logistical support for the US forces targeted in Salah al-Din and Anbar," 5/6/21

 

NRT, "New Drone Attack Targets US Forces In Iraq," 5/8/21

- "Rockets Target Iraqi Base Hosting US Contractors," 5/4/21

 

Reuters, "Iraq's Ain al-Asad base, where US forces work, attacked with rocket: US Coalition," 5/24/21

 

Shafaaq News, "A bombing targets a logistical convoy of the International Coalition in southern Iraq," 5/27/21

- "An explosion targets a convoy carrying equipment for the International Coalition in southern Iraq," 5/14/21

- "A second bombing targets an international coalition convoy in southern Iraq," 5/18/21

- "Thwarting an attack on the international coalition in Diwaniya … and destroying ISIS targets in Diyala," 5/27/21

- "Two bombings target logistical support convoys for the international coalition in Iraq," 5/2/21

 

Al Sumaria, "Pictured: A missile launcher dismantled in Baghdad," 5/28/21

- "Targeting the vicinity of Baghdad airport with Katyusha rockets," 5/2/21

- "Wounded in a car bomb explosion in Anbar," 5/25/21

 

Xinhua, "2 rockets hit air base housing U.S.-led forces in western Iraq," 5/4/21

- "Update: 5 killed, 21 injured in car bomb explosion in Iraq's Baghdad," 4/15/21

 

No comments:

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 19

  1914 UK sent 3 gunboats to Shatt al-Arab to protect Persian oil fields ( Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, T...