Sunday, February 7, 2016

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Musings On Iraq In The News


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Violence In Iraq, Jan 2016


January 2016 ended as the most violent month in Iraq in five months. That was due to the loss of Ramadi, which led to a frantic number of counter attacks by the Islamic State. The result was the highest number of attacks and casualties since August 2015.

There were 598 incidents reported in the press in January. That was up from December’s 553, and the most since 620 recorded in August. Every province in central Iraq saw an increase in attacks except for Ninewa and Kirkuk. That was IS’s response to the loss of Ramadi. Anbar has been the main focus of the organization for the last year. Taking Ramadi in May was the group’s last major victory in the country, and made up for its defeat in Tikrit. Having the government re-take Ramadi therefore was a big setback. In comparison, some have argued that Baiji was just as bad for the group, but after that area was freed in October incidents actually went down from 585 to 530 in November.

The number of dead and wounded went up with the increase in attacks. There were 1,992 dead and 1,721 wounded in January. That broke down to 30 Peshmerga, 33 Hashd al-Shaabi, 110 Sahwa, 379 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 1,440 civilians killed, and 10 Peshmerga, 44 Hashd, 111 Sahwa, 276 ISF, and 1,280 civilians injured. Those were the highest figures since August’s 2,239 fatalities and 1,757 wounded.

Anbar obviously saw the heaviest fighting of the month. There were 96 incidents there leading to 457 deaths and 534 wounded. Those were across the length of the province from the Fallujah area in the east to the Ramadi area in the center, and the Haditha district in the west. That was up from December’s 76 attacks, 235 killed and 88 wounded. Two mass graves were discovered in Ramadi with 80 civilians killed by the Islamic State, and another 120 were estimated to have died in the battle to retake the city. IS attacks upon the security forces also left 2 Hashd, 107 Sahwa, and 134 ISF dead and 9 Hashd, 106 Sahwa, and 171 ISF wounded. Many of those were the result of the 26 car bombs that broke through defenses and were able to hit targets. Another 72 suicide bombers, 141 car bombs and 1 motorcycle bomb were reportedly destroyed during the month.

Violence was relatively unchanged in Babil. There were 25 incidents in December and 30 in January. There were 33 dead and 107 wounded in January. As usual, all of the attacks were concentrated in the north in places like Yusifiya and Mahmudiya. IS has been carrying out sporadic attacks in the province, but has mostly been using it as a launch pad for its operations in Anbar and Baghdad.

Baghdad has been the other main focus of the insurgents. There were 266 incidents there, up from December’s 240. That was the most attacks in the province since June’s 276. The result was 306 dead and 842 wounded. IS has mostly been hitting the south section of the province with 100 incidents there. It also set off 3 car bombs and 3 suicide bombers in eastern Baghdad, and another 12 attacks in the center of the city. There was only one other car bomb attempt during the month, which was discovered and dismantled in the south. That’s surprising because this new campaign in the capital has really been made up of IEDs, 121 for the month, and sticky bombs, 21, with only a few big headline grabbing car bombings. Not all of the violence was due to IS however. There has been a growing tide of lawlessness in the capital and other major cities in Iraq. For example, there were 23 robberies reported in the press and 13 kidnappings. Another 38 bodies were found in the governorate, which were probably the work of criminals, vigilantes or elements of the Hashd.

Violence In Baghdad, Jan 2016
Center: 19 – 1 Motorcycle Bomb Dismantled, 1 Stabbing, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 Kidnappings, 2 Robberies,
2 Robbery/Shootings, 10 IEDs
East: 54 – 1 Strangling, 1 Grenade, 3 Car Bombs, 3 Suicide Bombers, 4 Kidnappings, 4 Robberies,
5 Sticky Bombs, 14 IEDs, 24 Shootings
Outer East: 6 – 1 Shooting, 2 Sticky Bombs, 3 IEDs
North: 28 – 1 Robbery, 1 Grenade, 2 Robbery/Shootings, 5 Sticky Bombs, 7 Shootings, 12 IEDs
Outer North: 14 – 1 Beheading, 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 Kidnappings, 3 Shootings, 7 IEDs
South: 68 – 1 Kidnapping Americans, 1 Car Bomb Dismantled, 1 Strangling, 1 Robbery/Shooting,
2 Kidnappings, 2 Sticky Bombs, 2 Stabbings, 2 Robberies, 22 Shootings, 34 IEDs
Outer South: 32 – 1 Robbery, 1 Stabbing, 2 Mortars, 7 Shootings, 21 IEDs
West: 37 – 1 Kidnapping, 3 Robbery/Shootings, 5 Robberies, 5 Sticky Bombs, 6 Shootings, 15 IEDs
Outer West: 5 – 1 Mortar, 1 Shooting, 3 IED           s
Unknown: 1 – 1 Kidnapping

In the middle of the month there was a large surge in violence in Diyala topped off by a double bombing by IS in Muqtadiya that led to the Hashd to carry out a series of revenge attacks. Security incidents overall went up from 23 in December to 42 in January. During the second week of the month there were 22 incidents alone including a car bombing in Khalis, another one dismantled in Mandali, and an IED and car bombing of a café in Muqtadiya. After that last attack, the Hashd went on a rampage in the city destroying 7 mosques, 7 houses, and 36 shops. 2 reporters were also killed after they went to Muqtadiya, and their deaths were blamed on the Hashd. Ayatollah Sistani’s spokesman talked about the sectarian violence in the city afterward, and Prime Minister Haidar Abadi promised to take the perpetrators of the mosque attacks to justice, but none of the Hashd were arrested. Instead anonymous gangs were blamed for the post-bombing violence, while the Hashd said IS was behind it all. By the end of the month 101 were dead in the province and 95 wounded.

On the surface it would appear that Kirkuk was relatively stable with 23 incidents in December and 23 in January, but a new violent phenomenon emerged in the latter. What was different between the two months was the new occurrence of bodies being dumped. During the first week, 8 bodies were found, one the second week, 8 the week after, and 5 in the fourth for a total of 22. There was only one other reported death during the month. There was no evidence of who was behind these incidents, but it was something new.

Ninewa was one of the few provinces that saw a decrease in attacks, which was ironic since IS launched a winter offensive against the Kurds. The number of incidents went from 93 in December to 56 in January. The reported dead however went up from 518 to 965. That was due to 288 Yazidis discovered in a mass grave in the Sinjar district, and another 626 people reportedly executed by the Islamic State. There were also 22 attacks upon Peshmerga positions as part of the new IS campaign that killed 30 and wounded 10 Kurdish fighters.

IS also went on the counter attack in Salahaddin where incidents went from 65 in December to 79 in January. There was heavy fighting in the Makhoul Mountains in the northeast and the Samarra and Tikrit districts in the center. The last was notable, because there were very few reported incidents around the capital for several months after it was freed, but it appears that IS is trying to make minor comeback there. IS still carries out probing attacks in Samarra, sometimes quite large with car bombs, while the joint forces have been trying to clear the Makhoul Mountains since Baiji was retaken in October. In total, there were 107 dead and 113 wounded.

The number of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) went up as well. There were a total of 144 used in December and then 203 in January. This didn’t look like the beginning of a new campaign, but rather another sign of IS’s counter attacks after Ramadi. That’s shown by the fact that 167 of the car bombs, 82% of the total, were launched in Anbar. There were another 3 in Diyala, 4 in Baghdad, and 29 in Salahaddin. Overall, 36 were successful and cost the lives of 253 people and wounded another 317.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015-16
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
226
540
525
Jan 8-14
187
776
514
Jan 15-21
197
438
528
Jan 22-28
207
573
898 + 150
Jan 29-31
94
329
567
JAN
911
2,656
3,032 + 150
Feb 1-7
168
572
689
Feb 8-14
183
462
572
Feb 15-21
177
697
383
Feb 22-28
202
614
722
FEB
730
2,345
2,366
Mar 1-7
196
408
595
Mar 8-14
164
419
655
Mar 15-21
178
1,312
505
Mar 22-28
201
310
406
Mar 29-31
81
212 + 4
218 + 150
MAR
820
2,665
2,529
Apr 1-7
153
276
422
Apr 8-14
165
864
525
Apr 15-21
190
880
714
Apr 22-28
187
564
479
Apr 29-30
56
169
182 + 299
APR
751
2,753
2,621
May 1-7
176
651
448
May 8-14
167
450
542
May 15-21
149
996
390
May 22-28
131
362 + 1,499
344
May 29-31
49
87
164 + 646
MAY
672
2,546 + 1,499
1,888 + 646
Jun 1-7
155
534
475
Jun 8-14
146
649 + 405
389
Jun 15-21
153
403
373
Jun 22-28
186
407
474
Jun 29-30
66
126 + 22
189 + 106
JUN
706
2,141 + 405
2,006
Jul 1-7
161
436
718
Jul 8-14
141
385
570
Jul 15-21
109
359
597 + 4,024
Jul 22-28
148
559
590
Jul 29-31
53
193 + 260
203 + 400
JUL
612
2,192
3,078 + 4,024
Aug 1-7
154
650 + 760
298
Aug 8-14
133
756
640
Aug 15-21
136
348
354
Aug 22-28
138
366
296
Aug 29-31
59
112
169
AUG
620
2,239 + 760
1,757
Sep 1-7
141
293
355
Sep 8-14
146
387
394
Sep 15-21
123
323
488
Sep 22-28
128
190
258
Sep 29-30
40
110 + 19
147 + 8
SEP
578
1,303 + 314
1,650 + 3,003
Oct 1-7
120
340
398
Oct 8-14
144
254
389
Oct 15-21
142
208
285
Oct 22-28
129
216
366
Oct 29-31
49
110
116
OCT
585
1,127
1,554
Nov 1-7
125
186
316
Nov 8-14
121
265
354
Nov 15-21
140
358
420
Nov 22-28
107
289
261 + 124 + 1,322
Nov 29-30
37
52 + 24
103 + 1
NOV
530
1,174
1,455 + 124 + 1,322
Dec 1-7
118
158
249
Dec 8-14
128
246
248
Dec 15-21
140
242
326 + 5,920
Dec 22-28
127
292
346
Dec 29-31
40
203 + 14
83
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
1,992
1,721

Security By Province Jan, 2016
Province
Jan
Anbar
96 Incidents
457 Killed: 2 Hashd, 107 Sahwa, 134 ISF, 214 Civilians
534 Wounded: 9 Hashd, 106 Sahwa, 171 ISF, 248 Civilians
58 Shootings
8 IEDs
24 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Car Bombs
2 Rockets
3 Mortars
1 Motorcycle Bomb Destroyed
72 Suicide Bombers Killed
97 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
44 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
30 Incidents
33 Killed: 1 Hashd, 5 ISF, 27 Civilians
107 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 13 ISF, 91 Civilians
8 Shootings
21 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
Baghdad
266 Incidents
306 Killed: 3 Hashd, 3 Sahwa, 14 ISF, 286 Civilians
842 Wounded: 4 Hashd, 5 Sahwa, 28 ISF, 805 Civilians
79 Shootings
121 IEDs
21 Sticky Bombs
3 Suicide Bombers
3 Car Bombs
2 Grenades
3 Mortars
1 Motorcycle Bomb Dismantled
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Basra
3 Incidents
2 Wounded: 2 ISF
2 IEDs
1 Grenade
Dhi Qar
1 Incident
1 Grenade
Diyala
42 Incidents
101 Killed: 5 ISF, 8 Hashd, 88 Civilians
95 Wounded: 7 Hashd, 14 ISF, 74 Civilians
17 Shootings
18 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Car Bomb
4 Mortars
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Irbil
1 Incident
1 Rocket
Kirkuk
23 Incidents
23 Killed: 23 Civilians
3 Wounded: 1 ISF, 2 Civilians
11 Shootings
1 Grenade
Ninewa
56 Incidents
965 Killed: 30 Peshmerga, 187 ISF, 748 Civilians
24 Wounded: 9 Civilians, 15 Peshmerga
25 Shootings
17 IEDs
2 Rockets
4 Mortars
10 Suicide Bombers Killed
Salahaddin
79 Incidents
107 Killed: 19 Hashd, 34 ISF, 54 Civilians
113 Wounded: 21 Hashd, 45 Civilians, 47 ISF
42 Shootings
14 IEDs
7 Suicide Bombers
5 Suicide Car Bombs
4 Rockets
1 Grenade
18 Suicide Bombers Killed
11 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
13 Car Bombs Destroyed
Sulaymaniya
1 Incident
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting

Car Bombs In Iraq, January 2016
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1
North of Ramadi x4, Anbar
35 Kilo, Haditha & North of Ramadi, Anbar – 11 destroyed
60
70
Jan 2
Albu Faraj, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jan 3
Camp Speicher x2,  Salahaddin
Barwana, Garma, Haditha Nazim & Ramadi, Anbar – 46 destroyed
20
17
Jan 4
Outside Haditha, Anbar
Wadi Horan, Anbar - 3 destroyed
Baya, Baghdad – 1 destroyed
11
30
Jan 5
Nikhaib x2 & Ramadi, Anbar
Barwana, Niamiya & Ramadi, Anbar – 13 destroyed
8

Jan 6
Ramadi, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Jan 7



Totals
10 – 77 destroyed
99
117
Jan 8
Barwana, Anbar – 5 destroyed


Jan 9



Jan 10



Jan 11
Nahrawan & New Baghdad x2, Baghdad
Muqtadiya, Diyala
69
118
Jan 12
Khalis, Diyala
Jazeera, Salahaddin – 8 destroyed
3
10
Jan 13
East of Ramadi & Jubba, Anbar – 9 destroyed
Mandali, Diyala – 1 destroyed


Jan 14
East & Tal Kasiba x2, Salahaddin
Ajeel, Makhoul Mountains, Tal Kasiba, Salahaddin – 5 destroyed
7
6
Totals
8 – 28 Destroyed
79
134
Jan 15
Tal Kasiba, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed


Jan 16
Thar Thar, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Jan 17



Jan 18
Leine & Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 3 destroyed


Jan 19



Jan 20
Leine & Samarra Island, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed


Jan 21



Totals
0 – 14 Destroyed
-
-
Jan 22
Sjar, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jan 23
70 Kilo x3 & Tal Meshahda, Anbar
48
11
Jan 24
Husaiba, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jan 25



Jan 26
Sufiya, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jan 27
Baghdadi x12, Anbar
Albu Hayes, Saqlawiya, Sarsar, Thar Thar, Anbar – 27 Destroyed
10
9
Jan 28
Nadheim x2, Anbar
Nadheim, Anbar – 17 Destroyed
17
46
Totals
18 – 47 Destroyed
75
66
Jan 29



Jan 30



Jan 31
Abu Shajal, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Totals
0 – 1 Destroyed
-
-
TOTALS
36 – 167 Destroyed
253
317