Thursday, June 23, 2016

Islamic State Picks Up Its Suicide Bombers In Iraq And Syria


The Islamic State is in the midst of its annual spring offensive. This has been marked by an increase in suicide bombings in both Iraq and Syria. Monthly numbers the group has released on social media show this campaign. In November 2015 it launched 54 suicide bombers, followed by 61 in December, spiking at 85 in January 2016, before going back down to 69 in February. Then the spring campaign started and there were 112 suicide bombers in March, 83 in April and 81 in May. As a recent RAND study found the Islamic State is a bureaucratic organization that loves keeping records of all of its different operations and actions. While these figures may not cover all of the suicide bombings in Iraq and Syria they probably constitute the majority of them.

Islamic State vs Iraqi Govt Suicide Bombing Claims

Islamic State
Iraqi Govt
Total
(Successful vs Destroyed)
May
81
310 (49 vs 261)
April
83
233 (25 vs 208)
March
112
235 (41 vs 194)
February
69
141 (13 vs 128)
January
85
248 (40 vs 208)
December
61
174 (27 vs 147)
November
54
217 (26 vs 191)

IS’s new campaign was reflected in figures given by the Iraqi forces. The number of successful suicide bombings in Iraq roughly followed IS’s statistics. Bombings went from 26 in November to 27 in December, then up to 40 in January, and then down to 13 in February following IS’s totals of 54, 61, 85, and 69. When spring started bombings went up to 41 in March, 25 in April and 49 in May just as IS’s figures had 112, 83 and 81 for those months.

At the same time, Iraq was hugely exaggerating the number of suicide bombers it killed each month. In November it claimed 191, followed by 147 in December, 208 in January, 128 in February, 194 in March, 208 in April, and 261 in May. In total that would mean in November 2014 when IS claimed 54 suicide bombers in both Iraq and Syria, the Iraqis claimed that they faced 217 such attacks. There were many times when the Iraqi press would initially say one suicide car bomb was destroyed in the morning, and then by the night that was up to 5 to 10 blown up. The number of killed suicide bombers also did not follow the ebb and flow of IS’s figures. It seemed like the Iraqi numbers were driven more by when its forces went on the offensive against IS. That was when the insurgents would counter attack and the Iraqi forces would claim most of these included suicide bombers. In March for example, the Iraqi forces were trying to clear western Anbar and started an operation in the Makhmour district of Ninewa it claimed a total of 235 suicide bombings, up from 141 the month before. In May they cleared out western Anbar from Ramadi to Jordan and then started the attack upon Fallujah and claimed 310 suicide bombs as a result. In comparison, IS said it launched 81 suicide bombers total in both Syria and Iraq that month.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Security In Iraq, June 8-14, 2016


The Islamic State continued with its spring offensive in June, while the government was forcing them from Fallujah.

From June 8-14, 2016 there were 132 incidents reported in the press. There were 58 in Baghdad, which was actually the lowest weekly total since the third week of March. The Islamic State has been focusing upon hitting the capital as it is reverting back to an insurgency and regularly had 60-70 attacks there per week. Those figures have now been going down. There were also 24 incidents in Anbar, 15 in Ninewa, 11 in Diyala, 9 in Salahaddin, 9 in Kirkuk, 4 in Babil, 1 in Dhi Qar and 1 in Sulaymaniya.

Those incidents led to 234 killed and 461 wounded. The dead consisted of 36 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 38 Hashd, and 160 civilians. The wounded were made up of 27 Hashd, 33 ISF, and 401 civilians

Baghdad remained the deadliest province with 105 fatalities. There were 44 in Anbar, 35 in Ninewa, 29 in Salahaddin, 12 in Diyala, 8 in Kirkuk, and 1 in Babil as well followed by 321 wounded in Baghdad, 108 in Anbar, 13 in Diyala, 9 in Salahaddin, 6 in Kirkuk, 2 in Babil, and 2 in Sulaymaniya.

The Iraqi forces continued their thrust into Fallujah with the Golden Division leading the way in the south. Both Shuhada neighborhoods were declared cleared, although there was still some fighting going on in the first. That area had switched hands several times, but by the end of the week the government forces had gained the upper hand. Another 22 neighborhoods and surrounding towns were also freed along with Fallujah Dam.

The government forces started two new operations to sweep through the Haditha and Hit districts in western Anbar during the week. The military also went back into Albu Risha outside of Ramadi after insurgents had re-infiltrated into the area.

The fighting in the Fallujah area led to 8 ISF and 26 Hashd being killed, and another 14 ISF and 16 Hashd wounded. The real numbers are likely higher since the government suppresses most of its losses. Government shelling killed another 5 civilians and wounded 20, and again there were probably more that were not reported. Finally, IS gunfire and IEDs killed 4 civilians and injured 58 that were attempting to escape their control.

Attacks in Baghdad dipped below 60-70 attacks per week in Baghdad for the first time in three months. IS was still attempting mass casualty bombings there as part of its spring campaign. One suicide bomber and a suicide car bomb went off in the province leaving 31 dead and 96 injured. Another suicide bomber was killed before reaching his target. As usual the south, 22 incidents, and north, 17 incidents, were hit the most.

Violence In Baghdad, Jun 8-14, 2016
Center: 1 – 1 IED
East: 9 – 1 Suicide Car Bomb, 1 Shooting, 1 Robbery, 1 Sticky Bomb, 5 IEDs
Outer East: 3 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs
North: 8 – 1 Suicide Bomber Killed, 1 Sticky Bomb, 1 Shooting, 2 Kidnappings/Freed, 3 IEDs
Outer North: 9 – 1 Suicide Bomber, 1 Kidnapping/Freed, 2 Shootings, 2 Sticky Bombs, 3 IEDs
South: 12 – 1 Shooting, 11 IEDs
Outer South: 10 – 1 Stabbing, 9 IEDs
West: 2 – 1 Shooting, 1 IED
Outer West: 4 – 1 Shooting, 3 IEDs

The Iraqi army restarted its campaign in the Makhmour district after it stalled and fizzled out several weeks ago. Five towns were freed including Nasir, which was supposed to have been taken in the original operation on the first day. The 15th Division, which was responsible for the attack received armored reinforcements from the 9th Division, which allowed it to finally push through IS’s lines. The troops are now expected to move onto Qayara in southern Ninewa on the way to eventually taking on Mosul.

In Mosul and Qayara the Islamic State reportedly executed 34 people on charges such as adultery, spying, and trying to flee.

In Salahaddin IS continued to carry out hit and run attacks upon the Iraqi forces. Those took place in the usual areas such as the Makhoul Mountains in the northeast along with Baiji, which has been re-infiltrated by the militants. An Iraqi air force strike was also blamed for killing 2 civilians and wounding 9 in Shirqat. The Iraqi forces were building up their units for an eventual thrust into that district, which is in the north and the last part of the province under IS control.

A civil society group, the Kurdistan Movement for a Free Society had its offices bombed in Halabja injuring one person.

There were 24 reported vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) launched by the Islamic State during the week. Only one was successful in Baghdad. The government regularly exaggerates the numbers of car bombs it faces, especially when IS counter attacks, so the true figures are impossible to determine.

Violence In Iraq 2015-16
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
JAN
911
2,656
3,032 + 150
FEB
730
2,345
2,366
MAR
820
2,665
2,529
APR
751
2,753
2,621
MAY
674
2,565 + 1,499
1,952 + 646
JUN
708
2,153 + 405
2,174
JUL
688
2,716
3,198 + 4,024
AUG
684
2,440 + 760
1,777
SEP
649
1,731
1,668 + 3,003
OCT
589
1,144
1,555
NOV
530
1,174
1,455 + 124 + 1,322
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
2,052
1,721
Feb 1-7
146
575
313
Feb 8-14
119
146
323
Feb 15-21
130
225
239
Feb 22-29
153
371
690
FEB
549
1,281
1,566
Mar 1-7
183
321
478
Mar 8-14
168
408
415
Mar 15-21
130
349
409
Mar 22-28
135
213
420
Mar 29-31
49
172
121
MAR
665
1,463
1,843
Apr 1-7
144
239
444
Apr 8-14
141
271
391
Apr 15-21
124
436
242
Apr 22-28
160
413
524
Apr 29-30
30
61
121
APR
599
1,420
1,722
May 1-7
160
325
420
May 8-14
141
311
674
May 15-21
121
349
604
May 22-28
142
200
397
May 29-31
81
115
313
MAY
645
1,300
2,409
Jun 1-7
161
389
487
Jun 8-14
132
234
461

Security By Province Jun 8-14, 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
24 Incidents
44 Killed: 8 ISF, 10 Civilians, 26 Hashd
108 Wounded: 14 ISF, 16 Hashd, 78 Wounded
12 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Motorcycle Bomb Destroyed
23 Suicide Bombers Killed
4 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
13 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
4 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
2 Wounded: 1 ISF, 1 Civilian
2 Shootings
Baghdad
58 Incidents
105 Killed: 1 Hashd, 14 ISF, 90 Civilians
321 Wounded: 5 Hashd, 16 ISF, 300 Civilians
7 Shootings
37 IEDs
6 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
Dhi Qar
1 Incident
1 IED
Diyala
11 Incidents
12 Killed: 1 ISF, 7 Hashd, 7 Civilians
13 Wounded: 2 ISF, 5 Civilians, 6 Hashd
4 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Mortar
Kirkuk
9 Incidents
8 Killed: 1 ISF, 1 Hashd, 6 Civilians
6 Wounded: 6 Civilians
3 Shootings
2 IEDs
2 Mortars
Ninewa
15 Incidents
35 Killed: 1 ISF, 34 Civilians
6 Shootings
27 IEDs
7 Suicide Bombers Killed
3 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
9 Incidents
29 Killed: 6 Hashd, 11 ISF, 12 Civilians
9 Wounded: 6 Civilians
9 Shootings
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
Sulaymaniya
1 Incident
2 Wounded: 2 Civilians
1 Shooting

Car Bombs In Iraq June, 2016
Date
Car Bombs
Dead
Wounded
Jun 1
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jun 2



Jun 3
Baghdadi & Saqlawiya, Anbar – 3 destroyed


Jun 4
Kirkuk, Kirkuk – 1 destroyed


Jun 5
Albu Bali & Fallujah, Anbar – 8 destroyed


Jun 6
Fallujah & Yatama, Anbar – 6 destroyed


Jun 7
Karbala, Karbala
Fallujah & Jeraishi, Anbar – 7 destroyed
10
28
Totals
1 – 26 Destroyed
10
28
Jun 8
Nasir, Ninewa – 3 destroyed
Makhoul Mountains, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Jun 9
New Baghdad, Baghdad
19
64
Jun 10
Fallujah, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Jun 11
Fahalat & Subhait, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Jun 12
Jeraishi, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Nasir, Ninewa – 2 destroyed


Jun 13
Jeraishi, Anbar – 2 destroyed


Jun 14
Fallujah, Anbar – 11 destroyed


Totals
1 – 23 Destroyed
19
64

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "Federal Police forces liberate Fallujah Dam," Iraqi News, 6/14/16
- "Joint security forces clear ISIS from al-Halabesa area," Iraqi News, 6/13/16
- "Joint forces liberate area towards south Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/11/6
- "Joint security forces liberate Sen al-Zaban area in western Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/11/16
- "Joint forces storm into central Fallujah, gun down six suicide bombers," Iraqi News, 6/13/16
- "Military reinforcements arrive in Tikrit to participate in battles," Iraqi News, 6/12/16
- "Security forces liberate 2 areas in western Fallujah, 16 ISIS members killed," Iraqi News, 6/14/16

AFP, "IS suicide attack kills five in Iraq's Ramadi: officers," 6/13/16

Ahmed, Hiwa, "Iraqi Troops Launch Extensive Assault against IS Near Makhmour," Bas News, 6/12/16
- "Kurdish Soldiers of Iraqi Army Reclaim More Territory in South of Mosul," Bas News, 6/14/16

AIN, "Anbar operations: the killing of 11 Daash in military operation to free Albu Risha southeast of Fallujah," 6/14/16
- "Army blows up two car bombs in the center of Makhmour," 6/12/16
- "Liberated the village of Maameer from Daash southeast of Fallujah," 6/13/16
- "Urgent Nineveh operations commander: cleared the village of Jubair south of Mosul," 6/12/16

Berlinger, Joshua, Elwazer, Schams and Hume, Tim, "Iraq troops free first neighborhood in ISIS-held Falluja, military says," CNN, 6/8/16

Buratha News, "Air strike destroys car driven by suicide bomber south of Fallujah," 6/10/16
- "Foiled Daash attack north of Baiji," 6/8/16

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - June 16, 2016," 6/16/16

Al Jazeera, "Twin bombings kill at least 28 in iraq's Baghdad," 6/9/16

Al Maalomah, "Anbar provincial council declares freeing first Shuhada neighborhood, south Fallujah," 6/12/16
- "Freed Albu Flagellula area south of Fallujah," 6/9/16
- "Popular Crowd advanced in southwest Fallujah and thwarted attack," 5/24/16
- "Security forces free Humaydan village south of Mosul and raise the Iraqi flag over the buildings," 6/14/16
- "Security forces stormed Shuhada neighborhood in southern Fallujah," 5/30/16
- "Started process of freeing Qayara eastern region," 6/8/16

Al Mada, “Freed the Albu Alwan bridge area west of Fallujah from the control of Daash," 6/11/16
- "Killing 20 Daash militants including suicide bombers in battles clearing Haditha surroundings," 6/10/16

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "Iraqi forces start 2nd phase of Fallujah liberation operations," Iraqi News, 5/28/16

Al Masalah, "Storm the first Shuhada neighborhood in Fallujah," 6/9/16
- "Thwarted an attack by Daash north of Ramadi," 6/12/16

New Sabah, "Joint forces liberated Subaihat and Fahalat southwest Fallujah," 6/11/16
- "Military units moving to break into the center of Fallujah and liberate Shuhada neighborhood," 6/2/16

NINA, "Daash Blows Up Eight Houses Belonging to Popular Mobilization Forces Elements South of Mosul," 6/8/16
- "Urgent .. The military units liberated several villages and continues to advance southeast of Fallujah," 6/14/16

Rebin Fatah, Rawaz Tahir, Patrick Osgood, "Iraqi Army regains momentum towards Mosul," Iraq Oil Report, 6/14/16

Reuters, "Baghdad bombings kill 25 as Fallujah siege continues," 6/9/16

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Suicide bombings in and around Iraqi capital kill 31 people," Associated Press, 6/9/16

Sarhan, Amre, "Federal police announces liberating five villages north of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/9/16
- "Security forces kill 30 ISIS members during operations south of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/14/16
- "Security forces liberate Albu Souit south of Fallujah," Iraqi News, 6/9/16

Sotaliraq, "Security forces destroy Daash defenses in two areas of Fallujah," 6/6/16
- "Ten members of Daash killed and two car bombs in southern Fallujah," 6/11/16

Xinhua, "23 killed in two suicide bomb attacks in Iraq's Baghdad," 6/9/16