Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fighting In Anbar & Salahaddin Increases Casualties In Iraq 3rd Week of April 2015


Continued fighting in Anbar and Salahaddin, along with Islamic State (IS) executions led to an increase in attacks and casualties in Iraq in the third week of April 2015. At the start of the week IS was able to seize several towns and neighborhoods of Ramadi in Anbar. Likewise in Salahaddin there was intense fighting in Baiji and the nearby refinery. Government forces spent the week trying to take back what they had lost. There were also upticks in violence in Diyala and Kirkuk, and a rare car bombing in Irbil. While IS was largely pushed back the events during the week showed that it still has large offensive capabilities.

There were 169 reported security incidents from April 15-21. That was up from 132 the previous week and 121 the week before. The increase coincided with a large jump in the number of car bombs. There were just 3 the first week, but then 24 the following. In recent years the Islamic State has increased its car bombs just before upping its attacks, and that happened this month. The true number of attacks was probably much higher than what got into the press.

By province, Baghdad had the most security incidents with 50. After that Anbar had 38, Salahaddin 29, Diyala 22, Ninewa 13, Kirkuk 11, Babil four, and Basra and Irbil one each.

The number of killed in Iraq has steadily gone up over the course of April. The first week there were 212. That then jumped to 626 the second week, and 722 the third. The last consisted of 9 Sahwa, 36 Peshmerga, 41 Hashd al-Shaabi, 86 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 550 civilians. Again, the actual number of fatalities was probably higher.

Salahaddin was the deadliest province with 386 deaths. That was because of mass executions carried out by IS. Anbar had 123 killed, Baghdad 97, Kirkuk 55, Ninewa 26, Diyala 25, and Babil and Irbil had five each.

The number of wounded has increased as well. They went from 422 April 1-7, 525 April 8-14, and then 714 April 15-21. Baghdad had the most injured with 261, Anbar 221, Kirkuk 131, Salahaddin 45, Diyala 22, and Babil and Irbil with 17 each.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
184
434
464
Jan 8-14
170
730
493
Jan 15-21
182
390
515
Jan 22-28
189
466
894
Jan 29-31
90
288
529
JAN
815
2,308
2,895
Feb 1-7
155
380
688
Feb 8-14
170
406
559
Feb 15-21
165
573
364
Feb 22-28
165
371
687 + 386
FEB
655
1,730
2,683
Mar 1-7
172
372
587
Mar 8-14
133
348
656
Mar 15-21
142
1,299
503
Mar 22-28
170
235
406
Mar 29-31
72
205
219
MAR
689
2,459 + 4
2,371 + 150
Apr 1-7
121
212
422
Apr 8-14
132
626
525
Apr 15-21
169
722
714

Violence In Iraq By Province Apr 2015
Province
Apr 1-7
Apr 8-14
Anbar
22 Incidents
60 Killed: 4 ISF, 56 Civilians
72 Wounded: 72 Civilians
13 Shootings
2 IEDs
4 Mortars
1 Rocket
33 Incidents
411 Killed: 66 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 343 Civilians
128 Wounded: 9 ISF, 31 Sahwa, 88 Civilians
21 Shootings
2 IEDs
4 Suicide Bombers
7 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
5 Mortars
1 Rockets
Babil
3 Incidents
4 Killed: 1 ISF, 3 Civilians
11 Wounded: 4 ISF, 7 Civilians
2 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
4 Incidents
7 Killed: 7 Civilians
16 Wounded: 16 Civilians
1 Shooting
3 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
Baghdad
44 Incidents
63 Killed: 7 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 55 Civilians
196 Wounded: 13 ISF, 183 Civilians
8 Shootings
25 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
1 Rocket
1 Grenade
36 Incidents
90 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 7 Hashd, 82 Civilians
299 Wounded: 1 ISF, 5 Sahwa, 16 Hashd, 277 Civilians
5 Shootings
17 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Car Bomb
8 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
Basra
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 ISF
1 Shooting
-
Diyala
10 Incidents
23 Killed: 10 ISF, 1 Hashd, 12 Civilians
92 Wounded: 12 ISF, 69 Hashd, 11 Civilians
7 Shootings
1 IED
1 Car Bomb
8 Incidents
6 Killed: 2 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 3 Civilians
18 Wounded: 7 ISF, 4 Sahwa, 7 Civilians
3 Shootings
5 IEDs
Kirkuk
4 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Hashd
2 Shootings
1 IED
3 Incidents
7 Killed: 7 Civilians
6 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 3 Civilians
1 Shooting
1 IED
1 Mortar
Maysan
-
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
Ninewa
7 Incidents
12 Killed: 2 YPG, 4 Hashd, 6 Civilians
2 Wounded: 2 Peshmerga
5 Shootings
17 Incidents
34 Killed: 34 Civilians
8 Wounded: 4 Peshmerga, 4 Civilians
13 Shootings
3 IEDs
Salahaddin
30 Incidents
48 Killed: 26 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 14 Hashd, 5 Civilians
50 Wounded: 25 ISF, 14 Hashd, 11 Civilians
22 Shootings
3 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers
2 Mortars
1 Grenade
30 Incidents
70 Killed: 34 ISF, 4 Sahwa, 11 Hashd, 21 Civilians
50 Wounded: 11 ISF, 2 Sahwa, 24 Hashd, 13 Civilians
21 Shootings
5 IEDs
5 Suicide Bombers
4 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Car Bombs
2 Mortars

Province
Apr 15-21
Anbar
38 Incidents
123 Killed: 37 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 85 Civilians
221 Wounded: 106 ISF, 1 Hashd, 114 Civilians
27 Shootings
3 IEDs
4 Suicide Car Bombs
5 Car Bombs
4 Mortars
Babil
4 Incidents
5 Killed: 4 ISF, 1 Civilian
17 Wounded: 6 ISF, 11 Civilians
4 IEDs
Baghdad
50 Incidents
97 Killed: 7 ISF, 4 Sahwa, 86 Civilians
261 Wounded: 17 ISF, 5 Sahwa, 239 Civilians
7 Shootings
35 IEDs
5 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
Basra
1 Incident
Diyala
22 Incidents
25 Killed: 5 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 2 Hashd, 17 Civilians
22 Wounded: 6 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 5 Hashd, 8 Civilians
11 Shootings
6 IEDs
2 Rockets
Irbil
1 Incident
5 Killed: 5 Civilians
17 Wounded: 2 Peshmerga, 15 Civilians
1 Car Bomb
Kirkuk
11 Incidents
55 Killed: 2 ISF, 4 Hashd, 18 Peshmerga, 31 Civilians
131 Wounded: 8 ISF, 39 Peshmerga, 58 Hashd, 26 Civilians
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
1 Suicide Bomber
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
1 Rockets
Ninewa
13 Incidents
26 Killed: 4 ISF, 18 Peshmerga, 4 Civilians
9 Shootings
3 IEDs
Salahaddin
29 Incidents
386 Killed: 27 ISF, 3 Sahwa, 35 Hashd, 321 Civilians
45 Wounded: 28 ISF, 8 Hashd, 9 Civilians
23 Shootings
4 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar

Car Bombs in Iraq Apr 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Apr 1



Apr 2
Bab al-Mudham, Baghdad
7
26
Apr 3



Apr 4
Mansour, Baghdad


Apr 5



Apr 6
Imam Abdullah bin Imam Ali al-Hadi shrine, Diyala
4
7
Apr 7



Total
3
11
33
Apr 8



Apr 9



Apr 10
Albu Faraj x5, Ramadi x2, Anbar
Karrada, Baghdad
5
13
Apr 11
Baiji Refinery x3, Salahaddin


Apr 12
Amiriya Fallujah, Anbar
Baiji Refinery x2, Salahaddin


Apr 13
Amil & Baya, Baghdad
15
60
Apr 14
Mahmudiya, Babil
East, Mashtal, Waziriya, Wihda x2, Yarmouk, Baghdad
Baiji Refinery, Salahaddin
46
97
Total
24
66
170
Apr 15
Shjariya & Sufiya x4, Anbar
1

Apr 16



Apr 17
Baghdadi, Anbar
Amil & Habibiya, Baghdad
Irbil, Irbil
41
73
Apr 18
Baghdadi x3, Anbar
Bashir, Salahaddin
2
7
Apr 19



Apr 20
West of Baiji, Salahaddin
2
4
Apr 21



Total
14
46
84

IS continued to launch a large number of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) although not as many as the 2nd week of April. From April 15-21 there were 14 VBIEDs. Anbar saw the most with nine as IS attacked the Ramadi area. Many more car bombs were destroyed before they reached their targets. There were 46 deaths and 84 wounded as a result of these bombings, but again, these figures are probably low since there was little reporting on casualties from most of the VBIEDs in Anbar.

Anbar was supposed to be the next province seeing a major government offensive, but that was up ended by an IS surge. It seized several towns and sections of Ramadi to steal the thunder away from Baghdad. The intensity of the fighting was shown on April 15 when 90 people were killed and 105 wounded. The Washington Post reported that almost the entire police force, around 5,000 officers, collapsed as a result, and early on the army and Hashd forces withdrew as well. That resulted in tens of thousands of people fleeing the area. Reinforcements were eventually sent, and the rest of the week was spent trying to take back lost ground. Government forces started with the areas outside of Shjariya, Sufiya, and Ramadi, and then pushed onto other towns such as Albu Ghanim, Albu Farah, Albu Aetha, and into central Ramadi as well. Anbar has been one of the few provinces where IS has been able to carry out such large operations. Although they were turned back, it will not be the last time they try to seize territory in the governorate.

Attacks were also up in Baghdad, but they did not result in more casualties. The number of incidents went from 36 the previous week to 50 from April 15-21. The second week of April was marked by 9 car bombs in the capital, the most for weeks, but there was a dip in improvised explosive devices to just 17. The third week of the month there were only two VBIEDs, but a jump in IEDs to 35. Still the number of dead remained relatively the same from 90 to 97 between the two weeks, and the number of injured actually went down from 299 to 261.

Diyala was another province where violence went up. There were just eight incidents the second week of April, but 22 the next week. Most of those occurred in the center of the governorate such as in the Muqtadiya area. All of these were small incidents such as shooting at one person or at a checkpoint. That resulted in 25 dead and 22 wounded compared to 6 killed and 18 injured the week before. This is occurring in a province that was supposedly cleared of insurgents back in January according to Badr Organization head Hadi Ameri.

There was a rare attack in Irbil during the week. The Islamic State set off a car bomb outside of the U.S. consulate in Irbil city. That led to five deaths and 17 injured. Kurdistan has generally been spared from the on going violence, but that’s not for a lack of trying by IS.

The Kurds returned to their offensive in southern Kirkuk, which led to an increase in casualties. Originally the Peshmerga were supposed to push all the way into Hawija in the south of the province along the border with Salahaddin, which is a major IS stronghold. The Kurds said they were abandoning that, but during the week they started clearing the Daquq district once again. The Kurds claimed they freed nine villages as a result. Hashd units were working in conjunction with the Peshmerga as well. There was a rare period of transparency during the operations where casualties were reported. Usually government agencies say nothing during big pushes, but this was an exception. As a result the press had two ISF, 4 Hashd and 18 Peshmerga killed, along with 8 ISF, 39 Peshmerga, and 58 Hashd injuring in the fighting.

Salahaddin was the other province where IS went on the offensive. It attacked Baiji and the refinery there, which again was supposed to be a focus of a new government operation. IS fighters were able to penetrate the refinery complex and gained control of up to 1/3 of the facility. Like in Anbar however, the arrival of reinforcements pushed them out of most of the refinery by the end of the week, although fighting was not over. As usual, IS did not concentrate on just one area. It continuously attacked throughout the governorate to try to spread out the ISF and Hashd. For example, Dujail saw attacks for two days. Finally, on April 21 there was a report that IS executed 300 people in Shirqat. A total of 386 people were killed in Salahaddin during the week, and another 45 wounded.

SOURCES

AIN, "Daash committed a massacre executing 300 people in Shirqat," 4/21/15

Bradley, Matt and Adnan, Ghassan, "Islamic State fighters Launch Offensive in Iraq Province," Wall St Journal, 4/15/15

Buratha News, "Martyrdom and wounding six members of the federal police in a car bombing in Baiji," 4/20/15

Burns, Robert, “Iraqi Leader: Campaign Focusing Next on Anbar, Beiji,” Associated Press, 4/15/15

Iraq Times, "Martyrdom and wounding nine fighters from a suicide bombing south of Kirkuk," 4/18/15

Al Mada, "Gaood: al-Baghdadi about to fall to Daash in the event of military reinforcements not being sent," 4/17/15

Morris, Loveday, “Police personnel, residents return to Iraqi city of Ramadi as panic subsides,” Washington Post, 4/22/15

Prothero, Mitchell, “Islamic State proves resilient, presses attack in iraq’s Ramadi, Baiji,” McClatchy, 4/16/15

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, "Bombings Kill Dozens In Baghdad, Erbil," 4/17/15

Radio Free Iraq, “15 April 2015,” Daily Updates from Anbar, 4/15/15
- "18 April 2015," Daily Updates from Anbar, 4/18/15

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Islamic State militants seize villages near Ramadi in Iraq," Associated Press, 4/15/15

Shafaq News, "Adviser of Minister of Electricity killed in a bombing in Ramadi," 4/15/15
- "Secretary General of al-Shaheed al-Alwal Brigades injured in al-Baghdadi clashes," 4/18/15

Van Heuvelen, Ben, Al-Najaf, Kamaran, Naji, Jamal, “Iraqi forces lose initiative as IS hits Anbar, Baiji,” Iraq Oil Report, 4/16/15

World Bulletin, "Iraq: bomb attack in Ramadi," 4/18/15

Xinhua, "IS militants seize new areas in Iraq’s Ramadi," 4/15/15