Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day 47, Dec 2, 2016


On December 1 no advances were reported in the Mosul campaign, but the Iraqi forces (ISF) were back at it on December 2. Zuhur in east Mosul was declared freed for the third time, but once again it appeared that fighting was still going on there. The Islamic State counterattacked in Qadisiya, while the ISF moved into Meshraq, the 47th neighborhood of the city entered so far.

Front line commanders tried to lobby to change the tactics for taking Mosul, but Abadi and his military advisers denied them. Before the assault on the city began flyers were dropped telling residents to stay in their homes. This was done because the government and aid agencies lacked the means to take care of a mass exodus of people out of Mosul. What has happened is that the civilians have gotten in the way of the fighting. The Islamic State has hid amongst them, while the ISF has been greatly restrained in using its heavy firepower when there are so many citizens in the way. Officers went to Baghdad asking for them to be allowed to tell people to evacuate the battle zones, but the prime minister rejected their plea. That means the advance will continue at its deliberate pace.

In the west the Hashd announced that they had surrounded Tal Afar. They are now waiting for ISF forces from the north to shift to the town. One of those units will be the 92nd Brigade, 15th Division. Many of the soldiers are said to be Shiites driven out of the town by the insurgency. The commander of the 15th Division General Emad Silawi said that the Hashd might follow into the town, which could set off problems as Turkey and the Iraqi Turkmen Front have both warned against those forces going into Tal Afar claiming they will set off a sectarian conflict. Baghdad has an agreement with Ankara negotiated by the Americans to keep the Hashd out.

In the south, an officer from the 9th Division commented on how poorly the liberated areas are being held. He said that the police units that moved in behind the army were such lackluster quality that they could only do guard duty. He went on to say that army reinforcements had to be called up from Baghdad to help with holding the territory.

The director of the International Red Cross just returned from a trip to Iraq and was worried about the length of the campaign. He told the press that Mosul could take months to clear. That could lead to a humanitarian disaster, and a stretching of resources. Already he said there are some days when more than 100 are wounded from the fighting. The hospitals in Irbil are already overflowing with these casualties. Winter weather with freezing temperatures and rain are also starting in Iraq flooding displaced camps. These problems will only get worse the longer the operation lasts.

Finally, Reuters talked with a man who was displaced from Bashiqa that was recently freed. He like many others would like to go home but the town and the surrounding area is strewn with IEDs and mine fields. A member of the Mines Advisory Group said that it found more then 350 IEDs in just one town outside Bashiqa. While a few thousand people have gone back to their homes since the Mosul operation started almost all of those have been in the Nimrod district or eastern Mosul. Otherwise the other areas appear to be unsafe due to unexploded ordinance. It might take months to clear all of these areas since such a large swath of territory has been liberated in Ninewa.

SOURCES

Bas News, "Mosul: Iraqi Forces Liberate Two Other Neighborhoods," 12/2/16

Buratha News, "Imam Brigade declared encirclement of Tal Afar west Nineveh," 12/2/16

Davison, John, “Iraqis desperate to return to homes rigged with bombs by Islamic State,” Reuters, 12/2/16

Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul, Nov. 29, 2016," 11/29/16

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Zohour, Shoqaq Khadraa neighborhoods of Mosul recaptured: source," Iraqi News, 11/24/16

Nebehay, Stephanie, “Battle for Iraq’s Mosul could take months: ICRC,” Reuters, 12/2/16

Rasheed, Ahmed and Evans, Dominic, “Exclusive: Iraqi commanders examined strategy shift to avert Mosul war of attrition,” 12/2/16

Rohan, Brian, “Empowered Shiite Militias Poised to Dominate Key Iraq Town,” Associated Press, 12/2/16

Rudaw, "Heavy fighting under cloudy skies in Mosul," 12/2/16
- "Iraqi army edges closer to Tigris River in Mosul; retakes new neighborhood," 11/29/16


Friday, December 2, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day 46, Dec 1, 2016


December 1, 2016 was the first time that no advances were announced in the Mosul campaign. More news came out about the day before however. Sumer and Wahda were attacked by the Golden Division in east Mosul marking the 45th and 46th neighborhoods entered by the Iraqi forces since the very end of October when the city was first breached. Roughly half of the areas are secured, and the other half contested.

In November, there were a reported 1,577 deaths and 2,566 wounded in Ninewa. Since the government is suppressing its casualties the real figures are likely much higher. The head of the Irbil Health Department told Rudaw that three hospitals had been set aside to tend to the injured. He said that they are overflowing with one facility having no empty beds left.

The International Organization for Migration recorded another rise in the displaced in Ninewa. In a week, from November 25 to December 1 the number of registered individuals went from 72,990 to 77,046, an increase of 4,056 people. Another 8,460 had gone back to their homes, mostly to the Nimrod district. There hasn’t been the massive displacement that many aid agencies feared would happen, but the figures continue to climb.

The majority of the displaced are living in camps and their situation just got worse. Rain and cold weather are hitting the country. In Khazir camp, Agence France Presse found tents being flooded and muddy conditions along with freezing temperatures. Aid agencies rushed in 6,000 heaters to the camp to deal with the cold. If the poor weather continues the camps will deteriorate.

Al Jazeera visited the historic site at Nimrod. The Islamic State made a documentary recording its destruction of the place, which was home to the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II. The Deputy Minister of Culture Qais Rasheed said that militants destroyed 70% of the town’s sites. The priority was now on trying to preserve what was left and that was easier said then done.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Heavy rain piles misery on Mosul displaced,” 12/1/16

Beck, John, “How ISIL destroyed Nimrud,” Al Jazeera, 12/1/16

International Organization for Migration, “Displacement Tracking Matrix Emergency Tracking Factsheet 5# - Mosul Operations From 17 October To 1 December,” 12/1/16

NINA, "Anti-Terrorism Forces Storm 3 Residential Neighborhoods In Mosul, kill 16 Terrorists," 11/30/16

Rudaw, “Erbil hospitals overcrowded and struggling to cope with Mosul wounded,” 12/1/16


4,360 Dead, 3,920 Wounded In Iraq November 2016


November 2016 saw the highest casualties in Iraq recorded by Musings On Iraq since June 2014 when the Islamic State swept through northern and central Iraq.

There were a total of 8,280 casualties during the month. 4,360 were killed, consisting of 1 Hashd al-Watani, 4 Peshmerga, 14 Sahwa, 54 Hashd, 121 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 1,794 ISF, Sahwa, Hashd, Peshmerga reported by the United Nations. Another 3,920 were wounded made up of 2 Hashd al-Watani, 4 Sahwa, 5 Peshmerga, 68 Hashd, 458 ISF, and 3,383 civilians. Back in June 2014 there were 8,798 casualties with 5,100 dead and 3,698 injured.

In comparison, the United Nations had 3,229 dead and 1,509 wounded, and Iraq Body Count had 1,586 civilian fatalities.

The main driver of casualties during November was the Mosul campaign. There were 1,577 people who died in Ninewa made up of 1 Hashd al-Watani, 1 Peshmerga, 42 Hashd, 59 ISF, and 1,474 civilians. Another 2,566 were wounded consisting of 2 Hashd al-Watani, 55 Hashd, 372 ISF, and 2,137 civilians. Most of the 1,794 ISF, Sahwa, Hashd and Peshmerga that the U.N. had were probably in that province as well. The Islamic State executed a total of 942 people. Several mass graves have been discovered, and IS has been killing people in Mosul to try to maintain control of the population. Another 74 civilians died and 79 were injured by Coalition air strikes. IS mortar fire has also taken a heavy toll on civilians within Mosul, while many of the casualties amongst the Iraqi forces have come from suicide and car bombs. The press had 4 car bombs, 10 suicide bombers, and 10 suicide car bombs hitting the Iraqi forces, but the real number is likely higher. Another 6 motorcycle bombs, 39 suicide car bombs, 61 suicide bombers, and 209 car bombs were killed and destroyed.

After Ninewa, Baghdad had the most casualties. There were 239 incidents reported there leading to 288 dead and 881 wounded. Since the Mosul offensive began the press has been reporting less and less on the capital. That means there were probably far more attacks and casualties then were in the media in November. There were 7 car bombs, the most since 13 in May. Another two were dismantled before they exploded. The real killer however was the 143 IEDs. The south, 77 incidents, was the most violent section of the governorate, followed by 56 in the north, 48 in the west, 35 in the east, 10 in the center, and 2 in unknown locations.

Anbar had a high number of dead and wounded. 22 incidents led to 313 fatalities and 98 injured. Most of those killed came from the Anbar Health Directorate, and no details were provided on where or how they were caused. During the month, IS was able to set off two car bombs in Fallujah, the first since it was liberated. It also hit a wedding in Amiriya Fallujah with a suicide car bomb that killed 25 and wounded 45.

Babil had 7 incidents, 82 killed, and 60 wounded. A suicide truck bomb caused almost all of those casualties hitting mostly Iranian pilgrims in the town of Shomali leaving 80 dead and 58 injured.

Diyala continued to see low-level violence with an occasional mass casualty bombing. In November a suicide car bomb hit a checkpoint in Khalis killing 10 and wounding another 25. Otherwise there were 2 mortar incidents, 7 shootings, and 18 IEDs leading to a total of 33 dead and 44 injured.

Karbala had two rare security incidents. First, six suicide bombers were stopped at a checkpoint in Ain al-Tamer. Five were killed, but the fifth set off his device taking 8 lives and injuring 5. Two days later two more suicide bombers were killed in the western section of the province. All of these attackers came from Anbar.

IS picked up its operations in Salahaddin. The militants started off the month hitting pilgrims in Tikrit and Samarra with suicide bombs hidden in ambulances that left 27 killed and 141 wounded, most of which were Iranians. Two mass graves with 40 bodies of victims of the insurgents were discovered in Shirqat. Then finally, at the end of the month five suicide bombers hit a checkpoint in Samarra leaving 12 dead and 8 injured. In total, there were 27 incidents, 191 killed, and 201 wounded.

In Kirkuk people fleeing the IS controlled district of Hawija and others executed there accounted for almost all of the casualties. There were a total of 43 incidents, 72 dead, and 63 wounded. Of those, 16 people died and 39 were wounded mostly by IEDs trying to get out of Hawija. IS also killed a further 21.

Kurdistan had three incidents. In Irbil, an Imam connected to the Kurdistan Islamic Union was shot and killed by gunmen in front of his house. In Halabja, a Peshmerga was shot and wounded. Finally, a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) office in Chamchamal, Sulaymaniya was shot up.

Violence In Iraq 2016
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
JAN
723
2,418
1,986
FEB
657
1,685
1,724
MAR
683
1,685
2,095
APR
630
1,840
1,904
MAY
675
1,644
2,484
JUN
631
2,111
6,455
Jul 1-7
120
589
635
Jul 8-14
130
243
316
Jul 15-21
123
168
272
Jul 22-28
115
234
366
Jul 29-31
43
95
119
JUL
531
1,329
1,708
Aug 1-7
109
342
255
Aug 8-14
121
176
245
Aug 15-21
155
388
392
Aug 22-28
134
269
312
Aug 29-31
55
88
172
AUG
574
1,263
1,376
Sep 1-7
119
341
381
Sep 8-14
125
197
313
Sep 15-21
137
172
352
Sep 22-28
159
326
469
Sep 29-30
33
167
87
SEP
573
1,203
1,602
Oct 1-7
129
272
344
Oct 8-14
119
184
350
Oct 15-21
131
618
814
Oct 22-28
158
1,165
658
Oct 29-31
52
726
210
OCT
589
2,965
2,376
Nov 1-7
164
786
751
Nov 8-14
149
589
574
Nov 15-21
126
460
591
Nov 22-28
119
421
1,907
Nov 29-30
36
2,104
97
NOV
594
4,360
3,920

Security By Province Nov 2016
Province
Incidents
Anbar
22 Incidents
313 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 3 Hashd, 18 ISF, 291 Civilians
98 Wounded: 18 ISF, 80 Civilians
5 Shootings
8 IEDs
2 Suicide Car Bombs
3 Car Bombs
9 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
7 Car Bombs Destroyed/Dismantled
Babil
7 Incidents
82 Killed: 82 Civilians
60 Wounded: 60 Civilians
1 Shooting
4 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Car Bomb
Baghdad
239 Incidents
288 Killed: 5 Sahwa, 6 Hashd, 16 ISF, 261 Civilians
881 Wounded: 4 Sahwa, 7 Hashd, 51 ISF, 819 Civilians
49 Shootings
143 IEDs
16 Sticky Bombs
1 Motorcycle Bomb
7 Car Bombs
1 Grenade
2 Mortars
1 Suicide Car Bomb Dismantled
1 Car Bomb Dismantled
Basra
3 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Wounded: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
1 IED
Diyala
29 Incidents
33 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 2 Hashd, 3 ISF, 27 Civilians
44 Wounded: 4 Hashd, 5 ISF, 35 Civilians
7 Shootings
18 IEDs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
2 Mortars
Halabja
1 Incident
1 Wounded: 1 Peshmerga
1 Shooting
Irbil
1 Incident
1 Killed: 1 Civilian
1 Shooting
Karbala
2 Incidents
8 Killed: 8 Civilians
5 Wounded: 5 Civilians
1 Suicide Bomber
7 Suicide Bombers Killed
Kirkuk
43 Incidents
72 Killed: 3 Peshmerga, 69 Civilians
63 Wounded: 4 Peshmerga, 59 Civilians
13 Shootings
13 IEDs
1 Stun Grenade
2 Suicide Bombers Killed/Arrested
Ninewa
219 Incidents
1,577 Killed: 1 Peshmerga, 1 Hashd al-Watani, 42 Hashd, 59 ISF, 1,474 Civilians
2,566 Wounded: 2 Hashd al-Watani, 55 Hashd, 372 ISF, 2,137 Civilians
41 Shootings
13 IEDs
10 Suicide Bombers
10 Suicide Car Bombs
4 Car Bombs
1 Grenade
30 Mortars
4 Rockets
2 Artillery
6 Motorcycle Bombs Destroyed
61 Suicide Bombers Killed
39 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
209 Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
27 Incidents
191 Killed: 1 Hashd, 7 Sahwa, 25 ISF, 158 Civilians
201 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 12 ISF, 187 Civilians
13 Shootings
4 IEDs
5 Suicide Bombers
2 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Mortars
1 Rockets
1 Motorcycle Bomb Destroyed
5 Suicide Bombers Killed
5 Car Bombs Dismantled
Sulaymaniya
1 Incident
1 Shooting