Friday, August 1, 2014

July 2014 Over 5,000 Casualties In Iraq


Iraq saw nearly 5,500 casualties in July 2014. That was down from June, but that was to be expected as fighting has settled down a bit. The insurgency is still carrying out attacks across the country and laying siege to several cities, while the government continues with futile security operations. As the Iraqi security forces have lost more ground they have increasingly turned to indiscriminate attacks upon civilian areas and militias, which are carrying out sectarian killings. There was also an uprising by followers of Mahmoud Hassani Sarkhi in southern Iraq at the beginning of the month. With insurgents set on restarting fighting in Baghdad the current situation could actually get worse in coming weeks.

July saw 2,195 killed and 3,276 wounded. That was made up of 1,681 civilian, 426 Iraqi Security Forces, 28 Sahwa, and 60 Peshmerga fatalities and 2,339 civilian, 738 ISF, 24 Sahwa, and 175 Peshmerga injuries. That was below June’s figures of 2,822 dead and 3,483 wounded. Salahaddin was the deadliest province last month with 503 deaths, followed by 460 in Baghdad, and 446 in Anbar. So far there have been 6,653 security incidents reported in the press resulting in 12,304 killed and 20,581 wounded this year.

Reported Security Incidents In Iraq 2014
Month
Incidents
Deaths
ISF/Sahwa/
Peshmerga/
Asayesh
Deaths
Civilian
Deaths
Wounded
ISF/Sahwa/
Peshmerga
Asayesh
Wounded
Civilians
Wounded
Jan
1,014
1,483
427 ISF
69 Sahwa
2 Asayesh
985
2,880
646 ISF
48 Sahwa
2,186
Feb
945
1,274
516 ISF
58 Sahwa
2 Peshmerga
698
2,526
702 ISF
93 Sahwa
3 Peshmerga
1,728
Mar
996
1,606
567 ISF
48 Sahwa
2 Asayesh
989
2,901
631 ISF
57 Sahwa
1 Asayesh
2,212
Apr
999
1,456
538 ISF
46 Sahwa
1 Asayesh
871
2,905
806 ISF
53 Sahwa
5 Peshmerga
1 Asayesh
2,040
May
904
1,468
506 ISF
77 Sahwa
1 Peshmerga
884
2,610
719 ISF
50 Sahwa
1,841
Jun
877
2,822
815 ISF
31 Sahwa
62 Peshmerga
1,914
3,483
560 ISF
47 Sahwa
194 Peshmerga
1 Asayesh
2,681
Jul
918
2,195
426 ISF
28 Sahwa
60 Peshmerga
1,681
3,276
738 ISF
24 Sahwa
175 Peshmerga
2,339
TOTAL
6,653
12,304
3,795 ISF
357 Sahwa
125 Peshmerga
3 Asayesh
8,022
20,581
4,802 ISF
372 Sahwa
377 Peshmerga
3 Asayesh
12,841

Security operations like the two launched in Babil's Jurf al-Sakhr in July have proven futile as insurgents move in right after the army and police leave (Reuters)

The security situation across the provinces stabilized in July. There were no more insurgent sweeps across vast territory. Instead the militants laid siege to several major cities. Starting in Anbar, the insurgents were able to expand their hold upon Ramadi by spreading from the southern sections into the western half. The government responded by sending 4,000 volunteers to the city. These volunteers are receiving hardly any training and there are reports that they are barely armed or supplied begging the question of why they are being sent into high conflict areas like Ramadi. Militants also laid siege to Haditha. The ISF responded by announcing security operations inside and out of Ramadi on July 15 with the support of friendly tribes, along with Garma east of Fallujah and Saqlawiya to the west that included the Badr Brigade and militiamen from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. These are all areas that the ISF has cleared several times before. In Babil the security forces launched two more campaigns in Jurf al-Sakhr in the northern section of the province even though government spokesman General Qasim Atta and the governor claimed the area was safe at the beginning of the month. Like in Anbar these operations included militiamen from the League of the Righteous, Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas, and the Hezbollah Brigades along with 500 volunteers. Three days after the first security operation it was reported that the Islamic State had moved right back into the area leading to the second campaign towards the end of the month. When the security forces move in the IS fighters shift over to eastern Anbar, and then return to Babil when the ISF and their allies leave showing the futility of the government’s strategy. Of course that did not stop the Babil Operations Command claiming success again at the end of the month. In a similar situation the ISF claimed that Latifiya farther north in Babil towards Baghdad was cleared, only to have intense fighting break out there immediately afterward. That showed that the IS has actually been able to expand its base of operations in the governorate. This same pattern is being repeated across the country. In July the ISF said it cleared Mansuriya, Muqtadiya, and the Hamrin Mountains in Diyala, and the Hawija district of Kirkuk. Like in Babil, as soon as these operations were over the militants moved right back in. Even more concerted military efforts like the attempt to retake Tikrit were stymied. With great fanfare the government announced that it had re-entered the Salahaddin provincial capital in the middle of July. In fact, the ISF drive was turned back by snipers, IEDs laid along the major highways, and suicide bombers. In turn, the insurgents tried to take the Speicher base outside of the city and the Baiji refinery, but failed showing that there is a rough stalemate in Salahaddin. In a more important development several local tribes fought the insurgents in places like Hawija in Kirkuk and Dhuluiya and several other small villages in Salahaddin. The government has not adequately supported these groups and many sheikhs find themselves standing alone against the militants. In the south from July 2-4 followers of Mahmoud Hassani Sarkhi, a breakaway cleric from the Sadr movement, rose up in Qadisiyah and Karbala. According to the press at least 160 of them were killed or wounded as their revolt was put down. Finally, in Ninewa, which is mostly under insurgent control IS has strengthened its hold over the population. The destruction of shrines and the driving out of Christians has been well documented. The Islamic State has gone after other groups as well, carried out executions, and destroyed people’s homes in the province. On July 2 30 Shabak from the town of Omar Kan were kidnapped. July 10-11 21 people were taken away in Mosul, another twenty from that city on July 27, and eight more on July 30. Their fate is unknown but they were probably executed as 10 bodies were found in Kokjla on July 14. The group has continued with its long time practice of blowing up the homes of members of the security forces as happened on July 12 when 20 policeman’s houses were destroyed with IEDs in Hamam al-Aleel. These actions all belie reports that the Islamic State is leaving Mosul for other groups. Instead it appears that the city will be the capital of its caliphate. July shows that while the insurgent charge has been blunted it still holds the initiative. It is largely choosing where and when engagements happen and it is attacking several cities and towns throughout the center of the country. The government even with the help of thousands of volunteers and the militias are still carrying out fruitless security campaigns in reaction to the militants. Baghdad’s inability to hold any Sunni territory means that it will not be able to reverse the current situation any time soon. 

The Islamic State has increased its hold over Ninewa province kidnapping people, murdering them, destroying shrines, and driving out not only Christians but other minority groups like Shabaks as well 

Security Incidents By Province July 2014
Province
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Anbar
147
446
311 Civilians
127 ISF
8 Sahwa
854
756 Civilians
90 ISF
8 Sahwa
Babil
53
168
126 Civilians
42 ISF
300
132 Civilians
168 ISF
Baghdad
228
460
387 Civilians
71 ISF
2 Sahwa
848
729 Civilians
115 ISF
4 Sahwa
Basra
11
24
24 Civilians
16
16 Civilians
Dhi Qar
1
1
1 Civilian
4
4 Civilians
Diyala
150
263
181 Civilians
35 ISF
41 Peshmerga
6 Sahwa
279
92 Civilians
87 ISF
8 Sahwa
92 Peshmerga
Karbala
3
128
3 ISF
125 Civilians
70
35 ISF
35 Civilians
Kirkuk
63
113
97 Civilians
4 ISF
12 Peshmerga
242
145 Civilians
26 ISF
71 Peshmerga
Najaf
1


Ninewa
80
89
78 Civilians
4 ISF
7 Peshmerga
197
185 Civilians
12 Peshmerga
Qadisiyah
3


Salahaddin
178
503
351 Civilians
140 ISF
12 Sahwa
466
245 Civilians
217 ISF
4 Sahwa
 
The aftermath of a car bomb in Baghdad's Jihad July 19 (EFE/EPA)

The Islamic State (IS) has changed its use of car bombs in recent months. In July there were 42 Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) the lowest monthly total of the year. There were 17 in Baghdad, 7 in Anbar and Salahaddin each, 3 in Babil, Diyala, and Kirkuk each, and 2 in Basra. The attacks in Baghdad and Basra were aimed at rekindling sectarian tensions with Shiites. On July 7, 19 and 22 the Kadhimiya neighborhood in Baghdad was hit, which is the home a Shiite shrine. More importantly IS is using VBIEDs more as a tactical weapon. Hence Samarra faced two car bombs on July 15 and another on July 29. That city is on the frontline in the fighting in Salahaddin. Because of this change in emphasis VBIEDs are not coming in their traditional waves that they did before, but are occurring in longer stretches with at least one bombing a day from July 14 to 22.

Car Bombs In Iraq 2014
Month
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Total
Car Bombs
96
84
82
79
81
58
42
552

Car Bombs In Iraq July 2014
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jul 1



Jul 2



Jul 3



Jul 4
South of Tikrit – Salahaddin
16
39
Jul 5
Basra x2 - Basra
10
8
Jul 6



Jul 7
7
21
Jul 8
6
6
Jul 9
Hillah & Imam x2 – Babil
4
11
Jul 10



Jul 11
Canal St – Baghdad, Kirkuk & Camp Khalid - Kirkuk
31
33
Jul 12



Jul 13



Jul 14
Alawi & Baya – Baghdad, Qara Tapa – Diyala
8
38
Jul 15
23
80
Jul 16
5
10
Jul 17
6
23
Jul 18
Hit – Anbar, Balad – Salahaddin
6
3
Jul 19
Abu Dishir, Baya, Jihad, Elam, Kadhimiya – Baghdad
28
90
Jul 20
Rutba – Anbar

4
Jul 21
Ramadi – Anbar
1
5
Jul 22
Ana – Anbar, Kadhimiya & Nahrawan – Baghdad
34
67
Jul 23



Jul 24
21
39
Jul 25
Mustafa Shrine – Kirkuk
8
24
Jul 26


Jul 27
Baquba & Jalawla– Diyala
5
11
Jul 28



Jul 29
Samarra – Salahaddin
6
16
Jul 30
Baghdadi – Anbar, Sadr City & Amin – Baghdad
34
57
Jul 31



TOTAL
42
259
585

The government is causing its fare share of casualties as well. This started in Anbar, but has now spread to Salahaddin, Diyala, and Ninewa. From January to July 999 people have been killed and 2,685 wounded in shelling in Anbar. The vast majority of these occurred in Fallujah, but in July Qaim, Garma, and Rawa were also hit. There were also 15 fatalities and 20 injured in Salahaddin last month from mortar and artillery fire. Iraqi Army air strikes killed another 124 and wounded 285 in those four provinces. As the ISF has lost more territory to the insurgency it has turned to indiscriminate shelling and air strikes on civilian targets more and more. It apparently does not care about the consequences and considers anyone in enemy territory a legitimate target. 

A destroyed home in Fallujah after a government air raid. The security forces have increased its indiscriminate shelling and air strikes on areas under insurgent control since June with little concern for the civilian casualties (EPA/STR)

Civilian Deaths By Government Shelling In Anbar In 2014
Date
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
8
144
Jan 8-14
8
37
Jan 15-21
17
30
Jan 22-28
44
205
Jan 29-31
8
30
JAN
85
446
Feb 1-7
15
40
Feb 8-14
19
88
Feb 15-21
14
34
Feb 22-28
13
42
FEB
61
204
Mar 1-7
31
78
Mar 8-14
22
56
Mar 15-21
36
108
Mar 22-27
17
82
Mar 28-31
16
81
MAR
122
405
Apr 1-7
13
44
Apr 8-14
40
119
Apr 15-21
56
127
Apr 22-28
26
49
Apr 29-30
5
20
APR
140
359
May 1-7
53
97
May 8-14
76
152
May 15-21
28
42
May 22-28
49
101
May 29-31
14
28
MAY
220
420
Jun 1-7
85
144
Jun 8-14
23
46
Jun 15-21
21
35
Jun 22-28
32
59
Jun 29-30
9
14
JUN
170
298
Jul 1-7
42
54
Jul 8-14
43
137
Jul 15-21
68
204
Jul 22-28
38
117
Jul 29-31
10
41
JUL
201
553
TOTAL
999
2,685

Civilian Deaths By Government Shelling In Salahaddin In July 2014
Date
Dead
Wounded
Jul 8-14
3
16
Jul 29-31
12
4
TOTAL
15
20

Civilian Deaths By Government Air Strikes In July 2014
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Jul 1-7
Ninewa
2
66

Salahaddin
38
26
Jul 8-14
Anbar
10
-

Diyala
3
-

Ninewa
15
28

Salahaddin
2
15
Jul 15-21
Anbar
-
25

Ninewa
5
30

Salahaddin
4
-
Jul 22-28
Anbar
5
12

Ninewa
15
35

Salahaddin
25
22
Jul 29-31
Ninewa
-
9

Salahaddin
-
17
TOTAL

124
285
 
As security has deteriorated the government has come to rely upon militias like Asaib Ahl Al-Haq the League of the Righteous more and more. Many of these armed groups have been blamed for sectarian killings of Sunnis in Baghdad and the surrounding areas (Reuters)

Baghdad is relying upon militias more and more since fighting started in Anbar. One result is that groups like the League of the Righteous have been accused of kidnapping and murdering Sunnis in Baghdad. There has been a decided increase in bodies being dumped in the capital in recent months as a result. In April there 28 bodies found, going up to 42 in May, 44 in June, and 98 in July. Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented cases of militias going after Sunni men, accusing them of being insurgents and murdering them not only in Baghdad, but in Diyala and Babil as well. On July 9 for instance, 53 bodies were found in Khamisiya north of Hillah. A government official and a brother of one of the victims told HRW that the League of the Righteous kidnapped these men on June 11, killed them, and then left their bodies. The League, Hezbollah Brigades, and the Badr Brigade have allegedly been given responsibility by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to police the Baghdad belts and route out insurgent cells. The result is the return of these sectarian killings.

Dead Bodies Found Baghdad 2014
Date
# Found
Jan 1-7
9
Jan 8-14
8
Jan 15-21
20
Jan 22-28
7
Jan 29-31
6
JAN
50
Feb 1-
11
Feb 8-14
11
Feb 15-21
7
Feb 22-28
12
FEB
41
Mar 1-7
13
Mar 8-14
3
Mar 15-21
5
Mar 22-27
6
Mar 28-31
5
MAR
32
Apr 1-7
6
Apr 8-14
3
Apr 15-21
6
Apr 22-28
13
Apr 29-30
-
APR
28
May 1-7
15
May 8-14
15
May 15-21
8
May 22-28
2
May 29-31
2
MAY
42
Jun 1-7
10
Jun 8-14
3
Jun 15-21
16
Jun 22-28
14
Jun 29-30
1
JUN
44
Jul 1-7
11
Jul 8-14
7
Jul 15-21
34
Jul 22-28
44
Jul 29-31
2
JUL
98
TOTAL
335

SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim Salama, Vivian, "Talabani ally is Iraqi Kurds presidential choice," Associated Press, 7/23/14

Agence France Presse, "Bombings kill eight in Iraq," 7/8/14
- "Iraq Kurds claim oilfields as bombings kill 28," 7/11/14
- “Militants storm Iraqi air base,” 7/18/14

AIN, "3rd car bomb goes off central Hilla," 7/9/14
- "Car bomb goes off southern Samarra," 7/8/14
- “MoD announces liberating many areas of Jurf al-Sakhar district northern Babel,” 7/21/14
- “Several areas of Jurf al-Sakhar district freed from ISIL terrorists, says Atta,” 7/3/14

Alsumaria, "18 dead and injured in bombings in Qaratapa northeast of Baquba," 7/15/14
- “Army begins a military operation in Saqlawiyah with the participation of warplanes,” 7/20/14
- "Found 20 unidentified bodies in the Tigris River near Samarra," 7/18/14
- "Gunmen kidnap eight people from the national grid in Nineveh," 7/30/14
- "Interior announces the death of 11 people and injuring 53 others the outcome of three bombings in Baghdad," 7/19/14
- "Killing and wounding at least 74 civilians in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad," 7/30/14
- “Launching a military operation in Latifiyah and killed a number of Daash elements,” 7/29/14
- "The outcome of the end of the bombing south of Kirkuk, 32 people dead and wounded," 7/11/14

Associated Press, "Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens," 7/24/14
- "Iraqi cleric urges leaders not to 'cling' to power," 7/25/14

Aswat al-Iraq, "30 killed, 28 wounded in Kirkuk explosion," 7/12/14

Buratha News, “Al Bhan and Arab in Jurf al-Sakhar cleared of Daash rats,” 7/11/14
- "Daash gangs explode shrine of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qasim west of Mosul," 7/23/14
- "Daash terrorists abduct 20 students from mosque during religious lessons, north of Mosul," 7/27/14
- "The death and wounding of 12 people by a car bomb west of Anbar," 7/30/14
Buratha News-,” 7/8/14
- “The killing of 26 terrorists and the arrest of Daash in a security operation to “cleanse” the vicinity of Ramadi,” 7/15/14
- “The killing of Mufti of Jurf al-Sakhr Musab al-Owaisi with 70 other terrorists in violent clashes in the north of Babylon province,” 7/13/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding four civilians in a car bomb central Baquba," 7/27/14
- “Open the road between Jurf al-Sakhr and Musayyib after killing more than 115 Daash,” 7/28/14
- "Our correspondent in the holy city of Karbala found 56 criminals from Sarkhi's group killed and injured and 132 others arrested yesterday and still unknown fate of Sarkhi," 7/2/14
 - “The outbreak of violent clashes in 6 areas north of Hilla,” 7/27/14
- “The outbreak of violent clashes in Latifiiyah and Yusufiyah between the security forces and the terrorist rats Daash,” 7/27/14
- “Saraya Brigades and military wing of Badr killed 80 Daash terrorists in security Garma,” 7/20/14
- “Sons of Iraq clearing the last stronghold of terrorism in Latifiya of Daash terrorists,” 7/17/14

Coles, Isabel, “Insight – Purge of minorities re-draws Iraq map,” Reuters, 7/24/14

Dziadosz, Alexander, “Bruised Iraqi army leans on Shi’ite militias, volunteers,” Reuters, 7/10/14

Al Forat, “Babel Operations Command announces fully controlling Jurf al-Sakhar district,” 7/31/14
- "Casualties due to Samarra car bombs reach 41 deaths, injuries," 7/15/14
- "ISIL kidnap 15 officers of Iraq former regime in Mosul," 7/10/14
- "ISIL kidnaps 30 citizens of Shabak community," 7/2/14
- "ISIL terrorists blow up 20 policemen's houses in Mosul," 7/12/14

Human Rights Watch, “Iraq: Pro-Government Militias Trail of Death,” 7/31/14

Independent Press Agency, "28 killed and wounded in the final outcome of the bombing of Kazimiyah," 7/7/14
- “Army dominates most areas of North Babylon, kills dozens of Daash,” 7/23/14
- "Killing and wounding 29 people outcome of a suicide bombing south of Baghdad," 7/19/14

Iraq Times, "The end of the outcome of the bombing in Sedea, Baya at 25 martyrs and wounded," 7/19/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 18 in explosion of two car bombs in central Basra," 7/5/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 35 civilians in a car bombing in downtown Kazimiyah," 7/19/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 52 people in two car explosions in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad," 7/15/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 54 soldiers in a suicide bombing at a military camp south of Tikrit," 7/4/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding at least 20 civilians in a car bombing in central Baghdad," 7/14/14

Al Mada, “Army makes “tactical” withdrawal from Tikrit because of booby-trapped buildings and streets,” 7/17/14
- “Babylon Council enhances the security forces in Jurf al Sakhr with 500 volunteers,” 7/12/14
- "Baghdad bombings toll rises to 96 dead and wounded," 7/19/14
- "Daash kidnap 6 in central Mosul," 7/11/14
- “Governor of Babylon denies insurgents control Jurf al-Sakhr: proactive operations against insurgent pockets,” 7/8/14
- "Killed and injured 11 in a bomb blast in eastern Baghdad," 7/22/14
- "Killing and injuring eight people by a car bomb southwest of Baghdad in the second such incident today," 7/14/14
- "Killing and injuring seven policemen in an armed attack on Awakening central Ramadi," 7/16/14
- "Lawyer killed in a car bombing west of Baghdad," 7/11/14
- “Security expert: Delay in support of the tribes forced them to swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi,” 7/16/14
- “”Slow progress” of the security forces because Daash sniper fire center of Tikrit,” 7/15/14
- "Two injured in a suicide bombing of the Peshmerga forces west of Kirkuk," 7/11/14

Al Masalah, "The death of 15 people and the wounding of 45 the final outcome of the explosion of bombs in Karrada," 7/24/14
- "Deaths of six policemen and wounding three others by a suicide bomber south of Tikrit," 7/18/14
- “Defense: fully cleanse the area of death in Hamrin Mountains,” 7/14/14
- "Fall between 24 people dead and wounded by a car bomb in eastern Baghdad," 7/30/14
- "Found 10 bodies west of Mosul," 7/14/14
- "Killing five people and wounding 21 including police by suicide bomber at entrance to Taji," 7/17/14

NINA, "/4/ people injured by a car bomb near Ratba," 7/20/14
- "/40/ soldiers and volunteers killed and wounded in the explosion of two car bombs south of Tikrit, 7/15/14
- “Army forces launched a military campaign to cleanse the area of al-Qarma from ISIS,” 7/17/14
- "Breaking News../44/ soldiers killed and wounded in a suicide attack south of Tikrit," 7/4/14
- "Breaking News..Death toll of the victims of the two car bombs in Sadr City up to 62 martyrs and wounded," 7/15/14
- "A car bomb exploded west of Hit in Anbar, without injuries," 7/18/14
- “Diyala police chief announces cleansing the areas of Dawalib and Al-Sherwin in al-Mansuriyya northeast of Baquba from the control of the ISIS,” 7/3/14
- “A military Operation Launched in Northeast of Diyala province,” 7/12/14
- “A security campaign by the army and the tribes to cleanse Ramadi from the ISIS,” 7/16/14

Radio Free Iraq, “02 July 2014,” Daily Updates from Anbar, 7/2/14
- "27 July 2014," Daily Updates from Anbar," 7/27/14

Radio Nawa, “Daash militants deployed again in Jurf al-Sakhr, three days after their expulsion,” 7/26/14

Al Rafidayn, “Army governs full control on Muqdadiya,” 7/13/14
- "Killing and wounding six people in 3 terrorist attacks aimed at the municipal council building in Samarra," 7/29/14

Al Rayy, “Army troops control four sites from Daash southwest of Kirkuk,” 7/22/14
- "The death of four people and wounding 25 others, the outcome of the suicide bombing north of Baghdad," 7/17/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 12 people in a car bomb attack on a Peshmerga police station in Jalawla," 7/27/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding 15 in the army, the police and the awakening in suicide attack west of Ramadi," 7/16/14
- "Martyrdom and wounding six civilians in a car bombing west of Ramadi," 7/21/14
- “Tribal militants in Kirkuk, gunmen attacked Daash in Hawija and killed and injured 17 of them,” 7/4/14
- "Wounding a civilian car bomb explosion west of Al-Anbar," 7/22/14

Rubin, Alissa and Al-Salhy, Suadad, “For Iraq, Debacle in Tikrit as Forces Walk Into Trap Set by Militants,” New York Times, 7/16/14
- "Top Iraqi general killed in mortar attack," Boston Globe, 7/7/14

Yacoub, Sameer, "Baghdad car bombing kill at least 27; ISIL terror blitz shakes Iraq's capital," Associated Press, 7/19/14

Xinhua, “Villagers repel Sunni extremist militants, battles continue in Iraq,” 7/8/14