Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Violent Attacks in Iraq- The Touch Points

Yesterday saw the most significant coordinated violence in Iraq of some time (years). Our Analytical team yesterday summarized the initial details:

Security: Areas in the central and north of the country have been subjected to a string of car bombings and extremist attacks which have reportedly killed and wounded 100+ Iraqis. 

Reported areas of violence:
  1. South Baghdad (Madain district) – Car bomb attack and three IED explosions. 6 killed 13 wounded.
  2. South Baghdad (Mahmudiya district) – Car bomb attack against civilians. 5 killed 28 wounded.
  3. Baghdad (Husseiniya, (N/W) district) Car bomb attack. 3 killed 31 wounded.
  4. Baghdad (Sadr city, (E) district) – Car bomb attack against civilians. 21 killed and wounded.
  5. Baghdad (Taji, (N) suburbs) – Car bomb attack against civilians and ISF. 7 killed 28 wounded.
  6. Diyala province (Khan Bani Saad, (N) Baghdad) – Suicide bombing followed by car bomb attack. No further details given.
  7. Diyala province (Saadiya, (E) district) – Car bomb attack against IP patrol. 1 killed 3 wounded.
  8. Diyala province (Tuz Kharamtu, (N) district) – Two Car bomb attacks against civilians and ISF. 2 killed 35 wounded.
  9. Salahddin province – Exact location unknown. Mortar attack against IA base. 19 killed and wounded.
  10. Ramadi – Car bomb attack against police station. 6 killed and wounded.
  11. South Mosul city – Car bomb attack. 17 killed and wounded
  12. Kirkuk city – 4 car bomb attacks in quick succession. At least 5 killed 17 wounded

The first online statement from the new leader of al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq claims that the militant network is returning to strongholds from which it was driven by U.S. forces and their Sunni allies before the American withdrawal at the end of last year. The al-Qaida leader claimed the militant group is preparing operations to free prisoners and assassinate court officials. The audio identified the speaker as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who became head of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2010. It was posted late Saturday evening on a website regularly used by the militant movement to make statements. He also invited Muslims to come to Iraq to join his militants. The statement comes as Sunni insurgents, now believed to be dominated by the ISI, have stepped up attacks against Shiites, government officials and other targets, in what is seen as an attempt to undercut the authority of Iraq's government and revive sectarian conflict.

Last week Unity reported the likelihood of repercussions in the south of Baghdad following the arrest of 19 AQI operatives in the district of Mahmudiyah. The car bomb explosion witnessed in the district, coupled with other similar attacks in neighboring areas, is indicative of al-Baghdadi’s statement claiming to have regained former strongholds, and provides evidence that these networks are far from eradicated.

For more information contact: info@unityresourcesgroup.com 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Kurds create a new security institution

The Kurds create a national security council to add to Iraq's dysfunctional security architecture

What is conspicuously clear is the lack of coordination and control various units have with one another across Iraq. It seems even with a plethora of command centres dotted across the provinces, there is very little effort placed in bridging the information gaps that have perpetuated the existence of a number of threat groups operating across the country.

The issue of trust is an intangible that continues to effect the efficacy of Iraq's security forces. For example the Iraqi Army commander of the 56th brigade based in Basra will seldom share information with the police as they are corrupt and infiltrated by militia groups, according to a media report from the province. The Oil police are also perceived by the security hierachy as a ragtag bunch of ill-disciplined former military men who should not be depended on for anything other than a physical force. Again whenever attacks occur near the oil field area, the army are called into rebalance the security equilibrium.

Interestingly we’re seeing more and more, a balkanizing effect on the military divisions across Iraq. Only recently the Kurds created a security council and are seeking to influence the disputed areas with a greater number of Kurdish commanders. This also remains a major bone of contention for the Ninewa province where infighting between political parties has widened the Kurd/Arab schism and compounded the security situation. PM Maliki is only too aware of this, and his paranoia is working on overdrive. Of course it doesn’t help that since the beginning of the year there has been talk of a coup plot against the premier which has resulted in political imprisonments, the sacking of security chiefs, and of course a military (pro-Maliki) bulwark of activity in areas where the request for separatism is most recurrent.