Northern Iraq (North and North Central Regions – including the KRG)
The Northern Region reported 33 incidents during the reporting period, an increase on last week’s figures and above the 2012 weekly average of 24. As is the established norm, all reporting for the Northern Region occurred in Ninawa province and while the majority of incidents in Ninawa were focused in Mosul, there were clusters of activity in Tal Afar – where two PUK members were assassinated and a senior AQI member arrested – and along the upper Tigris River Valley, particularly Qayarah, with numerous attacks on ISF. There was also a violent clash on the Syrian border involving ISF and a group of men coming from Syria and an IED in a garage at the crossing point of Rabia. These incidents reflect the continued threat posed to security in Ninawa by the worsening situation in Syria. In Mosul city there were a total of nineteen reported violent incidents, of which a considerable majority (fifteen) targeted ISF, with other government employees also being targeted and a single case of communications infrastructure being damaged by an IED. The attacks on Ninawa’s justice system also continued this week with the assassination of a civil judge in Arabi, north of Mosul, and a lawyer in central Mosul.
The North Central Region reported 26 incidents across the region during the period, which is a further reduction on last week’s figure and now sits well below the 2012 weekly average of 35. These figures continue last week’s improvement in security and mirrors similar trends seen across Iraq in the last two weeks. As with many other areas of Iraq, weekly reporting in the North Central Region is highly variable and as such these recent figures should not necessarily be seen as the beginning of a longer term improvement. The Diyala River Valley remained unusually quiet, though whether this reflects an actual improvement in underlying security is not clear. Most of Salah al-Din was also very subdued; however, there were some small clusters of violence in Shirqat and Tuz at the northern and eastern peripheries of the province. Most incidents consisted of low level attacks against ISF and represent everyday insurgent activity. Kirkuk was also quiet, however there was one reported VBIED in Riyadh and another in Kirkuk City, which killed one policeman and wounded 6 civilians. Despite the appearance of improved security across the North Central Region the possibility of a serious and sudden escalation in violence remains strong.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – No significant incident were reported during the period in the three provinces that comprise the KRG (Dahuk,Erbil and Sulaymaniyah).