Northern Iraq (North and North Central Regions – including the KRG)
The Northern Region reported 33 incidents this week, with all but one of these occurring in Ninawa province. As with most areas in north and central Iraq this marks a reduction from recent high levels of activity, however it is still above the current weekly average. In Ninawa almost all incidents occurred in Mosul, however there were also a handful of incidents just to the north of the city, further south in Hamam al-Alil and a single shooting incident arising from a dispute amongst ISF elements on the Syrian border. Throughout Mosul attacks were geographically dispersed and reflected a broad spectrum of attack methodologies and target types – a feature of reporting in large urban centres, however the largest proportion of attacks targeted ISF. Of particular note, ISF announced on 13 January that they were closing the Rabia border crossing with Syria until 20 January, citing security concerns.
The North Central Region reported a total of 52 incidents this week, a significant reduction on last week’s exceptionally high figure though still some way above the current weekly average. This reflects an improvement in security across most areas of the region, with the total figure for Kirkuk being only a third that of last week and that for Salah al-Din less than half. Both provinces had been subject to high levels of violence over preceding weeks. Diyala bucked the regional trend this week, once again reporting well above average levels of activity, in keeping with the patterns seen since the latter half of December 2012. The province is highly volatile with reporting prone to fluctuations on a weekly and a monthly basis. As is usual a high proportion (50%) of violent incidents targeted ISF, with most of these involving standoff explosive attacks on patrols or checkpoints.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – No significant incidents were reported during the period in the provinces of Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah. Unusually there was an improvised explosive device (IED) reported in Erbil province, however this was on the Ninawa border in the town of Kuwayr. The exact details of the incident remain unknown.