Levels of violence fell slightly in Iraq last month. Over the course of May AKE documented at least 162 separate attacks around Iraq. Incidents left at least 223 civilians and members of the security forces dead. Dozens more injured and the figure does not include militants and terrorists killed in police or army operations or during their own failed attacks. Violence was concentrated in key hotspots, with some parts of the country seeing regular attacks and some seeing virtually none at all.
A quarter of the violent incidents took place in Ninawa province, mainly in the hostile city of Mosul. Diyala province was the next most violent part of the country, accounting for 18 per cent of all militant and terrorist attacks. Ta’mim province (where the hotly contested city of Kirkuk is located) accounted for 16 per cent of all incidents.
Baghdad which normally sees a similar number of attacks to Mosul experienced a decline in violence. The capital accounted for 12 per cent of all attacks countrywide. Security measures were heightened for the UN Security Council conference on the Iranian nuclear programme which likely had a limiting effect on the opportunity of militants to operate. Conditions remained quiet until the very end of the month when a spate of attacks took place on 31 May.
Both Anbar and Salah ad-Din province also accounted for 12 per cent of all attacks each. They remain habitually violent parts of the country, with a persistent presence of local militant organisations. Basrah province in the south saw far less violence, accounting for only 2 per cent of all incidents recorded countrywide. This will likely be encouraging to the numerous energy and construction companies looking to work in the area. Security is much less of a concern in the region than other parts of the country. Wassit province accounted for 1 per cent while every other province saw either less than 1 per cent or no attacks at all. As previously documented, areas such as Kurdistan remain consistently quiet.
John Drake is a senior risk consultant with AKE, a British risk mitigation company working in Iraq since 2003. You can access AKE’s intelligence website Global Intake here, and you can obtain a free trial of AKE’s Iraq intelligence reports here.