Northern Iraq (North and North Central Regions – including the KRG)
The Northern Region reported a total of 27 incidents during this reporting period, slightly above the current weekly average for 2012 of 21. Mosul remained the main focus of activity this week, with Iraq Security Forces (ISF) being targeted by ten out of fourteen shooting (SAF) incidents, and five out of eight improvised explosive device (IED) incidents. ISF were also targeted in attacks in the towns of Ba’aj, Hamam al-Alil, Shura, Qayyara and Tal Afar, and an AQI leader was reported to have been arrested to the west of Mosul. While Ninawa province and Mosul city remain amongst the most violent places inIraq, the majority of activity remains targeted against security locations and personnel.
The North Central Region saw a slight reduction in violent incidents during this reporting period with a total of 61 incidents reported. This figure still remains well above the weekly average for 2012 of 33. This high figure comes despite the absence of any large scale coordinated attacks as seen during the previous period. The figures would indicate that AQI are able to maintain a high operational tempo across the north central region for an extended period of time. Insurgents appear to have adopted a strategy of launching a large number of “hit and run” style attacks on ISF checkpoints; attacks of this nature are largely responsible for the week’s high total, particularly in Salah al-Din province. Sunni insurgents also appear to be gaining in strength in a number of key areas in the region; the Diyala RiverValley, the Tigris River Valley from Shirqat to Balad and the areas to the south and west of Kirkuk city down to Tuz Khormato at the eastern edge of Salah al-Din.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – No significant incidents were reported in the provinces of Dahuk and Erbil during the reporting period. One minor incident was reported in Sulaymaniyah when a demonstration was staged on 30 July demanding that the UN stop violence against Kurds in Syria. The recent tension between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi Army (IA) following the deployment of IA units to the border areas northwest of Mosul appears to have dissipated this week. The IA units had been deployed to shore up security on the Syrian border, following recent incidents within Syria. Reports indicate that an agreement has now been reached to form a shared force to police the border area in northern Ninawa.