Central Iraq (Baghdad and Anbar)
Baghdad recorded 46 incidents this week, which is ten more than last week’s total and well above the weekly average of 27. The previous reporting period had included a large number of incidents associated with the nationwide attacks on 23 July. In contrast, while there were two significant attacks on government facilities in the Baghdad area this week, there was no large attack-series to explain the high number of incidents. The number of incidents this week is likely due to a number of factors ranging from increased ISF activity in certain areas to a switch in targeting back to shooting and assassination attacks. These weekly fluctuations do not necessarily reflect changes in the overall security situation in the capital. The most significant incidents saw a double car-bomb (VBIED) attack in the Karada area against the Counter Terrorism Directorate and a coordinated attack against Hoot Prison in Taji to the north of the capital. Both attacks follow the recent statements made by AQI leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad to conduct operations to free AQI prisoners and target the ‘Law and Order’ apparatus in Iraq. VBIED attacks also targeted a senior official from the Ministry of Interior in Qahira and a market in Husseiniya.
Anbar province recorded sixteen incidents during the reporting period, a reduction from the previous period but still above the current weekly average for 2012 of ten. The majority of incidents this week were focused in Falluja district, with a total of four IEDs, two SAF incidents, a VBIED and an attempted suicide bomb attack. The intended target for the majority of attacks remained the ISF. In contrast there was only one reported incident in Ramadi; an IED attack on a police patrol. This possibly reflects the increased security posture in the city this week, which included a ban on bicycles and motorcycles and the consolidation of checkpoints at the city’s limits. This week also saw one IED in Baghdadi to the east of Al-Asad and a SAF and IED incidents in Haditha. Rutba in the west of Anbar also witnessed a spike in activity, which included the murder of the Rutba police commander.