Northern Iraq (North and North Central Regions – including the KRG)
The Northern Region reported 46 incidents over the period, an increase on last weeks figure of 32 and over twice the current 2012 weekly average of 21. Nearly all incidents this week occurred in Ninawa Province, with a single under vehicle improvised explosive device (UVIED) attack taking place in Dahuk. While there were numerous incidents reported in western areas of Ninawa, and clusters of reporting along the Tigris River Valley in Qayyara and Hamam al-Alil, this week’s elevated figures are largely due to increased reporting from Mosul. While several other regions have all seen increased reporting over Ramadan, the situation in Mosul is less clear and remains a consistent mix of “shoot and scoot” attacks on Iraqi Security Force (ISF) checkpoints, stand-off attacks on ISF patrols, and the steady stream of communal violence. Mosul city witnessed 14 reported shooting incidents, of which five targeted ISF, five improvised explosive devices (IEDs), of which three targeted ISF, two UVIEDs and three grenades. It is unclear whether these figures reflect an intensification of activity, or whether they simply reflect increased reporting coverage.
The North Central Region saw an increase in incidents during this reporting period, with a total of 50, compared to 37 for the previous period. While this weeks figure is significantly above the current weekly average for 2012 of 34. The figure still remains below the peak seen in the first two weeks of Ramadan, despite the occurrence of several incidents in the region as part of the 15/16 August attacks. It is difficult to determine if recent figures indicates the relative success of ISF in the later half of Ramadan, or simply a lull in activity – compared with the beginning of Ramadan. Violence was once again concentrated in the upper Diyala River Valley and along the Hamrin mountain ridge from Tuz District in the far east of Salah al-Din up to Kirkuk City. There was also a cluster of incidents in the plain to the west of Kirkuk City, focused in Hawija. This reflects the emerging pattern of the Sunni extremist return to dominance in former strongholds, which is a stated aim of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Except for clusters of incidents in Beiji and around Balad and Dujail, Salah al-Din remained relatively quiet this week.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – Only one significant incident was reported in the three provinces that comprise the KRG (Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah) during this reporting period. On 15 August, two civilians were injured in a UVIED attack on their car to the west of Dahuk city.