Weekly Security Update

Southern Iraq (South Central and South East Regions)

Activity in the South Central Region remains relatively subdued with a total of seven incidents during the period, the same as the previous week and still below the 2012 weekly average of nine. There were four reported IED incidents this week including a VBIED that killed four people in central Kut in Wasit province. Two brothers were killed and their father injured in a gun attack on their house as part of a tribal dispute in Karadiya in eastern Kut. Several detention operations were conducted in the region, resulting in the disruption of two AQI cells in Babil, that were reported to have been responsible for attacks the province. The continued low level of reporting is possibly a reflection of the change of leadership in the higher echelons of the security apparatus in the region. The VBIED in Kut was the only kinetic incident that formed part of the 16 August, series of attacks across the country.

The South East Region witnessed an increase in the number of reported incidents, with a total of twelve this week compared to five for the previous period; slightly above the 2012 weekly average of seven.  Although higher than the weekly average, the number of incidents reflects the relatively calm period being experienced across the entire south of Iraq. After a period of reduced IED activity, four incidents were reported this week including two IEDs and two UVIEDs. Three of these incidents occurred in Basra Province which had seen an absence of such incidents in the past three weeks. Two of the IEDs in Basra were locally constructed ‘sound-bombs’, which is in keeping with patterns seen throughout 2012. UVIEDs targeted a member of the Anti-Crime Department in Amarah and a Federal Police Service officer in Basra City. The increase in small arms fire (SAF) activity seen in Basra province in the past two weeks, continued with three incidents reported, including an attempt on the life of the Chairman of the Writer’s Union in Basra. Also this week, a beheaded and torched body was found dumped at the roadside of Highway 1 (Route Tampa); a six-year old girl was kidnapped and murdered by an Iraqi soldier in Khor Az-Zubayr; and a man was stabbed to death by his two brothers in Basra City. Two demonstrations linked to Iranian influence in Basra were also reported in Basra City.  Security within South Central and South East regions will be boosted by the formation of the Rafidain Operations Command (RaOC) set for 20 August. Much like the Tigris and Mid-Euphrates Operations Commands, the RaOC will be another multi-operations command with responsibility for security in the provinces of Dhi Qar, Maysan, Muthanna and Wasit.

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