Central Iraq (Baghdad and Anbar)
Baghdad recorded 28 incidents this week, a decrease from last week’s figure of 35 and in line with the current 2012 weekly average. Of note this week, was the significant reduction of explosive incidents in the city, only one serious bombing reported. On 24 August, two detonations were reported in the vicinity of the Office of the Martyr Sadr (OMS) in Sadr City, which left three dead and a number injured. With the exception of a failed kidnap attempt, all other incidents (totalling thirteen) were SAF related. The high ratio of SAF to other attacks is likely due to two factors. Firstly, throughout Eid al-Fitr security in the city was increased, making it more difficult to prosecute IED attacks; the western Sunni suburbs of Baghdad were particularly subdued this week, a distinct departure from the normal geographical pattern of attacks in the capital. Secondly, Sunni groups may be entering a period resupply following their high tempo of attack activity seen throughout Ramadan. Outside of the city, attack activity was again within more normal patterns, with Abu Ghraib and Taji both witnessing two VBIED incidents respectively.
Activity levels in Anbar decreased sharply during this reporting period, with just six incidents reported compared with 15 for the previous period. This weeks figure was significantly lower that the current 2012 weekly average of 11. As with other regions of Iraq, ISF activity was highlighted by a number of successful raids, and this operational tempo seems to have repressed the levels of violence seen in the province over the course of Ramadan. However, given the nature of statistics for Anbar province, this low figure cannot be deemed an accurate indicator of a coming period of calm, and incident figures may again increase in the coming weeks. In line with other regions, no large scale attacks were reported in the province. In total, there were three IED incidents, one SAF attack, one indirect fire (IDF) attack, and the detention of an individual wearing a suicide vest. Incidents relating to the situation in Syria also continued to feature in reporting with an over flight of the Iraq-Syrian border by a Syrian jet in the Abu Kamal / Al Qa’im area and the impact of two mortar rounds in the Al Qa’im area fired from Syria. Both were assessed to have been ‘accidental’ rather than deliberate provocation.