Northern Iraq (North and North Central Regions – including the KRG)
The Northern Region reported 27 incidents during the period, a decrease on last week’s figure of 33, and below the 2012 weekly average of 25. Mosul continues to be the main focus for insurgent activity within the North Region, although incidents from Mosul’s outlying districts and areas near the Syrian border were also recorded. Incident types were typical for the city of Mosul, with attacks mainly being small arms fire (several using silenced pistols) against static Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) locations. For the second week in a row, there was a low level of improvised explosive device (IED) activity within the city, with just three reported incidents. Despite a reduction in IED activity, a number of IEDs occurred on routes in Mosul’s outlying areas. One IED detonation against an Iraqi Army patrol in Badush injured two soldiers and a civilian.Iraq’s border districts with Syria continue to experience friction between insurgents/smugglers and ISF. These border regions have been very active over the past six months due to the deterioration of security on the Syrian side of the border.
The North Central Region reported 59 incidents during the period, an increase on last week’s figure of 33 and above the 2012 weekly average of 36. The apparent increase in ISF operations along the Diyala River Valley (DRV) did nothing to reduce insurgent activity levels. IEDs were reported in most of the population centres between Baquba and Khaneqin, however, the largest concentration of incidents in Diyala Province was in Baquba and its environs, with an even number of IED attacks and SAF happening within the city. The most serious incidents in the DRV occurred in Baquba’s environs; a vehicle-bomb (VBIED) just north of Baquba on 14 December targeting a police patrol, and a suicide bomber that prematurely detonated in Arabi village, south of Baquba. A VBIED attack in Samarra on 12 December detonated near a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims, killing at least two and injuring 19 others. This week’s activity culminated into a coordinated attack on Kirkuk City on the evening of 16 December. The attack involved a VBIED in the north, up to five IEDs detonating near to the Imam Ali Husseiniya in Musalla, an IED detonation near the train station in the south, and mortars landing in the centre of the city.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – No significant incidents were reported during the period in the provinces of Dahuk or Erbil. Two incidents were reported in Sulaymaniyah province all though no further details are known.