Weekly Security Update 14 - 20 November

Domestically Baghdad has borne the brunt of a particularly violent week in which more than 20 car bombs and suicide IEDs targeted the armed forces and Shia districts in the Capital.  Throughout the week there were smatterings of explosions, which succeeded in killing tens of people and wounding many hundreds.  The worst of the attacks took place midweek on Wednesday 20 November when 11 people were killed and 30 wounded after 3 separate attacks in the Tobchi, Hurriah and Amil areas of the city.

The northern and central belts were typically active this week with numerous shootings and attacks in the cities of Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Mosul, predominantly against government and ISF targets.  On Monday a senior army intelligence colonel was killed in clashes with gunmen in western Mosul who were intent on sabotaging the strategic oil pipeline near Aen-Jahash.  In Nineveh the Deputy Director of the Nineveh police battalions and 11 members of the police were injured in a series of explosions that targeted the convoy of the police Manager of Nineveh province, Brigadier General Khaled al-Hamdani.  One of the more surprising reports of this week was the assassination in Sulaymaniyah of the head of President Jalal Talabani’s security detail in a brazen coordinated housing compound attack. ISF sources reported that three gunmen attacked the house of Brigadier Sarwat Hama Rashid in Ibrahim Ahmed area east of Sulaymaniyah prior to his imminent departure for Germany where he was to link up with President Talabani.

Of particular note this week was the increase in ISF operations in Al-Anbar province.  This comes on the back of a particularly successful operation targeting AQ insurgents that resulted in the capture of 15 insurgents and the death of a well-known regional commander.  The net result has seen a normally quiet province bristle as local Sunni groups affiliated with AQ and the ISI have ramped up their attacks in retaliation for the ISF strikes.  Both Ramadi and Fallujah have seen heightened levels of violence with military installations coming under attack from mortar and coordinated small arms fire in both cities.

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