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Old 01-01-2015   #1
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Default Iraq 2015: nowt is simple in this conflict

A new thread for Iraq in 2015 and obviously due to the overlap with the Syrian civil war should be read alongside the 2015 Syrian thread.

The title IMHO reflects how complicated the Iraqi civil war / insurgency is, notably the strange alliance supporting the Iraqi state and the semi-independent role of the Kurds.

A separate thread remains on ISIS, where commentaries on the group are best placed:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=21084
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Old 01-05-2015   #2
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I just interviewed Al Rai's Elijah Magnier about the Moqtada al-Sadr-Qais Khazali split. Unlike conventional wisdom that said the two split in 2006 and Khazali went on to create Asaib Ahl Al-Haq (AAH), Magnier said that AAH was actually a front group created by Sadr and Iran to carry out deniable attacks for the Sadr trend. Sadr and Khazali didn't split until much later thanks to the work of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force commander Gen. Qasim Suleimani. Please read more here.

Took me a whole week but I finally compiled all of the security statistics for 2014 in Iraq. Counted 10,209 attacks, 24,725 killed, 37,970 wounded. Complete statistics, and charts breaking down those numbers can be found here.

Did a year end review of Iraq stories for 2014. Is no way comprehensive list, but some of the major events month by month that I wrote about for my blog Musings On Iraq. Here's a link.

Just published my weekly security report for Jan1-7, 2015 in Iraq. Attacks have been going up over last several weeks, but casualties remained stable. Read more here.

Another Iranian was reported killed in Iraq Jan 10. Was a commander in the Basij militia likely working with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force. This is the sixth Iranian that has officially been announced as dying in Iraq since the fall of Mosul in June. Read more here.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-16-2015 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 01-13-2015   #3
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Default The Impact of Crudeís Collapse on the Islamic State

Money matters and in this very short CTC piece all is explained, although to date action by the coalition appears to have littel impact - leave it to the market! http://combatingterrorismcenter.cmai...9AA49ED5AF8B9E
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Old 01-14-2015   #4
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There's been a dramatic drop in car bombs in Iraq since Dec. Went form 59 in Nov to 21 in Dec. Low numbers continued into Jan. Analysis of some reasons why this has occurred here.

After 13 tries Jurf al-Sakhr in northeastern Babil a long time IS base was finally cleared in Oct. Security in Babil and southern Iraq has dramatically improved since then. There have been no car bombings in the south for example as Jurf was IS's main VBIED base in the south. On the other hand the entire population of the area has been forced out and are in refugee camps as militias and local govt wont allow them back in because theyr'e considered IS supporters. Read more here.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-16-2015 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-19-2015   #5
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Just released my weekly security report for Iraq for 2nd week of January 2015. Attacks have gone up in Iraq since December. There was a big jump in casualties as well, but that was because a mass grave was found outside of Mosul with victims of IS. There is a continued stalemate in Anbar, mass graves were found in Diyala, an uptick in insurgent activity in Kirkuk, IS went on the offensive in Ninewa, while the ISF and militias are trying ton consolidate their recent wins in southern Salahaddin. For more read here.
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Old 01-20-2015   #6
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Wrote an in depth history of the Badr Organization from its origins with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard during the Iran-Iraq War to its attempt to co-opt the 1991 uprising to the 2003 invasion when it attempted to take power in Diyala and Wasit to taking over the Interior Ministry, assassinations of Baathits, its war with the Sadrists up to the current period where it sent fighters to Syria and is now in the forefront of the war against the Iraqi insurgency. Read more here.
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Old 01-21-2015   #7
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Premier Abadi suggested creating a National Guard as a way to protect the provinces and decentralize power when he came into office in Sep. Legislation to create the Guard is deadlocked in parliament, but some provinces are moving ahead with the idea anyway. Read more here.
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Old 01-22-2015   #8
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When open fighting broke out in Iraq at start of 2014 and militias were deployed many feared that there would be a huge jump in extrajudicial killings with bodies dumped in Baghdad. There was a huge surge in those types of incidents during the summer, but they have since gone down as fears that the capital would be taken receded. Read the whole article here.
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Old 01-26-2015   #9
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Just published my weekly security report for Iraq. Attacks are going back up after a dip in the last quarter of 2014. Pro-government forces consolidating recent gains and repelling IS attacks. Looks like Iraq heading towards periods where both insurgents & ISF are going to be offensive at same time. Read more here.
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Old 01-28-2015   #10
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Jan 1-27 24 out of the 36 successful car bombs used in Iraq were for tactical attacks by the Islamic State on pro-government forces. In recent months anywhere from 33-50% or more of VBIEDs are being directed to these types of operations instead of the regular terrorist ones against civilian targets. Analysis of this shift here.
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Old 01-29-2015   #11
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Quote:
A video uploaded to YouTube appears to show a large Hezbollah Brigades convoy transporting weapons, troops, and armored vehicles to the front to fight the Islamic State.
Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archiv...#ixzz3QFa5E3rG
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Old 02-02-2015   #12
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My latest article breaksdown the security situation in Diyala. That was one of the first places the insurgency began rebuilding itself in 2012. That quickly brought in militias, one of the first places they deployed outside of Baghdad in 2013. By 2014 militants were threatening eastern and northern Diyala and then seized dozens of villages in June during the summer offensive. Since then the security forces and militias have launched security operation after operation often in the same areas because it doesn't have the forces to hold any area. In January the govt and militias claimed that the entire province was free, but that was propaganda as insurgents are still strong in eastern Diyala. Province has also seen sectarian killings by militias just like what happened from 2005-2008. Read more here.
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Old 02-03-2015   #13
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Latest article reviews security in Iraq in Jan 2015. Attacks were going down in the winter and started picking up again at the end of Dec into Jan. IS went on the offensive in Kirkuk and Ninewa in addition to continued operations in Anbar and Salahaddin. Led to a huge jump in attacks and casualties during the month. Read more here.
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Old 02-04-2015   #14
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New article breaking down extrajudicial killings in Baghdad in January. During summer these incidents spiked but have since stabilized. Analysis here.
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Old 02-05-2015   #15
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The National Guard bill finally got out of Iraq's cabinet. Was wide disagreement between different parties on bill. Major change was that Guard will no longer be controlled by governors, but prime minister as commander and chief. Bill now goes to parliament where there are probably even more divisions and no telling whether legislation will be passed or not. Biggest fear amongst Shiite and Kurdish parties is that Guard will be taken over by hostile Sunnis. Read more here.
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Old 02-07-2015   #16
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This is the indicator we needed to see ---if this is true when how deep does it go and strength of the Naqshibandiyah? AND will the Sunni tribes now get involved if armed by the US?

Reports that clashes erupted between the #IS and fighters of Tareq al Naqshibandiyah in Huwaija. #Iraq pic.twitter.com/0G6KjBO0pP
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Old 02-09-2015   #17
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From:http://www.understandingwar.org/back...ruary-7-8-2015

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Old 02-09-2015   #18
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Iraqi official continue to under report casualties. Since the summer offensive both Baghdad and Irbil have only given partial numbers for members of the security forces lost in the fighting. Recently the Peshmerga Ministry released some numbers but they are below figures reported in the press. Read more here.
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Old 02-09-2015   #19
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Michael Weiss @michaeldweiss
Uh huh. Iraqi commander denies paramilitary groups involved in killings http://ara.tv/w2e9w via @AlArabiya_Eng

Michael Weiss @michaeldweiss
There is more to come on the US' blind eye to Special Groups in Iraq...
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Old 02-10-2015   #20
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Just released new security report for 1st wk of Feb. After attacks were going up from Dec to Jan they saw a drop in Feb. Were now big offensive moves by IS during the week. Read all the details and see charts on violence in Iraq here.
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