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Old 01-25-2016   #21
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The Hashd have proved incapable of clearing complex terrain without incurring large casualties or using egregious amounts of indirect fire. I cannot see that changing quickly.

I get no sense from Baghdad announcements and conjecture that Fallujah is high on anyone's agenda and I would be very surprised if more effort than is already the case (and that is minimal) is directed here.
To the contrary, from what I've heard and seen the Hashd are using direct frontal attacks in most operations and are facing large casualties they just don't report them. They also use lots of indirect fire just like the Iraqi army on cities, but again, it doesn't get reported.
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Old 01-25-2016   #22
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Did a summary of the new Amnesty report on Kurds and Yazidis destroying towns and forced displacement of Arabs from Ninewa, Diyala and Kirkuk. Different motivations appear to be at work in different areas from security, to revenge to wanting to annex disputed areas. Here's a link.
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Old 01-25-2016   #23
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To the contrary, from what I've heard and seen the Hashd are using direct frontal attacks in most operations and are facing large casualties they just don't report them. They also use lots of indirect fire just like the Iraqi army on cities, but again, it doesn't get reported.
That's not to the contrary - that's almost exactly what I said!

The Iraqi Army was always very fond of artillery and that has not changed as far as I can see. As in the Saddam era army, their ability to mass combat power quickly and decisively at the point of decision remains aspirational. The Iraqi Army preference is for steady "bite and hold" tactics at the tactical level and the "anaconda crush" at the operational level.

The Hashd will have improved since their blooding at Tikrit and Bayji, experience does that, but I see little evidence yet of Hezbollah level small unit proficiency.
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Old 01-26-2016   #24
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Just published my weekly security report for Iraq during the 3rd wk of Jan. Iraqi forces still moving east from Ramadi. City itself is pretty much cleared but suburbs are still highly contested. IS terrorist campaign in Baghdad picking up. More activity in Diyala. IS winter offensive versus Kurds pretty much over. Lots of fighting in Salahaddin as well. Here's a link.
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Old 02-01-2016   #25
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New weekly security report for Iraq is out. January has seen some of the heaviest violence since August. This is largely driven by IS counter attacks after it lost Ramadi. IS is also hitting the capital Baghdad hard along with growing crime due to the instability brought by the war. Full report here.
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Old 02-04-2016   #26
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Jan had the most attacks and casualties in Iraq in five months. Was due to counter attacks by IS after it lost Ramadi. Here's the breakdown.
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Old 02-09-2016   #27
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Violence has picked up in Iraq since the new year. That's driven by IS counter attacks in Anbar and to a lesser extent in Salahaddin after the loss of Ramadi. Anbar has been the group's major focus for over a year so Ramadi was a big hit for the group. Was also a report of a mass execution in Mosul and 3 SAS men being wounded in a recon op in Ninewa. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 02-10-2016   #28
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Jan was a double IS bombing in Diyala's Muqtadiya that left more than 100 casualties. Afterwards Hashd elements carried out revenge attacks upon city's Sunnis. Was almost total news blackout in Iraq on events and then widespread denial over what happened. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch each released reports confirming that Badr and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq were being retaliatory violence. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 02-11-2016   #29
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Life has apparently returned to normal in Tikrit. Majority of population is back in the city they're going to work school etc. Dramatic turn around since after the area was retaken in March the Hashd and Sunni Jabouri tribe destroyed much of the buildings in the district in revenge for the IS massacre at Camp Speicher. Still over 100,000 not allowed to return because considered IS sympathizers. Here's the article.
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Old 02-16-2016   #30
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Just published a new interview for Musings On Iraq with Nathaniel Rabkin fo Inside Iraqi Politics. We talked about security behind the frontlines in Iraq, specifically Basra, Diyala, Baghdad, Salahaddin and the disputed territories. Here's a link.
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Old 02-18-2016   #31
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Just published weekly security report for 2nd wk of Feb in Iraq. After a month and a half of heavy fighting in the country following loss of Ramadi IS seemed to call off its counter attacks. Had very low number of attacks and fewest deaths since 2013. Here's a link.
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Old 02-22-2016   #32
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Few days in Fallujah saw fighting between tribes and the Islamic State. Was it an uprising or a dispute between insurgent factions? Here's an article trying to explain it all.
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Old 02-23-2016   #33
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Head of Baghdad Operations Command not only said that the fake bomb detectors Iraq bought in 2007 actually work, but they will continue to be used at checkpoints until new equipment was bought. U.S. and British military, and maker of detectors have all said that devices don't work. they have no working parts inside and no power source, yet Iraqi officials unwilling to admit to it. Is because buying devices was full of payoffs and Iraqi elite cannot admit to wrong doing about graft. Here's the article.
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Old 02-24-2016   #34
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Musings On Iraq counted over 51,000 casualties in Iraq in 2015. Far more than UN or Iraq Body Count. Here's the article.
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Old 02-25-2016   #35
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New security report for 3rd wk of Feb. Heavy fighting continued in Anbar. Baghdad seeing heavy terrorist attacks as usual. IS executing people in Kirkuk and Ninewa & attacking Kurdish positions in the latter. No successful car bombs reported. Here's a link.
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Old 02-26-2016   #36
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Great article in The Independent. Mosul intel chief found out about IS planned attack upon Mosul in Feb 2014 and repeatedly warned Baghdad right up until attack in June but was ignored by Maliki's office, Ninewa Operations Command, Ninewa provincial council, and others. Here's a link.
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Old 02-29-2016   #37
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A short UK article via Defence in Depth blogsite, which ends with:
Quote:
It is therefore probable that their main question has become whether to choose the national interests over their own.
Link: http://defenceindepth.co/2016/02/29/...aqi-stability/
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Old 03-03-2016   #38
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New security report for last week of Feb. IS carried out two high profile attacks again. Since it no longer has capability of seizing territory in Iraq more of these types of operations are expected. Violence overall spiked in Iraq as well as IS carried out large number of attacks in Anbar plus executions in Hawija. Report of two chemical attacks upon Peshmerga in Ninewa as well. Full report here.
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Old 03-07-2016   #39
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Published security report for February 2016. After a spike in violence in January due to IS counter attacks after the loss of Ramadi incidents and casualties went back down in February. Overall security incidents have been declining since start of 2015 showing that IS is on he defensive. Complete breakdown of security across Iraq. Here's the link.
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Old 03-08-2016   #40
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US officials talking about early Mosul preparatory ops underway but actual assault on city may not start until 2017. Iraqi forces may not be ready, lots of territory to be cleared beforehand and Anbar ops can draw away forces, and most importantly plethora of political actors all want a share of the operation who do not agree with each other. Here's a link to the article.
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