MESOP SUMMARY : Heavy Fighting In Anbar & Salahaddin & Another Yazidi Massacre May 1-7, 2015 in Iraq

During the start of May 2015, heavy fighting continued in Anbar and Salahaddin province. In the latter government forces were attempting to win back lost territory in the Ramadi area and in Garma. In Salahaddin, the Islamic State seized at least half if not more of the Baiji Refinery. Meanwhile there has been a steady escalation of violence in Baghdad and IS carried out another massacre of Yazidis in the Ninewa governorate.

In the first week of May there were 154 security incidents reported in the press. That averaged out to 22.0 attacks per day, on par with the 21.0 seen during April. Baghdad had the most violence as usual with 68 incidents. Then there were 34 in Anbar, 22 in Salahaddin, 11 in Ninewa, 9 each in Diyala and Kirkuk, and one in Basra. For the first time there were no reported attacks in Babil. That didn’t mean nothing happened there it just didn’t get into the press. That highlighted the fact that the real amount of violence in the country is always higher than what is in the media.

626 people were killed and 450 wounded during the week. The former consisted of 1 peshmerga, 1 Asayesh, 1 sahwa, 39 Hashd al-Shaabi, 106 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and 478 civilians. The latter was made up of 3 Asayesh, 4 peshmerga, 5 sahwa, 27 Hashd, 106 ISF, and 305 civilians. Ninewa led the way in deaths with 324, and then there were 105 in Baghdad, 89 in Salahaddin, 75 in Anbar, 23 in Diyala, and ten in Kirkuk. Despite the high number of fatalities the total number of casualties averaged out to 153.7 per day, below April’s figure of 161.2. Like attacks the true number of the dead and injured in Iraq were probably higher.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015

Date Incidents Dead Wounded
Jan 1-7 184 434 464
Jan 8-14 170 730 493
Jan 15-21 182 390 515
Jan 22-28 189 466 894
Jan 29-31 90 288 529
JAN 815 2,308 2,895
Feb 1-7 155 380 688
Feb 8-14 170 406 559
Feb 15-21 165 573 364
Feb 22-28 165 371 687 + 386
FEB 655 1,730 2,683
Mar 1-7 172 372 587
Mar 8-14 133 348 656
Mar 15-21 142 1,299 503
Mar 22-28 170 235 406
Mar 29-31 72 205 219
MAR 689 2,459 + 4 2,371 + 150
Apr 1-7 121 212 422
Apr 8-14 133 626 525
Apr 15-21 169 722 714
Apr 22-28 160 483 483
Apr 29-30 50 162 + 7 182 + 299
APR 633 2,212 2,625
May 1-7 154 626 450

Violence In Iraq By Province May 2015

Province May 1-7
Anbar 34 Incidents

75 Killed: 21 ISF, 30 Hashd, 24 Civilians

103 Wounded: 54 ISF, 49 Civilians

15 Shootings

19 IEDs

1 Suicide Bomber

2 Suicide Car Bombs

2 Mortars

2 Rockets

Baghdad 68 Incidents

105 Killed: 3 ISF, 1 Sahwa, 101 Civilians

234 Wounded: 7 ISF, 5 Sahwa, 222 Civilians

28 Shootings

28 IEDs

4 Sticky Bombs

1 Suicide Car Bomb

2 Car Bombs

1 Rockets

Basra 1 Incident

1 Shooting

Diyala 9 Incidents

23 Killed: 3 ISF, 1 Asayesh, 19 Civilians

23 Wounded: 8 ISF, 3 Asayesh, 12 Civilians

4 Shootings

2 IEDs

1 Sticky Bomb

Kirkuk 9 Incidents

10 Killed: 1 Peshmerga, 1 Hashd, 8 Civilians

17 Wounded: 4 Peshmerga, 13 Civilians

4 Shootings

3 IEDs

1 Mortar

Ninewa 11 Incidents

342 Killed: 324 Civilians

5 Shootings

25 IEDs

Salahaddin 22 Incidents

89 Killed: 79 ISF, 8 Hashd, 2 Civilians

73 Wounded: 54 ISF, 10 Hashd, 9 Civilians

Car Bombs In Iraq May 2015

Date Location Dead Wounded
May 1
May 2 Garma, Anbar

Karrada x2, Baghdad

29 66
May 3
May 4 Baiji Refinery, Salahaddin 3 5
May 5 Garma, Anbar

Karrada, Baghdad

6 13
May 6
May 7 Baiji x2, Dour, Hamrin x2, Salahaddin 57 39
Totals 11 95 123

8 of the 11 car bombs during the week were against the security forces. The government pushed deep into Garma, Anbar and IS responded with two car bombs against them. The insurgents were also making a push on the Baiji refinery and detonated three successful vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) there. Likewise, on May 7, IS attacked the security forces in the Hamrin area. The other three VBIEDs were terrorist attacks upon Baghdad’s Karrada, which has been repeatedly targeted recently. In total 95 people were killed and 123 wounded by these attacks.

The government spent the beginning of May attempting to take back territory it had lost recently. There were two main drives one in the Ramadi area and the other in Garma. In the former the results appeared to be mixed as many of the neighborhoods being fought over as have been the same ones contested for months now such as Howaz. On the other hand, by May 5 the authorities claimed that 75% of Garma had been cleared. The city was surrounded for weeks, and at the end of April the security forces, tribes and Hashd elements finally attacked making steady progress. There has been an on going debate about whether and how the Hashd should be deployed in the province, but some are already there and have been fighting for quite some time. During the week for example, 30 Hashd were killed in Garma and another 17 wounded.

Baghdad has returned as a major target of the insurgents. There has been a steady increase in the number of attacks there. In January there were 205 incidents in the capital for an average of 6.6 per day. In February, that went up to 214 attacks for an average of 7.6 per day. March saw 234 attacks, 7.5 per day and April 217, 7.2 per day. From May 1-7 there were 68 incidents for an average of 9.7 per day. The main form of violence has been IEDs, but there have been an increasing number of car bombs as well. Three went off during the week.

In Diyala the government carried out a clearing operation in Buhriz, which is just to the east of the capital Baquba. There were nine attacks in the province overall from the center out to the northeast Jalawla-Khanaqin area.

The Islamic State perpetrated another massacre against the Yazidi community. On May 1 it was reported that a large number of Yazidis were executed in Tal Afar by the Syrian border of Ninewa. The numbers varied about how many victims there were but 300 was one figure reported. Another 24 people were killed by IS in Mosul, and 25 homes were blown up in Sinjar and Baaj by the militants.

Salahaddin witnessed the other heavy fighting during the week in Baiji. The Islamic State was said to have taken at least 50% of the refinery there if not more. There was fighting in the area the entire week with reinforcements being organized to relieve the beleaguered unit protecting the facility. The assault on the refinery was a counter attack by IS after it lost Tikrit. Civilians are still said to be absent from that city with only Hashd and local police there. They are weary of any returns fearing IS re-infiltration. There are also plenty of IEDs still in the area and sleeper cells in the north. The provincial council said that any families that had supported IS would not be allowed to return. The city could be kept empty for the foreseeable future, which has happened to other IS strongholds that were cleared like Jurf al-Sakhr in Babil and Jalawla in Diyala.


Buratha News, “Federal Police Force face two car bombs and tens of improvised explosive devices in railway neighborhood of Baiji,” 5/7/15

eKurd, “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – May 3,2015,” 5/3/15

eKurd, “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – May 3,2015,” 5/3/15

Habib, Mustafa, “Tikrit After The Extremists: A Ghost Town Ruled By Gunmen,” Niqash, 4/30/15

Independent, “300 Yazidi captives killed in Iraq by Isis militants, officials say,” 5/4/15

Iraq Oil Report, “Iraqi forces overpowered at Baiji refinery,” 4/30/15

Al Mada, “200 thousand Tikritis stalled from returning because of “Daash pockets” and the weakness of engineering effort,” 4/21/15

– “Commander Salahaddin operations survives suicide attack on his headquarters north of Tikrit,” 5/7/15

– “Killing and wounding 20 elements of the security forces in a suicide bombing targeting a palace west of Tikrit,” 5/7/15

– “Killing two federal police in a suicide car bomb detonation east of Tikrit,” 5/7/15

– “The popular crowd: 75% of areas of Garma cleared in decisive battles of Fallujah and end close,” 5/5/15, Al Mada, “Killing and injuring four people in an armed attack on a store selling alcoholic beverages in eastern Baghdad,” 5/5/15

– “Salahuddin Council rejects the return of families involved with Daash,” 5/7/15

– “Source reveals Daash trapped 200 security elements in the Baiji refinery and confirms it controls over 90% of it,” 5/2/15

NINA, “Car Bomb, Driven By Suicide Bomber, Goes Off In Qarma, East Of Fallujah,” 5/5/15

– “Daash Blows Up Houses Of 20 Tribal Leaders In Mosul,” 5/6/15

– “Inspection Operations In Buhriz Groves, south of Baquba, Completed,” 5/3/15,

– “ISIS executes (20) Of The Owners Of The Travel Offices In Mosul,” 5/2/15

– “Saad Maan The death toll of the victims of the car bomb in Karrada rose to 42 people killed and wounded,” 5/2/15

– “Two Car Bombs Target The Federal Police HQ East Of Tikrit,” 5/7/15

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Six Killed In Baghdad Car Bombing,” 5/5/15

Salaheddin, Sinan, “Canadian prime minister visits Iraq as bomb attacks kill 13,” Associated Press, 5/2/15

– “Twin nighttime bombings in Iraq’s Baghdad kill 17 people,” Associated Press, 5/2/15

Shafaq News, “3 soldiers killed in a suicide bombing near Baiji refinery,” 5/4/15

– “The outcome of the bombing of Karrada 75 dead and wounded and Shafaq News publishes their names,” 5/3/15