Friday, October 31, 2014

31 October 2014

The most significant developments today are the continuing military operations in Anbar, especially in Hit township, and the aftermath of the massacre in which at least 238 men were shot to death in the Zuwaya area in the extreme southwest of the township. Security forces have launched a campaign against the locations of ISIL gunmen; there were intermittent fierce clashes. News reports confirmed by our sources indicate that ISIL has executed the top sheikh of the Bu-Nimr tribe, after having abducted him five days ago.

In Fallujah, a preliminary count has confirmed that 4 residents have been killed and 11 wounded by the bombardment exchanges between the security forces on the city's perimeter and ISIL gunmen within the city that they have been holding for nearly 10 months.

The Anbar Council has decided today to close the Al-Ma'arif University, run by the Al-Sa'adi tribe and owned by Sheikh Abdul-Malik Al-Sa'adi, because of the alleged role of Al-Sa'adi in 'supporting terrorism.'

In Ramadi, the intensity of military operations has receded, particularly in the central districts where a few families have been returning to their homes.

During the past two days two attacks have been launched: first on the Bu-Mahal area in northeastern Ramadi that had been held by ISIL gunmen. The second was in the central Mu'allimeen district. The operations, and the killing of ISIL gunmen has provided a morale boost for the fighters, especially the tribal fighters.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

30 October 2014

There has been some escalation in the security situation, especially in the Province's western regions. A security source has announced the discovery of a mass grave where ISIL gunmen have buried a large number of the Awakenings of the Bu-Nimr tribe in the western part of Hit township. More than 130 bodies were buried there following the executions carried out by ISIL gunmen, including some children and elderly people.
A source from the Bu-Nimr has announced that the number of those executed from his tribe was at least 228.
The Anbar Council leader announced the start of a military operation to exact revenge for those victims; the area of operation includes the western parts of Hit.

In Ramadi, there have been two major clashes between the gunmen and security forces who were supported by Iraqi air support.

In Fallujah, 2 civilians were killed and 7 wounded by the exchange of bombardment by the security forces on the city's perimeter and the gunmen controlling the city.

In Ramadi today, A GMC vehicle was targeted by mistake in an Iraqi airstrike. It was carrying a family consisting of 5 members, but the Iraqi pilot thought it was carrying ISIL gunmen. The family was on its way from western Ramadi to Sulaymaniya Province in Kurdistan.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

29 October 2014

ISIL has committed a massacre involving the execution of at least 50 tribesmen of the Bu-Nimr tribe that had been fighting for more than three weeks in the Zuwaya area to the west of Hit. The gunmen gathered 50 men of the police and Awakenings forces - who are reported to have announced their 'repentance' two days ago - at a roundabout in the Al-Bakr district in the western  sector of Hit township where everyone thought they would be released. But they were lined up and all 50 were summarily executed. The gunmen then evicted every family in the area where the victims had lived, and moved into the vacated houses. There was a mass migration today from Al-Bakr and Zuwaya with families making their way on foot towards Haditha township, more than 50-60 km away. The head of the Anbar Council, Sabah Karhout, has confirmed that 5 of the migrants died along the way, 4 children and an elderly woman. The local government and the Bu-Nimr tribe are expected to announce in the next two days a major operation to avenge the victims of today's mass execution.

In Fallujah, there are reports that at least 21 civilians have been killed or wounded as a result of fresh clashes and the renewed bombardment exchanges between the ISIL gunmen and the security forces.

In Garma, coalition warplanes have carried out airstrikes; an Anbar Operations source has reported that at least 14 gunmen have been killed and a number of their vehicles have been destroyed.

In Baghdadi, gunmen today launched an attack - the fifth in less than 10 days - aimed at seizing control of the town, but security forces at the Ayn Al-Asad military base provided support for the tribal fighters within the town in resisting the attack. Meanwhile, at least 70% - 80% of the town's residents have abandoned their homes, fleeing the exchanges of fire around them.

In Haditha today, there were some low-level military operations, with security forces setting up checkpoints around the town. Haditha is to be the training center for the 30,000 volunteers whose recruitment has been authorized by the Prime Minister.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

28 October 2014

Tribal and local Anbar government sources are saying that Prime Minister Al-Abadi has approved the formation of a 30,000-man army whose fighters will be trained within and outside Iraq. Participation is open to all tribesman who will then take part in fighting ISIL and liberate Anbar Province from the gunmen.

There has been today a major assault on Baghdadi township that encompasses the Ayn Al-Asad military base. This has led to the displacement of many families from the township, leaving it practically empty. Gunmen have bombarded some of the abandoned residences, causing structural damage but no casualties.

In Ramadi, the military operation in its western sector is ongoing; Operation Command and Police sources say that the security forces are holding the initiative as they gradually advance into the districts there but they are advancing slowly because most of the access routes are mined with IEDs.
There have also been some intermittent clashes on the southern outskirts of Ramadi.

In Fallujah, clashes between gunmen holding the city and security forces outside the city who have been bombarding the city, left 4 residents dead and 17 injured, according to initial reports.

In Amiriyat Al-Fallujah, security sources are reporting that major reinforcements have arrived, accompanied by tanks, armored vehicles, and truckloads of arms and munitions. Meanwhile, the gunmen are still holding the areas around the town.

Monday, October 27, 2014

27 October 2014

In Fallujah, where casualties caused by the bombardment of the city have decreased along with the level of bombardment over the last two weeks, today's casualty report from the Fallujah General Hospital shows that at least 19 civilians have been killed and at least 39 wounded by the bombardment between yesterday evening and this morning.
A source at the hospital has announced that at least 1,442 have been killed and at least 3,422 have been wounded since the Anbar crisis began.

In Ramadi, a major military operation is underway in the western districts of the city. According to security sources they were able to advance but were met by fierce resistance by the ISIL gunmen.

In Baghdadi, a new three-front attack by the gunmen on the town was met with resistance by security and tribal forces. Seven members of one family were killed when their home was hit by a mortar round, while other mortar rounds hit a number of residences, causing major material damage but no human casualties.

In Hit, the gunmen are still holding the town, but there have been heavy clashes in the surrounding countryside.

A source within the Anbar Council revealed today that Anbar tribal leaders have met with the Iraqi National Security Adviser, Saleh Al-Fayadh. They agreed on the formation of new fighting units to be called 'The New Awakenings', so that they can retake the captured areas of Anbar Province that are estimated 80% of the province's overall area.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

26 October 2014

In Baghdadi, ISIL forces launched a three-front attack to take over the township, but there was a confrontation accompanied by coalition airstrikes against the attackers. Meanwhile a number of the town's districts were struck by mortar fire. One round hit a playground where some children were playing, killing 3 of them and injuring 7.
Many families left their homes and made their way out of the town, mainly toward nearby Haditha which is still being held by security and tribal forces.

In Hit, clashes lasted for six hours in the town's outlying areas that were targeted by the gunmen who were repelled by security forces that sustained 14 casualties.

In Ramadi, the city's southern sector was the scene yesterday of the fiercest clashes for about two weeks. There were also heavy clashes yesterday in the rural area of the city, where the security forces were led by the newly-appointed Anbar police commander, Kadhum  Al-Fahdawi. He also visited Amiriyat Al-Fallujah yesterday.

In Fallujah and Garma, yesterday and today have been relatively quiet, since military operations have been transferred from the province's eastern areas to its western townships. As a result, families have been returning to their homes in Fallujah and Garma.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

25 October 2014

In Hit and its surrounding villages, ISIL gunmen have blown up a number of homes in the northwestern sector of the town along the banks of the Euphrates, among them the home of the member of Parliament Faisal Gu'oud and the homes of a number of Bu-Nimr tribal sheikhs who had defended the area for more than 2 weeks before it fell to the gunmen. 

30 km away, in Baghdadi, fierce clashes resumed today while the town was being bombarded by mortar fire from across the river, driving residents to leave in search of safer areas.

In Fallujah, a number of residential districts were hit by mortar fire, in which one resident was killed and 17 wounded, according to initial estimates. Amiriyat Al-Fallujah is steadfast in resisting the advances by ISIL gunmen; the new Anbar police chief, Kadhum Al-Fahdawi, visited the town today and met with large numbers of local tribesmen. While there, he again called on the central government to 'extend a helping hand' in the fight against the armed groups and to recruit tribal volunteers to tske psrt in fighting them.

The Anbar Council has called today on the central government to provide additional funds for the province, in view of the large numbers of displaced people and families.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

22 October 2014

A three-pronged attack by ISIL gunmen on Amiriyat Al-Fallujah was the fiercest in about two months; the gunmen were trying to seize the township but were met by fierce resistance by security and tribal forces. Heavy fighting is continuing at this time, and a source in Anbar Operations has said that Iraqi air attacks have destroyed six tanks carrying gunmen attempting to drive them into the town. Six armored vehicles have also been destroyed. The source added that 30 gunmen have been killed, while the situation remains in the balance.

In the westernmost part of Hit, ISIL gunmen are trying to seize the area in the face of fierce resistance in the fiercest clashes there for more than two weeks. Security forces are redeploying their forces and those of the tribal fighters in order to turn back the attack.

The Anbar governor has confirmed today that Prime Minister Hayder Al-Abadi has approved the formation of a military brigade named after the martyr Ahmed Saddam Al-Dulaimi, the late commander of the Anbar police. This, along with the arrival of the new highly sophisticated weapons and munitions will bolster the forces defending Anbar Province, according to Council member Addal Al-Fahdawi.

The situation in Baghdadi is relatively calm, but it is still completely blockaded, with nothing being allowed into or out of the town.

Fallujah has also been the scene of clashes and mortar bombardment that has resulted in material damage without causing any civilian casualties. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

21 October 2014

There was an extended security operation in Amiriyat Al-Fallujah yesterday, south of Fallujah city. The aim of the operation was to secure that area which borders with the Babil Province to the south, in addition to breaking the blockade imposed on the town by ISIL gunmen. Reconnaissance flights are continuing over the area; security sources are saying that groups of gunmen have been pursued and attacked from the air.
Some mortar rounds have struck the southern residential districts of Fallujah that are adjacent to the area, as have done of the city's central districts. The shelling has killed one resident and wounded 13 others.

In Ramadi, there is a similar situation, with mortar rounds striking some residential districts, killing 3 residents and wounding 7. Clashes have also broken out on the southern outskirts of the city.
There has been concern over reported intelligence that the ISIL gunmen are preparing for a major assault on Ramadi, but security forces have been stressing to the residents that the security situation has not changed. The Anbar Council member, Addal Al Fahdawi, announced today that advanced - probably American - military equipment has reached Iraq, and that a portion has been allocated to Anbar. He also stressed that the next few days will see the recruitment of large numbers of tribal volunteers, to serve with the security forces.

In Baghdadi, that is still fully blockaded by the gunmen, the humanitarian factor is still critical, with the gunmen preventing any food or fuel shipments into the town. Clashes and shelling are continuing and Iraqi army has bombarded some of the gunmen's positions on the town's western perimeter. The overall situation is still confused but security sources are saying that the gunmen are not in contro; of Baghdadi.

Monday, October 20, 2014

20 October 2014

In Amiriyat Al-Fallujah, south of Fallujah city, a car bomb was detonated alongside a passing military motorcade that included a vehicle carrying the commander of the 8th Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Sabah Ali, who was instantly killed, along with two of his aides. Clashes quickly erupted between ISIL gunmen who control parts of the town and security forces supported by tribal fighters within the town.

In Fallujah, shelling of the city's residential districts has killed at least 13 civilians and wounded 17 others, according to updated casualty figures.

In Garma, there were intermittent clashes in the area adjacent to Fallujah.

In Hit township, intermittent clashes are continuing in the southern and northeastern sectors of the town that are still held by security forces and tribal fighters.

Baghdadi is still totally surrounded and isolated and its residents are experiencing severe food and fuel shortages. Dozens of families are trying to make their out to safer areas.

In Ramadi, gunmen in two of the city's districts clashed with security forces supported by army airstrikes accompanied by loud explosions, but we have no casualty or damage reports yet.

Displaced families that are still sheltering in school buildings are also facing food and fuel shortages, amid a drop in temperatures.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

19 October 2014

There has been an unprecedented escalation in the security situation, especially by the ISIL gunmen who are trying to take complete control of Anbar Province, after having seized the townships of Al-Qaim, Ana, Rutba, Rawa, and some districts of Ramadi, in addition to their total control of Fallujah and Garma.

Yesterday, the armed ISIL groups launched a fierce attack on the Baghdadi township, between Hit and Haditha, where the Ayn Al-Asad Base is located. The attack was on three fronts: from the north, the east, and the west, involving fierce clashes and mortar bombardment. There was a strong reaction by the tribal fighters who confronted the attack and prevented the gunmen from achieving the total control they sought. They did, however, seize some rural areas on the far bank of the Euphrates, including a village that is only 7-8 km from the center of Baghdadi. The outcome is that Baghdadi is now besieged from all sides, with no food or fuel getting through of which there are severe shortages. Meanwhile the indiscriminate mortar fire has been terrorising the residents, as some of the rounds have struck people's homes.

In Ramadi, there were intermittent clashes in the city's northern and northeastern sectors, as well as in the central districts, but the gunmen were unable to achieve inroads following airstrikes against some of their positions.

In Fallujah, numerous districts were hit by mortar fire. Preliminary reports show that 3 residents have been killed and 9 were wounded by the shelling.

In Garma, following the military operations last week, is now relatively quiet.

Across Anbar, the ISIL gunmen are in control of more than 80% (about 138,000 square kilometers) of the Province, while the local government is still calling for the formation of the province's National Guard.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

18 October 2014

In Ramadi, gunmen have attacked a number of the city's districts; fierce clashes broke out in the areas that were controlled by security forces, with the gunmen trying to re-take those districts. The Anbar Operations Command and the Police Command announced today that they have taken control of the rural area across the Euphrates. However, the surrounding areas are still under the gunmen's control.

Hit has also been the scene of intermittent clashes in the town's southwestern sector, when gunmen tried to move into the areas along the Euphrates  that are still controlled by tribal forces.

In Baghdadi, the armed groups are still surrounding the township that is home to the Ayn Al-Asad Military Base. The head of the township's municipality has again warned of an impending humanitarian disaster in the next few days, as a result of the gunmen's blockade on all food and fuel supplies. Making matters worse is the presence in the township of more than 4,000 displaced families.

In Fallujah, some of the city's residential districts have been under bombardment. The General Hospital has announced that 4 residents have been killed and 7 wounded.

In Garma, there have been clashes and mortar fire in some of the town's districts, particularly in those adjacent to northern Fallujah.   

The appointment of an Anbar Police Commander is still awaiting the Interior Ministry's decision to appoint Gen. Kadhum Al-Fahdawi, a military man with the former regime. He has stipulated that his appointment would be contingent upon the arrival of military equipment and munitions to the security forces in Anbar, particularly the Police.

The head of the Anbar Council, Sabah Karhoot, has warned against the infiltration of gunmen into Iraq from across the Syrian border. He called on coalition forces to secure the border areas between the two countries.