Thursday, August 27, 2015

Limits To Iraq Premier’s Reform Program, Cuts Cabinet While Maintaining Quota System


In response to a new wave of demonstrations Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Abadi promised to cut government waste while ending the ethnosectarian quota system that determines how positions are dolled out to the ruling parties. In August, the premier reduced the number of ministers, but at the same time maintained the ethnosectarian breakdown that existed beforehand. This points to the limits Abadi is facing as he tries to appease the protest movement.

On August 17, 2015 Premier Abadi announced that he was cutting the number of ministers in the government to reduce costs. Four ministries were being eliminated, and another four were being merged together. The Ministries of Human Rights, Women’s Affairs, Provincial and Parliamentary Affairs were all being done away with while Science was becoming part of Higher Education, Environment part of Health, Municipalities into Housing, and Tourism into Culture. That reduced the cabinet from 30 positions down to 23. When Abadi first came into office in September 2014 he said he wanted to make the government smaller as it had vastly expanded under Maliki to meet the demands of the ruling parties. For example, when Maliki was sworn in for his second term in 2010 he had 30 ministers, but within a few months that had ballooned to 40. Abadi’s willingness to make more cuts therefore was in line with what he’d talked about from the beginning. This move was made in response to the growing protest movement in Iraq, which began in July initially over electricity shortages, but then quickly expanded to include calls to end corruption and government excess.

While Abadi addressed one of the demonstrators’ demands with this move, he ignored another. Abadi and the protesters have both called for ending the ethnosectarian quota system, which was institutionalized within the Iraqi government after the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The system is meant to appease the ruling parties, and leads to positions being given out not based upon competence, but party affiliation. Abadi maintained those quotas even as he reduced his cabinet. Before there were 30 ministers with the Shiites holding 53% of them, the Sunnis 23%, and the Kurds 16% with the rest held by smaller parties. After the cuts the Shiite lists had 52% of the cabinet, the Sunnis 21%, and the Kurds 17%. While the Iraqi ruling class has all come out in support of the protests, behind the scenes they are unwilling to make any real structural reforms, which would threaten their power. The parties were willing to give up a few ministries, especially because they were all rather small. Women’s Affairs for example had a budget of roughly $120 per month, and only three offices according to a Kurdish lawmaker. At the same time, they were not going to make any real institutional changes that would upset the balance between them.

Abadi’s Government Before Cuts
Shiite Parties – 16 Ministries = 53% of cabinet
Sunni Parties – 7 Ministries = 23% of cabinet
Kurdish Parties – 5 Ministries = 16% of cabinet
Others – 2 Ministries = 6% of cabinet

Abadi’s Government After Cuts
Shiite Parties – 12 Ministries = 52% of cabinet
Sunni Parties – 5 Ministries = 21% of cabinet
Kurdish Parties – 4 Ministries = 17% of cabinet
Others – 1 Ministry = 4% of cabinet

Abadi faces severe challenges in his reform effort. If he doesn’t continue to make moves the protests could grow angrier and undermine his rule. His opponents are already attempting to exploit the demonstrations against him. At the same time, if he moves too fast or attempts too much he could garner the ire of all the ruling parties. Abadi is therefore in the unenviable position of being between a rock and a hard place. He has to balance a number of political and social players, which are all pulling and pushing in different directions if he wants to survive this period.

SOURCES

Buratha News, “Demonstrations stopped in northern Basra to protest against poor electricity services,” 7/17/15

Office of Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, “Prime Minister Orders Decrease in the COM Members,” 8/16/15

Shafaq News, “Abadi announces reducing the number of ministers by cancelling four ministries and merging others,” 8/17/15
- “What did al-Maliki said about Abadi’s measures?” 8/9/15

Sotaliraq, “Hundreds protested in central Nasiriyah against corruption and attacked government officials and deputies,” 8/2/15

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Crisis Over Iraq’s Kurdish Presidency Favors Barzani


Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is facing a political crisis over what to do with President Massoud Barzani. His term ended on August 20, 2015, but he remains in office. His Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is pushing for a political deal between party bosses to extend his term for a second time, while the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Change list wants to limit the president’s powers and change the KRG to a parliamentary system. The two sides refuse to budge from their positions leading to a deadlock, which work’s to Barzani’s advantage.  

The KDP, PUK and Change List are at loggerheads over President Barzani. Even though his term expired the KDP insists that he is still the president, especially now as the region faces the dual threat of the Islamic State and a financial crisis. The PUK and Change counter by pointing out the law says the speaker of parliament Yousif Mohammed should be the acting president for 60 days until a solution is found. This has led to two dilemmas. First, the KRG like the rest of Iraq has weak rule of law, so what it says on the books is often ignored, which is why Mohammed will unlikely be recognized as the interim president. Second, the two sides can’t agree on what to do next. The KDP wants a deal between the parties like the one that extended his term for two years back in 2013. If one is not made the party claims that Barzani should stay in office until the next elections in 2017. The PUK and Change want a new presidency law passed, which would dramatically curtail the powers of the office and make the president elected by parliament instead of the public. Neither side appears willing to budge.

The reason why the parties cannot move forward is that they have almost the same number of seats in parliament. In 2013 the KDP won 38 seats. The smaller parties such as the Communists, the Turkmen, Christians and Armenians could be in its camp as well giving Barzani up to 14 additional votes. The PUK and Change List have 42 seats together. That leaves the three Islamic parties, the Kurdistan Islamic Union, 10 seats, the Kurdistan Islamic Group, 6 seats, and the Kurdistan Islamic Movement, 1 seat as the swing votes. The opposition has claimed that the Islamists are in its camp, but that doesn’t appear to be completely true. The KDP has lobbied the Islamic Union extensively, and that seems to have split the party. Only 3 out of the party’s 10 parliamentarians signed a petition calling for a special session of the legislature on August 19 to discuss Barzani’s future. Then on that day only half of the Islamic Union members showed up meaning there was no quorum to conduct business. As long as those parties are split there’s unlikely to be any progress on the matter, which suits Barzani.

Barzani is likely to remain president of the KRG no matter how this drama plays out. For now he holds de facto power, and can play divide and conquer with the Islamist parties until he reaches a favorable outcome. If the KDP wins the argument Barzani will agree to some nominal reforms to appease the other parties and go about his business as usual. If the PUK and Change win he can still probably pull off a majority in parliament to remain in office, while working around any limitations the two parties try to place upon him. As of now there are no term limits on the presidency. The draft constitution calls for only two terms for the office, but that has not passed. Barzani has used that as well to stay in power showing his great agility to play the system to achieve his goals, which is to stay in power until he feels like stepping down. This whole affair shows how limited democracy is in Kurdistan, and how laws can be bent and broken to suit the powerful.

SOURCES

Abdulrahman, Kareem and Zagros, Roman, “Iraqi Kurdistan democracy tested in presidency row,” BBC, 8/21/15

Coles, Isabel, “As Iraq splinters, Kurds’ own unity put to test,” Reuters, 7/9/15

eKurd, “Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament fails to convene a meeting for lack of quorum,” 8/19/15

Millet, “PUK Approves Barham Salih’s Project,” 8/11/15

NINA, “The leadership of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) rejects the project solution by Barham Salih,” 8/12/15

Osgood, Patrick and Tahir, Rawaz, “Barzani remains in office after term expires,” Iraq Oil Report, 8/20/15
- “Kurdistan presidency controversy deepens,” Iraq Oil Report, 8/18/15
- “Presidency crisis engulfs Kurdistan,” Iraq Oil Report, 8/10/15

Salih, Hemin, “Kurdish Parties to Establish Supreme Political Council to Solve Presidential Crisis,” Bas News, 8/18/15

Shafaq News, “KDP: Barzani will remain in office with full powers after August 20,” 8/11/15

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Casualties Drop In Half In Iraq During 3rd Week of August


During the third week of August 2015 casualties in Iraq dropped in half. The main causes were fewer mass executions by the Islamic State, and less dead and wounded from car bombs. At the same time, casualties remain a largely unreliable source for measuring violence in the country because of government censorship.

From August 15-21, 2015 there were 136 reported security incidents in the country. That was the exact same number as the previous week. During the first three weeks of August there have been an average of 20.0 incidents per day, which was just about the same as July’s 19.6 average.

During the week there were 345 deaths and 354 wounded. Those figures broke down to 2 Sahwa, 22 Peshmerga, 29 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), 30 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 91 Hashd al-Shaabi, and 171 civilians killed, and 1 Peshmerga, 3 Sahwa, 41 Hashd, 45 ISF, and 264 civilians injured. By province there were 76 fatalities in Ninewa, 71 in Anbar, 67 in Baghdad, 59 in Salahaddin, 29 in Irbil, 26 in Kirkuk, 9 in Babil, and 8 in Diyala. That was nearly half the amounts from the previous week. The real number of casualties is always higher, especially now as the government has been suppressing losses across the country to maintain morale.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015
Date
Incidents
Dead
Wounded
Jan 1-7
189
466
464
Jan 8-14
172
733
518
Jan 15-21
189
403
528
Jan 22-28
195
492
899
Jan 29-31
91
306
568
JAN
836
2,400
2,977
Feb 1-7
155
408
688
Feb 8-14
177
443
566
Feb 15-21
169
592
383
Feb 22-28
171
391
705
FEB
672
1,834
2,342
Mar 1-7
176
373
595
Mar 8-14
137
398
656
Mar 15-21
146
1,304
505
Mar 22-28
174
273
406
Mar 29-31
72
205
219
MAR
705
2,553 + 4
2,381 + 150
Apr 1-7
127
218
422
Apr 8-14
137
676
542
Apr 15-21
172
729
717
Apr 22-28
163
497
483
Apr 29-30
50
162 + 7
182 + 299
APR
649
2,282
2,346
May 1-7
154
626
450
May 8-14
154
420
549
May 15-21
124
963
387
May 22-28
108
341 + 1,499
348
May 29-31
38
66
164 + 646
MAY
578
2,416 + 1,499
1,898 + 646
Jun 1-7
132
431
476
Jun 8-14
126
522 + 405
394
Jun 15-21
141
365
373
Jun 22-28
162
306
474
Jun 29-30
61
122
189
JUN
622
1,804
2,012
Jul 1-7
161
435
719
Jul 8-14
140
384
570
Jul 15-21
109
359
597 + 4,024
Jul 22-28
145
527
590
Jul 29-31
53
453 + 8
603
JUL
608
2,166
3,079 + 4,024
Aug 1-7
154
650 + 760
298
Aug 8-14
132
726
645
Aug 15-21
136
345
354

Violence In Iraq August 2015 by Province
Provinces
Aug 1-7
Aug 8-14
Anbar
46 Incidents
76 Killed: 5 Hashd, 6 Sahwa, 22 ISF, 43 Civilians
42 Wounded: 5 Sahwa, 17 ISF, 20 Civilians
22 Shootings
4 IEDs
3 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Mortars
4 Suicide Bombers Killed
12 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
2 Car Bombs Destroyed
18 Incidents
45 Killed: 14 ISF, 31 Civilians
44 Wounded: 10 ISF, 34 Civilians
6 Shootings
2 IEDs
10 Suicide Bombers
6 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
6 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
6 Incidents
5 Killed: 2 Sahwa, 3 Civilians
15 Wounded: 1 ISF, 2 Sahwa, 12 Civilians
3 IEDs
2 Sticky Bomb
10 Incidents
14 Killed: 4 ISF, 10 Civilians
26 Wounded: 5 ISF, 21 Civilians
3 Shootings
3 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
Baghdad
46 Incidents
57 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 3 ISF, 53 Civilians
154 Wounded: 1 Sahwa, 2 ISF, 151 Civilians
9 Shootings
22 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
2 Car Bombs
1 Rocket
3 Car Bombs Destroyed
48 Incidents
130 Killed: 130 Civilians
404 Wounded: 404 Civilians
11 Shootings
29 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
3 Car Bombs
8 Car Bombs Destroyed
Diyala
8 Incidents
15 Killed: 1 Hashd, 3 ISF, 11 Civilians
29 Wounded: 29 Civilians
1 Shooting
4 IEDs
2 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
11 Incidents
73 Killed: 1 Hashd, 2 Sahwa, 5 ISF, 65 Civilians
123 Wounded: 123 Civilians
2 Shootings
1 IED
2 Suicide Car Bombs
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar
Irbil
1 Incident
12 Killed: 3 PKK, 9 Civilians
13 Wounded: 13 Civilians
1 Turkish Air Strike
-
Kirkuk
7 Incidents
64 Killed: 7 ISF, 57 Civilians
2 Wounded: 2 Civilians
6 Shootings
1 Grenade
9 Incidents
31 Killed: 11 Civilians, 20 ISF
13 Wounded: 13 Civilians
4 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Car Bomb
Ninewa
24 Incidents
374 Killed: 30 ISF, 344 Civilians + 760 Civilians
4 Wounded: 4 Civilians
12 Shootings
2 Rockets
18 Incidents
254 Killed: 13 Peshmerga, 241 Civilians
10 Wounded, 5 Peshmerga, 5 Civilians
6 Shootings
10 IEDs
2 Rockets
3 Mortars
Salahaddin
16 Incidents
47 Killed: 5 ISF, 8 Civilians, 34 Hashd
39 Wounded: 5 ISF, 34 Civilians
11 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Motorcycle Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
17 Incidents
49 Killed: 7 Hashd, 12 ISF, 30 Civilians
24 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 4 Sahwa, 10 ISF, 9 Civilians
11 Shootings
1 IED
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Motorcycle Bomb
12 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
1 Car Bomb Destroyed

Provinces
Aug 15-21
Anbar
24 Incidents
71 Killed: 22 ISF, 49 Hashd
23 Wounded: 23 ISF
12 Shootings
4 Suicide Car Bombs
2 Rockets
8 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
27 Car Bombs Destroyed
Babil
7 Incidents
9 Killed: 1 ISF, 8 Civilians
23 Wounded: 9 ISF, 14 Civilians
3 Shootings
4 IEDs
Baghdad
35 Incidents
67 Killed: 1 Hashd, 2 Sahwa, 3 ISF, 61 Civilians
237 Wounded: 3 Sahwa, 13 ISF, 221 Civilians
5 Shootings
21 IEDs
2 Sticky Bombs
4 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
Diyala
10 Incidents
8 Killed: 1 ISF, 2 Hashd, 5 Civilians
12 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 10 Civilians
2 Shootings
5 IEDs
Irbil
2 Incidents
29 Killed: 29 PKK
Karbala
1 Incident
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
Kirkuk
11 Incidents
26 Killed: 1 Peshmerga, 25 Civilians
3 Wounded: 3 Civilians
2 Shootings
1 IED
1 Car Bomb
1 Rockets
Ninewa
15 Incidents
76 Killed: 21 Peshmerga, 55 Civilians
1 Wounded: 1 Peshmerga
3 Shootings
4 Mortars
3 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
Salahaddin
31 Incidents
59 Killed: 3 ISF, 17 Civilians, 39 Hashd
55 Wounded: 16 Civilians, 39 Hashd
14 Shootings
5 IEDs
1 Suicide Car Bomb
2 Car Bombs
1 Mortar
11 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
98 Car Bombs Destroyed

Car Bombs In Iraq, August 2015
Date
Location
Dead
Wounded
Aug 1
Saqqara, Anbar – 8 destroyed


Aug 2



Aug 3



Aug 4
Balladries, Diyala
7
10
Aug 5
? x3, Anbar
Sadr City x2, Baghdad
Khalkis, Diyala
Anbar Unit, Saqlawiya, South of Fallujah, Anbar – 6 destroyed
Amiriya, Husseiniya & Sadiya, Baghdad – 3 destroyed
32
40
Aug 6



Aug 7



Totals
7 & 17 Destroyed
39
50
Aug 8
Ramadi, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Amiriya, Baghdad – 1 dismantled


Aug 9
Abadi, Mukhayb, Tal Al-Mushahid, Anbar – 4 destroyed


Aug 10
Howaider & Kanaan, Diyala
Baghdad – 7 destroyed
63
101
Aug 11
Samarra, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed


Aug 12
New Baghdad & Shomook, Baghdad
Khalis, Diyala
10
40
Aug 13
Sadr City, Baghdad
East Husaiba & Saqlawiya, Anbar – 2 destroyed
Mahawil, Babil – 1 destroyed
76
221
Aug 14
Yarmouk, Kirkuk
Baiji x 12, Salahaddin
Albu Jassim, Anbar – 2 destroyed
3
4
Totals
19 & 22 Destroyed
152
366
Aug 15
Habibiya & Shuhada, Baghdad
Salam Bridges, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
17
75
Aug 16
Outside Fallujah x4, Anbar
Jisr Diyala, Baghdad
Husaiba, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Ajeel & Baiji, Salahaddin – 3 destroyed
20
28
Aug 17
Habibiya, Baghdad
5 Kilo & Ramadi, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Gwar, Ninewa – 3 destroyed
Albu Jwari, Durr Tal Abu Jarad & Baiji, Salahaddin – 56 destroyed
15
35
Aug 18
Asri, Salahaddin
Albu Athea, Garma & Humaira, Anbar – 12 destroyed
Ain al-Tamur, Karbala – 1 destroyed
Tal Abu Jarad, Salahaddin – 5 destroyed
21
4
Aug 19
Kirkuk, Kirkuk
Baiji, Salahaddin
Baiji & Tal Abu Jarad, Salahaddin – 16 destroyed
12
2
Aug 20
Hawish, Salahaddin
Albu Athea & Zaqareed, Anbar – 10 destroyed
Baiji, Salahaddin – 28 destroyed

27
Aug 21
Ramadi, Anbar – 1 destroyed


Totals
12 & 141 Destroyed
85
171


There have been fourteen straight days of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in Iraq since August 8. This is just the latest part of the on going car bomb campaign by the Islamic State, which began in July. The third week of August was the most intense so far with 12 successful car bombs and 141 destroyed. There were 28 VBIEDs destroyed in Anbar and 109 in Salahaddin as IS was attempting to repulse the government’s offensive in the former province, while carrying out a new offensive in the latter. The successful car bombs were in Kirkuk with one, Salahaddin with 3, and Anbar and Baghdad with four each. Those led to 85 deaths and 171 wounded. Like the general casualty figures the real numbers were higher due to underreporting.

The government’s offensive in Anbar had mixed results again. The joint forces were moving into the Fallujah and Ramadi suburbs. The Great Mosque and 20th Street in Ramadi for example were reached on August 18. Several small towns between the two cities were also taken. The problem is that many of these villages have changed hands several times. The Malab neighborhood of Ramadi was said to have been cleared on July 13, and then again on August 16. There were three operations in Khalidiya Island between August 4 and 16, and East Husaiba has been swept through three times, and Husaiba cleared four times. The government simply lacks the manpower to hold all of these areas, which is a bad sign for when Fallujah and Ramadi are taken. IS has shown the ability to infiltrate into many areas behind the lines, and will be able to do the same to Fallujah and Ramadi. In the meantime, IS’s main tactical defense has been to launch a wave of car bombs at the military, Hashd and Sahwa with 28 for the week.

Repeated Security Operations In Fallujah-Ramadi Corridor

Malab, Ramadi
Cleared 7/13/15
Cleared 8/16/15

East Husaiba
Operation 7/19/15
Cleared 7/21/15
Operation 7/26/15
Operation 8/2/15
Cleared 8/6/15
Operation 8/10/15
Operation 8/20/15

Husaiba
Cleared 7/13/15
Operation 7/18/15
Cleared 7/19/15
Cleared 7/27/15
Operation 7/29/15
Operation 8/16/15
Cleared 8/17/15

Khalidiya Island
Operation 8/4/15
Operation 8/12/15
Operation 8/16/15

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to be the main driver of violence in Baghdad. There were just 5 shootings, compared to 2 sticky bombs, and 21 IEDs in the capital province during the week. There were also four car bombs. For the last two weeks, most of these incidents have happened in the south with 18 from August 15-21. There were also 9 attacks in the east, 5 in the west and 3 in the north showing the insurgents’ networks extend across the province.

Attacks In Baghdad Aug 15-21, 2015
East – 8: 2 Car Bombs, 2 Sticky Bombs, 4 IEDs
Outer East – 1: 1 IED
North – 1: 1 IED
Outer North – 2: 1 Shooting, 1 IED
South – 13: 2 Car Bombs, 2 Kidnappings, 2 Shootings, 7 IEDs
Outer South – 5: 1 Shooting, 1 Mortar, 3 IEDs
West – 1: 1 IED
Outer West – 4: 1 Shooting, 3 IEDs

The Turkish military announced that a new round of air strikes upon the Qandil Mountains from August 20-21 had killed 29 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Islamic State probed Peshmerga positions in both Kirkuk and Ninewa, while carrying out its regular series of executions. In Kirkuk the Kurds were attacked in Bashir, while in Ninewa Gwar was assaulted, along with three mortar incidents leading to a total of 22 Peshmerga dead and 1 injured. 20 people were also executed in Kirkuk, and another 12 in Ninewa. This was a huge decrease from the previous two weeks when the militants killed over 500.

Finally, there was intense fighting in the Baiji district in Salahaddin. The Islamic State launched a new round of attacks there to divert the government’s attention from Anbar. During the week the militants launched 112 VBIEDs with 109 of them being destroyed before reaching their targets. The group’s tactics appeared to work as several Hashd groups sent reinforcements to the district and were planning on a counter offensive to win back lost territory there.

SOURCES

Blare, Bill, "Iraq officials: Car bomb at Baghdad auto dealership kills 8," TJC Newspaper, 8/17/15

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - August 18, 2015," 8/18/15

Al Forat, "10 persons killed, injured southern Baghdad," 8/17/15
- "Asadi: 28 car bombs target ISF in Beiji, 8/20/15

Al Mada, "Joint forces thwart a suicide attack on the Durr Palace west of Tikrit," 8/17/15
- "Security forces repel Daash attack five kilometers west of Anbar," 8/17/15

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "Security forces liberate Anbar Traffic Directorate, reach the center of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 8/18/15,

Al Masalah, "Bomb blast in Diyala Bridge area southeast of Baghdad," 8/16/15
- "Repelled Daash car bomb attacks north of Tikrit," 8/16/15
- "Victories of the joint forces Friday ..," 8/21/15
- "Victories by joint forces on Tuesday," 8/18/15

New Sabah, "intelligence effort contributes to effectively thwarting gunmen's schemes in Baiji and Sharqat," 8/16/15

NINA, "21 Terrorists Killed, 5 Vehicle Bombs Destroyed In Qarma, West Of Baghdad," 8/18/15
- "25 Terrorists Killed, 5 Vehicle Bombs Destroyed North Of Baiji," 8/18/15
- "60 Vehicle Bombs Detonated In The Last Three Days In Baiji," 8/17/15
- "Army, Police, PDF, And Air Force Blow Up 10 Car Bombs In Salahuddin," 8/19/15
- "Popular Defense Forces Repel Daash Attack By Seven Car bombs North Of Fallujah," 8/20/15
- "Two people killed, nine others wounded in southwest Baghdad," 8/15/15

Al Rayy, "The destruction of two car bombs in airstrike in Ramadi," 8/18/15

Reuters, "Spate of bombings kill 24 across Baghdad," 8/15/15

Salaheddin, Sinan, "Iraq: Suicide attacks, clashes kill 17 troops near Fallujah," Associated Press, 8/16/15

Shafaq News, "14 casualties of PMU while repelling an attack with 9 car bombs in Baiji," 8/19/15
- "26 casualties of PMU in battles after a suicide bombing in the center of Baiji," 8/18/15
- "A car bomb exploded near a market in Kirkuk," 8/19/15
- "Security forces and PMU progress toward the center of Ramadi," 8/18/15
- "Security forces repel ISIS attack near Samarra," 8/15/15

Sotaliraq, "27 elements of the security forces injured by a tank bomb explosion west of Samarra," 8/20/15
- "81 people dead and wounded final outcome of bombing in Habibiya east Baghdad," 8/15/15
- "The killing of Khaled Al Asavi Daash official and car bombings in Ramadi," 8/20/15
- "Security forces thwart suicide car bomb east of Ramadi," 8/16/15