Chronology: Iraq

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2014 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Iraq


See also Iran, Syria, Jordan

Jan. 15: A wave of bombings swept across the country, killing at least 73 people. At least nine car bombs detonated in Baghdad, and bombs went off in a funeral tent in Ba'quba, killing 16 members of the Awakening Council, a Sunni militia that fought against al-Qa'ida. [Daily Star, 1/15]

Jan. 16: The bodies of 14 kidnapped Sunni men were found in an orchard in Baghdad. The men were apparently victims of a mass- execution. [BBC, 1/16]

Jan. 19: The justice ministry executed 26 men convicted of terrorism charges. The United Nations and human rights organizations criticized the action and noted that Iraq's government executed more prisoners in 2013 than it had in any year since the US invasion in 2003. One of the executed prisoners was a leader of the Awakening. [BBC, 1/21]

Jan. 21: Security forces launched air attacks against militant targets in Anbar Province, killing at least 50 rebels. In Ramadi, security forces battled the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an al- Qa'ida splinter group, for control of key neighborhoods, resulting in dozens of casualties on both sides. [Daily Star, 1/22]

Jan. 24: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that 140,000 Iraqis fled their homes in Anbar since heavy fighting broke out between Sunni militias and government security forces in late December. The number of internal refugees was at its highest level since the 2006-8 sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shi'a factions. [NYT, 1/25]

Jan. 29: Six men wearing explosive- laden vests overtook the transportation ministry building in Baghdad and took several hostages. Security forces stormed the building after a standoff lasting several hours. All of the militants and at least 12 hostages were killed during the standoff and subsequent shootout. [BBC, 1/30]

Feb. 1: 733 Iraqis were killed in violent attacks in January, according to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Civilians accounted for 84% of the dead. Militant deaths were not included, and numbers from Anbar were excluded due to verification problems. The level of violence was higher in December/January than at any point since the 2006-8 conflict. [NYT, 2/2]

Feb. 3: The military claimed it killed 57 ISIS militants and their allies in Anbar, with most of the casualties happening outside of Ramadi. In the last week of January, security forces killed over 40 militants and captured four ISIS headquarters buildings in Falluja. Both cities were subjected to artillery bombardments and missile strikes as security forces battled militants in attempts to regain control of the restive areas. [Al Arabiya 1/31, Daily Star, 2/3]

Feb. 5: At least six bombs killed 34 people throughout Baghdad, including two car bombs that detonated outside of the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the prime minister's office and several Western embassies. The attacks came one day after two rockets were launched into the Green Zone by unknown assailants, killing seven civilians. [Daily Star, 2/7]

Feb. 7: Gunmen assassinated parliamentary candidate Hamza al-Shammari, a powerful supporter of militant Shi'i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, inside his home. Shammari was the first candidate killed since the last round of elections was held in April 2013. [Daily Star, 2/7]

Feb. 10: An ISIS commander giving a lesson on conducting suicide attacks accidentally blew himself up along with 20 other militants at a training camp near Samarra. When authorities arrived on the scene, they arrested eight militants and seized stores of heavy weapons and ammunition, including ten vehicles that had been rigged with explosives. The commander apparently used a belt for the demonstration that unintentionally contained live explosives. [NYT, 2/10]

Feb. 11: ISIS fighters attacked an Iraqi army unit that was protecting an oil pipeline, killing 15 soldiers. The men arrived in a convoy of 12 vehicles and subdued and executed the soldiers. …

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