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Vehicle borne IED find south of Baghdad and detonation in East Baghdad

August 29, 2017  

Two vehicle borne IED incidents were reported in and around Baghdad on the 29 August. On the afternoon of 29 August, a vehicle borne IED based on a black Daewoo Prince was interdicted by security forces manning Checkpoint 75, located near the Route Tampa / Jackson Junction on Highway 8, south of Baghdad. The driver was arrested, and EOD personnel rendered safe the device by defusing the explosives.

At around 2000 hours on 29 August, a parked vehicle borne IED based on a Nissan Tida hatchback detonated near the Kindi Intersection on Dhilal Street in the Rusafa District of East Baghdad. At least four individuals were killed including three civilians, and five individuals were wounded. IS claimed responsibility for the attack, disingenuously claiming to have killed or wounded 28 Shi’a individuals. It is very possible the respective interdiction and detonation on 29 August were intended to be committed in coordinated attacks.

29 August 2017 Baghdad VBIED detonation

The 29 August incidents occurred at a time when IS attack intent remains elevated in accordance with the Tal Afar Operation and the approaching Eid al-Adha holiday. These incidents forms the latest in a series of vehicle borne IED incidents in and around the capital, with five sets of incidents between 24-29 August, and additional vehicle borne IED interdictions noted to the north in Diyala on the evening of 28 August.

Preceding incidents in this attack series included the 24 August interdiction of a vehicle borne IED at the Taji Checkpoint north of Baghdad, the 27 August coordinated vehicle borne IED detonations in southwest Baghdad, and the 28 August vehicle borne IED detonation in Sadr City. The effectiveness of these attacks varied greatly between completely foiled in two incidents, relatively moderate effectiveness in the case of the 27 August and 29 August detonations, and very effective for the Sadr City bombing. Infiltration routes for some of these incidents likely involved transit between eastern Anbar and possibly northern Babel before entering Baghdad Province. Other incidents involved northern approaches to the capital in accordance with established patterns.

Although foiled, the 24 August and 29 August interdictions notably occurred at checkpoints on major commercial routes on Highway 1 and Highway 8 respectively. While international organizations are unlikely to be directly targeted in vehicle borne IED incidents, these events prominently reiterate the extant risk of inadvertent exposure to vehicle borne IED incidents during searches at checkpoints. International organizations are advised to be aware of the elevated potential for additional vehicle borne IED incidents in Baghdad and neighboring provinces during the remainder of the period surrounding Eid al-Adha.

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