On the early morning of 19 August, an IED detonated against an ISF vehicle in the Shati al-Taji area of Taji district, located north of Baghdad. Two ISF casualties were reported as a result. IS IED capabilities in Baghdad remain far lower than historic heights, with reporting previously identifying as many as 2-3 detonations daily. A steady reduction in activity levels was reported during the latter half of 2018, commensurate to an overall degradation in IS capabilities in the capital. That said, IS have recently promoted a nascent resurgence in related activity. Tactical reporting identified one IED detonation in April, increasing to five in May, 10 in June, reducing to one in July and six thus far in August.
As illustrated by the 19 August detonation, the bulk of activity persists in historically active sectors of the Baghdad Belt, with ISF forming the primary target. More recently, IS conducted a series of IED attacks against civilian targets in diverse areas of Baghdad city on the evening of 6 August, wounding seven individuals. Although occurring in Baghdad city itself, these attacks were mostly ineffective and underlined the current IS shortfalls in operating in the capital. IS will undoubtedly continue to promote IED attacks against ISF targets in the Baghdad Belt and Shi’a dominated districts in the capital.