At approximately 23:00 on 12 November, IS militants reportedly wearing military uniforms raided the home of Hashd al-Ash’ari member, Captain Misha’an Hazemawi, near the Shaykh Amir Bridge in Dhabitiya, located approximately 23 kilometers northeast of Karma Town in an area of eastern Anbar Province along the Baghdad provincial border. The IS militants subsequently killed Captain Misha’an Hazemawi and eight other individuals, including four PMF members and four civilians. A national media outlet added that the victims were members of the Albumar’i and Albuhazim tribes, known for their staunch resistance against IS.
The nine fatalities sustained during the 12 November event reflects one the deadliest raids conducted in the northern Baghdad Belt. In a previous attack on 6 August, two unidentified gunmen attacked a senior tribal member’s home in the Tarmiyah District, killing three tribal members and three ISF members. During a more significant attack on 1 May, a number of IS militants, infiltrated a village in a rural area of Tarmiyah District. IS gunmen reportedly targeted the home of a local lawyer known for his work on behalf of victims of IS. Casualty figures varied, with the most reliable reporting indicating at least eight civilians were killed and between 10 and 14 others were wounded. Reports from various sources cited much higher figures of between 18-22 killed.
A month later on the early morning hours of 2 June, IS gunmen raided a home in the Farhatiya area, located south of Balad. The gunmen shot and killed as many as 12 civilians including women and children. Limited reporting suggested one of the victims was a police officer. Although disparities in casualty figures remain in effect, the 12 November attack can be readably classified as amongst the deadliest IS raids conducted in suburbs of Baghdad and on a national basis thus far in 2018. As illustrated by the above attacks, individuals with security affiliations form priority targets, though IS seldom refrains from inflicting heavy civilian casualties to enhance the perceived impact of attacks. Additional key analysis in the full report.