Iraq – At least 10 soldiers were killed and 12 others were wounded in an attack on a military base in a restive area of northern Iraq on the 17 Apr 14. The attack took place at the base outside the city of Mosul when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden truck at the gates of the facility. A group of gunmen then opened fire from apparently commandeered military Humvees, sparking a fire fight. Over the past months, Mosul and the surrounding region have seen bold attacks by fighters, mainly from an al-Qaida-splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, against military and security forces.
Suicide bombers attacked several polling stations and security forces in Iraq on the 28 Apr 14 killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more days before the violence-wracked country held legislative elections. The attacks were mounted while Iraqi soldiers and policemen were voting ahead of the country’s first national election since U.S. troops left with worsening sectarian ties and fears the country is slipping into all-out conflict. In west Baghdad, an attacker wearing a suicide belt targeted a polling station early as security force personnel queued to vote, killing seven people and injuring 15. Soon after that attack, a suicide bomber targeted a polling centre in Tuz Khurmatu north of Baghdad, killing three policemen and injuring seven. In the northern city of Kirkuk, a suicide bomber detonated his belt at a voting station, killing six policemen and injuring nine. Elsewhere in Kirkuk, a roadside bomb targeted an army convoy killing one soldier and injuring two. In the northern city of Mosul, two suicide bombers attacked a polling centre. The first was killed by security forces, but the second detonated his bomb, injuring three police officers and two soldiers. Also in Mosul, six journalists were injured when a roadside bomb blast hit their bus as they were on their way to cover the voting by members of the security forces. And near Ramadi, west of Baghdad, a soldier was killed when his convoy travelling to a polling station was targeted by a roadside bomb.
Iran – Jaish al-Adl is a newly formed armed Sunni group which has already carried out several attacks and assassination in Iran. The armed group is mainly operating in the Sistan-Baluchistan region of Iran it was reported on the 20 Apr 14. According to Tehran University professor and political analyst Mohammad Hossein Khani, Jaish al-Adl are currently using Pakistan as a base of operations to attack Iran. The Sunni armed group is principally targeting members and staffers of Islamic Revolutions Guardians Corps (IRGC). Over the past few months, the group has reportedly executed several members of IRGC under the excuse of securing Sunnis’ interests in the region. Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) utilizes the Iranian-Pakistani border to carry out attacks against IRGC elements. In return, the Iranian government executes detained members of Jaish al-Adl as soon as the armed group carries out new attacks. It is believed that Jaish al-Adl is heavily linked to Jundallah terrorist organization. Jundallah has reportedly 1,000 fighters and claims to have killed 400 Iranian soldiers.
Syria – Twelve people were killed and dozens more injured in a mortar attack on a technical institute in central Damascus it was reported on the 29 Apr 14. Four mortar shells struck the mainly Shia Shaghour neighbourhood of the city. Two of the shells hit the Badr al-Din al-Hussein technical institute. The attack comes a day after President Bashar al-Assad registered to stand for re-election defying calls to step down as a way of ending Syria's civil war. The intensity of attacks is likely to increase over the coming weeks as the presidential election date of 3 Jun 14 draws closer. Militants who are involved in the fighting and currently losing ground to the Assad forces will see this as a way of attacking the regime and showing what a sham these elections are. With a great deal of the people either dispersed in refugee camps, kept in areas where they cannot travel or who have been killed, it questions why the Assad government would hold presidential elections whilst the country is involved in a civil war. The outcome should be easy to predict.
Yemen – Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) chief Nasser Al Wuhayshi has pledged in a rare video appearance to pursue the war against the Western “crusaders” everywhere possible it was reported on the 17 Apr 14. The video posted online shows Wuhayshi addressing scores of jihadists in a rugged terrain as he welcomes 19 militants who escaped a Sanaa prison in Feb 14. “We will continue to raise the banner of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula and our war against the crusaders will continue everywhere in the world,” he says in the video. Al Qaeda usually uses the term crusaders to refer to Western powers, especially the ones which have intervened militarily in Muslim countries, mainly the United States, Britain and France.
A German diplomat was injured during an apparent kidnapping attempt by unidentified gunmen in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on the 28 Apr 14. The diplomat, identified as a political attaché, managed to escape the gunmen who attempted to block a road near the German embassy with a four-wheel-drive vehicle without license plates. "One of the diplomats was injured when gunmen opened fire at his car in an apparent kidnapping attempt," the embassy source said without giving any further details. One witness said the diplomat's car did not stop when the vehicle tried to block the road and escaped despite heavy shooting. The diplomat was hit in the leg but his injury was light. Kidnapping of foreigners in Yemen is common. Most kidnappings end peacefully with the hostages being freed unharmed.
Yemeni forces have launched an operation to drive al-Qaeda fighters out of southern towns, where air raids have killed nearly 60 fighters in recent days it was reported on the 29 Apr 14. Army troops backed by local militia members had moved in to "purge" the towns of Ahwar and al-Mahfad, in Abyan province, and Azzan, al-Houta, al-Rawda and al-Saeed in Shabwa province. The aim of the anti-terrorist operation is to purge the area of terrorists. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) established strongholds in towns and rugged zones in Abyan and Shabwa provinces after security forces chased them from major cities in Abyan in 2012. Yemen and US drone attacks during the reporting period targeted bases of AQAP, considered by the US to be the most dangerous affiliate of the global network with links to several failed terror plots against the West. The Yemeni Interior Ministry said last week that air raids on the 20 Apr 14 in Abyan province killed 55 al-Qaeda fighters, while three others were killed in a strike in Shabwa. A day earlier, a drone strike in the central Bayda province killed 10 al-Qaeda suspects and three civilians.