This is May’s edition of my south Iraq SIGACT monitoring report covering the provinces of Basra, Maysan, Dhi Qar, and Muthanna. SIGACT map, pivot table, and protest tables are available below.

I recorded 54 total incidents in May, continuing the relative quiet seen in April. Last month’s tribal fighting in Garmat ‘Ali between the Hamdani and Batoot tribes continued in the first week of May but fizzled out thereafter.

At the start of May, another explosive device was discovered at the Halfaya oil field in Maysan province. The device was an anti-tank mine and had been placed within the security perimeter of the site under the caravan of Wang Guihai Iraw the president of Petro China in Iraq. The device had its pressure plate removed and was rigged to explode via remote detonation, indicating it was being used as a warning, and is most likely connected to contracts being tendered for security and catering services. This follows a similar attack on the Halfaya site in December 2018. However, the most recent attack falls into a more sensitive category given the location of its placement, and the fact it penetrated multiple layers of security. The Oil Police Force (OPF) colonel in charge of security at the time has since been sacked.

In preparation for doing some more in-depth research on protest dynamics in Basra later this year, I’ve started expanding my data collection categories relating to protest activity. As in last month’s report, I’ve included separate protest tables that: break down protest incidents by the sector mobilised (education, health, civil society activism etc.); the size of the mobilisation; and whether protests incidents were “sector-contained” or “multi-sector” (meaning, did protests involve coordination across multiple social or economic sectors). I’m hoping this sort of additional data can start to help flesh out the empirical picture of protest dynamics in Basra and the other southern provinces in Iraq. Any feedback on how I’ve structured these categories would be welcome!

As with other recent posts, I am currently focusing on trying to get my PhD thesis drafted and so don’t have time to write a detailed narrative analysis of the data. The map and data for the month can, however, be explored below as usual.

SIGACT MAP: South Iraq May 2019 (Click “View larger map” for full functionality)

PIVOT TABLE: South Iraq May 2019

PROTEST TABLE: South Iraq May 2019

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