IraqSlogger marked the locations of sectarian killings. The majority of killings come from just 5 districts. The Baghdad Security Plan has reasonably secured most of the city.
Overall sectarian violence in the capital had declined over the past few months. Maps like this help visualize where the remaining hotspots are, so Coalition Forces can refocus their efforts there.
A quick look at the map shows that over half the bodies are found in five specific districts of Baghdad: Amil (100 bodies), Saidiya (84), Bayya’ (67), Sadr City (39), and Dora (33), respectively. With the exception of Sadr City and Dora, both of which are almost completely cleansed from their former minority Sunni and Shi’ite communities, all mentioned districts are mixed and are witnessing a power struggle between Sunni and Shi’ite militants to control them and drive the other community out. They are also the least affected by current U.S. and Iraqi military operations in the capital, as media reports indicate that the U.S. military usually focuses on districts where they are attacked – such as the Sunni districts of Adhamiya, Jami’a and Khadhraa’ – rather than districts witnessing gruesome sectarian reprisal killings. Shi’ite-dominated Interior Ministry commandos currently patrol the top three districts in the list.
The US prioritized AQI and JAM. One of the great tricks in this COIN strategy is realizing when AQI is sufficiently beaten, so Coalition Forces can refocus their efforts of criminal gangs.
Crime is one of Iraq’s worst problems. It is causing many of the murders, kidnappings, and robberies that leave the population unsafe. Criminal activity funds much of the insurgency. For the COIN strategy to work, the US has to restore law and order to these locations – not just chase AQI.