The Institute for the Study of War
just released an updated map of
“Special Groups” activity, based on
Multi-National Force-Iraq press releases.
ISW have been a major publisher on the Special Groups
, armed groups claimed by American military officials to be Iranian backed and/or trained.
The mapped list includes all MNF-I press releases that indicate confirmed or probable Special Groups involvement. It does not include reports from other sources.
From the introduction:
Iranian-backed Special Groups have become increasingly active in Baghdad and central Iraq since mid-2007. These groups principally target US forces operating in the area, in the hopes of prompting their eventual withdrawal. They also actively seek to undermine the Maliki government. The hallmark weapon of Special Groups is the explosively-formed penetrator, an especially lethal IED capable of penetrating heavily-armored vehicles.
Special Groups operate throughout Iraq – specifically in Baghdad and the belts using the major road networks leading from Iran to the capital for facilitation. Within Baghdad, Special Groups extremists have been found to operate in many of the JAM-dominated areas, primarily in the districts of Sadr City, 9 Nissan, Kadhimiyah and West Rasheed. Special Groups lines of communication and transit routes run northwest of the capital in Diyala province and south of the capital in Babil and Wasit provinces. These northern routes run from the border crossing near Khanaqin south along the Diyala River or west from Mandali and Balad Ruz to the Khalis corridor north of Baghdad. A number or Special Groups operatives and weapons caches have been found in the cities of Khalis, Qasarin, and Khan Bani Saad. South of Baghdad in Wasit province, EFPs, weapons, recruits for Special Groups, and smuggled goods have flowed through the major border crossing between Mehran, Iran and Zurbatiya, Iraq.
Intelligence from the January 20, 2007 Special Groups attack on a Karbala Province Joint Coordination Center led to the captures and kills of the high-ranking network leaders in the spring. The captures of Qods Force operatives in Irbil and Sulaymaniyah have also generated a great deal of information on the Special Groups networks in Iraq The increased pace of Coalition raids has also resulted in the capture of numerous other Special Groups cell leaders, weapons facilitators, and trainers. Coalition Forces have actively targeted Special Groups extremists since mid-2007.
UPDATE: View the data in Google Maps below, or click here for a fuller view in Google Maps.
Click on each placemark for details.
ISW's key to the data points is as follows:
Incidents with unspecified locations in Baghdad are placed in Sadr City, Baghdad, as this area is a known hub of Special Groups activity. Red placemarks represent incidents of explosively-formed penetrator (EFP) detonations or other attacks with probable links to Special Groups. Yellow placemarks indicate discoveries of caches containing weapons associated with Special Groups. Green placemarks identify detainments of suspected Special Groups criminals. Purple placemarks label precision strikes against Special Groups by coalition aerial and ground forces. The mapped list includes all MNF-I press releases that indicate confirmed or probable Special Groups involvement. It does not include reports from other sources.
Download the map for viewing with Google Earth here.
*Note: To access this file, users must have Google Earth software on their computer. To download this software for free, click here.