Casualties of the Iraqi insurgency (2011–present)

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Casualties of the Iraqi insurgency (2011–present) refers to deaths and injuries in Iraq after the withdrawal of US forces at the end of the Iraq War on 18 December 2011, as fighting continued between the Iraqi government and anti-government forces in the Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013) and later escalated into the Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017) and subsequent Iraqi insurgency (2017–present).

Casualty statistics[edit]

Iraq Body Count[edit]

Casualties in the Iraq War, Insurgency, and Civil War (2003 – October 2016)

An independent UK/US group, the Iraq Body Count project (IBC) compiles documented (not estimated) Iraqi civilian deaths from violence since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, including those caused directly by US-led coalition and Iraqi government forces and paramilitary or criminal attacks by others.[1] It shows a total range of at least 175,792 to 196,572 civilian deaths in the whole conflict from March 2003 to June 2017.[2]

Month by month casualty tolls in the 2 years after the U.S. withdrawal (IBC database)
2012 Iraqi deaths by province, per 100,000 people

Following are the monthly IBC Project civilian death totals, from the US pullout in December 2011 onwards.[2]

Iraqi civilians killed from December 2011 according to IBC
Year Month Total
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2011 392 4,153
2012 531 356 377 392 304 529 469 422 400 290 253 299 4,622
2013 357 360 403 545 888 659 1145 1013 1,306 1180 870 1,126 9,852
2014 1,097 972 1,029 1,037 1,100 4,088 1,580 3,340 1,474 1,738 1,436 1,327 20,218
2015 1,490 1,625 1,105 2,013 1,295 1,355 1,845 1,991 1,445 1,297 1,021 1,096 17,578
2016 1,374 1,258 1,459 1,192 1,276 1,405 1,280 1,375 935 1,970 1,738 1,131 16,393
2017 1,119 982 1,920 1,816 1,871 1,858 1,498 597 490 397 348 291 13,187
2018 474 410 402 303 229 209 230 201 241 310 160 155 3,319
2019 323

The numbers include only civilians. The IBC includes non-paramilitary police forces as civilians, and members of the Iraqi Army or paramilitary/militia forces when the death is a result of summary execution after capture.[3] The IBC does a constant check on all its reports, and publishes weekly updates to its monthly casualty table. Consequently, the figures for the last few months in the table above should always be considered preliminary and will be marked in italic until confirmed by IBC.

According to IBC, of the 17,049 civilians recorded killed in 2014 (a figure it later revised upwards), 4,325 were killed by ISIL, 1,748 by Iraqi military airstrikes and 118 by US-coalition airstrikes. A further 10,858 civilians were reported killed by unidentified actors.[4] Of the 16,115 civilians recorded killed in 2015, 8,347 were killed by execution (the killing of captives) and 1,295 by airstrikes; 8,818 civilian deaths involved ISIL and 1,492 involved Iraqi government forces.[5]

Besides continuously updating documented civilian deaths from violence, from time to time IBC also puts out estimates of combatants killed (including Iraqi military and insurgent groups): at the end of 2014, it estimated a lower range of 4,000-5,000 combatants killed in 2014 (based on AFP and official statistics released by Iraqi government ministries) and a higher range of 30,000 combatants killed (based on aggregated media reports), concluding that "the truth probably lies somewhere between these two numbers".[4] At the end of 2015, IBC estimated that, between June 2014 and December 2015, over 4,000 Iraqi soldiers and allied militia were killed, as well as over 1,500 Peshmerga and Kurdish security force members and some 13,000 ISIS fighters. It put the total death toll for insurgents, Iraqi soldiers and other combatants killed in the period 2010–2015 at 24,340.[5]

Iraqi government figures[edit]

The Iraqi government releases its own figures, usually on the first day of each month. These are almost always significantly lower than other estimates and often even contradict with news reports, leading to an apparent "under-reporting" of casualty figures, although after the escalation of violence in the summer of 2013 the casualty tolls began to "catch up" with independent estimates. Most news outlets still report on these, and JustPolicy.org [6] has a running estimate based on the Lancet study [7] with the rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count.

A running tally of all the figures can be found at Google Docs, courtesy of Agence France-Presse.[8] The numbers include civilians, as well as members of the Iraqi Army and police forces.

The Iraqi government also compiles the number of wounded from these three categories, as well as the number of killed and captured insurgents. From the beginning of December 2011 until the end of March 2014, at least 19,829 Iraqis have been injured according to these reports, including 2,688 police officers and 2,319 members of the Iraqi Army. During the same period, 1,350 insurgents were killed, while a total of 4,403 suspects were arrested.

Iraqi civilians, police and army members killed according to the Iraqi government
Year Month Total
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2011 155 155
2012 151 150 112 126 132 131 325 164 365 144 166 208 2,174
2013 177 136 163 205 630 240 921 356 885 964 948 897 6,522
2014 1013 790 1004 1009 938 1922 1669 1648 1238 1725 1315 1267 15,538
2015 1408

United Nations figures[edit]

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) keeps its own statistics on casualties.[9] They include killed and injured civilians (including police) and killed and injured members of Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army). They don't include anti-government insurgents. UNAMI warns that it may be under-reporting casualties and that the figures it provides "have to be considered as the absolute minimum".

Iraqi civilians killed according to UNAMI[9]
Year Month Total
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2012 445 230
2013 319 418 229 595 963 685 928 716 887 852 565 661 7,818
2014 618 564 484 610 603 1531 1186 1265 854 856 936 680 12,282
2015 790 611 729 535 665 665 844 585 537 559 489 506 7,515
2016 490 410 575 410 468 382 629 473 609 1,120 926 6,492

According to UNAMI, the total number of civilian casualties (killed and injured) in 2013 (including police) was 25,799 (7,818 killed and 17,981 injured).[10]

According to UNAMI, the total number of civilian casualties (killed and injured) in 2014 (including police) was 35,408 (12,282 killed and 23,126 injured).[11]

According to UNAMI, the total number of civilian casualties (killed and injured) in 2015 (including police) was 22,370 (7,515 killed and 14,855 injured).[12]

Iraqi Security Forces killed according to UNAMI[9]
Year Month Total
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2014 115 139 108 140 196 886 551 155 265 417 296 421 3,689
2015 585 492 268 277 366 801 488 740 180 155 399 474 5,225
2016 359 260 544 331 399 280 130 218 394 672 1,959 5,546

Other reports[edit]

Antiwar.com[edit]

Antiwar.com compiles monthly and yearly casualty figures from news reports. Figures include civilians, security personnel and insurgents.

In July 2014, according to Antiwar.com, 5,698 people were killed, including 3,961 insurgents. The rest were civilians and security forces.[13] For the following month, Antiwar.com reported 1,642 civilians and security forces and 3,112 militants died.[14] In September, per Antiwar.com, 1,158 civilians and security forces were killed, along with 2,632 militants.[15] Finally, in October, 1,572 civilians and security forces died, in addition to 4,990 militants, as reported by Antiwar.com.[16]

For the whole 2014, Antiwar.com estimated a total of 48,590 killed (16,229 civilian and security deaths, plus 30,634 militant deaths) and 26,516 wounded.[17]

In 2015, 52,045 people were killed across Iraq according to Antiwar.com: the number of civilians and security personnel killed was 14,571, whereas militants lost 37,474 fighters.[18]

US-led coalition air-strike casualties[edit]

Since 8 August 2014, the USA has resumed airstrikes against ISIL targets in support of the Iraqi government, together with a growing coalition of allies (comprising Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, The Netherlands, and UK).[19] According to Iraq Body Count, 118 civilians were killed by coalition airstrikes in 2014[4] and 845 in 2015.[5] According to "Airwars", a team of independent journalists, between 393 and 571 civilians were killed by coalition airstrikes in 54 incidents in Iraq between 8 August 2014 and 31 December 2015; other incidents with hundreds more civilian fatalities were also recorded by Airwars, but the US-led coalition's responsibility couldn't be confirmed with equal confidence in those cases.[20]

Month by month[edit]

Iraq soldier standing guard in Baghdad, 26 December 2011
  • This section includes both AFP and Iraqi government estimates, and as such, is intended as an addition to the tables above.

Several dozen were killed within the first few days after U.S. withdrawal on December 18, 2011. At least 337 casualties were inflicted by the wave of violence during December 20–26. About 200 died in January,[21] with Al-Arabiya channel claiming mortal casualties to be at least 151 people.[22] The Iraqi Body Count (IBC) claimed 451 casualties in January, including injuries.[23] In February, the death toll across Iraq reached 278 according to IBC.[23] 74 people were killed between March 1–8 according to IBC,[23] and a total of 112 were killed in Iraq in March, according to government figures.[24] At least 126 Iraqis were killed in April, while 132 Iraqis were killed in sectarian violence in Iraq in May 2012.[25][26] June marked a significant spike in violence, with a major attack occurring on average every three days. At least 237 were killed during the month, with an additional 603 people left injured.[27]

July 2012 was the deadliest month in Iraq since August 2010, with 325 deaths; 241 civilians, 40 police, and 44 soldiers. The month also saw 697 people being wounded by violence; 480 civilians, 122 police, and 95 soldiers. The rise in violence was linked to Sunni insurgents trying to undermine the Shia led government.[28] According to government figures, at least 164 Iraqis were killed during August 2012 – 90 civilians, 39 soldiers and 35 policemen, with 260 others injured.[29] September was a particularly bloody month, with government reports citing at least 365 deaths (182 civilians, 95 soldiers and 88 policemen) and 683 injuries (453 civilians, 120 soldiers and 110 police).[30] Government casualty tolls released for the month of October showed a total of 144 people were killed (88 civilians, 31 policemen and 25 soldiers), and another 264 were wounded, including 110 civilians, 92 policemen and 62 soldiers.[31] At least 166 people were killed throughout Iraq in November 2012 according to government casualty tolls, and 208 died in December, including 55 policemen and 28 soldiers.[32][33] During January 2013, at least 246 people were killed nationwide (including 30 policemen and 18 soldiers), while 735 others were injured.[34] Government figures remained low in February 2013, with a total of 136 killed (88 civilians, 22 soldiers and 26 policemen) and 228 injured.[35] There was a slight increase in March, when according to government sources 163 were killed and 256 injured nationwide, though officials in Baghdad stressed that these numbers did not include the Kurdish regions.[36]

According to figures released by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), April 2013 was the deadliest month in Iraq in over five years, with a total of 712 people were killed and 1,633 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence.[37] Conditions continued to deteriorate in May when UNAMI reported a total of 1,045 Iraqis were killed and another 2,397 wounded in acts of terrorism and acts of violence, making it one of the deadliest months on record. The figures include 963 civilians and 181 civilian police killed, while 2,191 civilians and 359 civilian police were wounded. An additional 82 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 206 were injured.[38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About the Iraq Body Count project".
  2. ^ a b "Documented civilian deaths from violence". Iraq Body Count. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Methods". Iraq Body Count. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  4. ^ a b c "Iraq 2014: Civilian deaths almost doubling year on year". IBC. 1 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Iraq 2015: A Catastrophic Normal". IBC. 1 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Iraq Deaths". Just Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  7. ^ "Mortality in Iraq". The Lancet. 369 (9556): 102–103. 13 January 2007. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60062-2. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  8. ^ "Iraq Government Casualty Figures via AFP (Google Docs)". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Casualty Figures". United Nations Iraq.
  10. ^ "UN Casualty Figures for Month of December 2013". UNAMI. 2 January 2014.
  11. ^ "UN Casualty Figures for Month of December 2014". UNAMI. 4 January 2015.
  12. ^ "UN Casualty Figures for the Month of December 2015". UNAMI. 1 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Almost 5,700 Killed Across Iraq in July". Antiwar.com Original. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  14. ^ "4,800 Killed in Iraq During August". Antiwar.com Original. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  15. ^ "3,790 Killed Across Iraq in September". Antiwar.com Original. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Over 6,700 Killed in Iraq during October; 205 Killed on Saturday". Antiwar.com Original. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Iraq 2014: 48,590 Killed and 26,516 Wounded". Antiwar.com. 1 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Over 52,000 Killed in Iraq during 2015". Antiwar.com. 31 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Operation Inherent Resolve". U.S. Department of Defense.
  20. ^ "Summary findings on Coalition airstrikes: August 8th 2014 to December 31st 2015". airwars.org. Retrieved ) January 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  21. ^ "Suicide bomber kills 32 at Baghdad funeral march". Fox News. Associated Press. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  22. ^ "As bombs hit Baghdad, Iraq says about 69, 263 people killed between 2004 and 2011". Al Arabiya News. Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  23. ^ a b c Piven, Ben (8 March 2012). "Iraq violence continues after US withdrawal". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  24. ^ "Fourteen people killed and 39 injured in bombings across Iraq". Al Arabiya. 28 April 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-04-28. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  25. ^ "Iraqi leaders call for calm after bombing kills 25 people". Al Arabiya. 5 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-06-21. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  26. ^ Associated France Press (AFP) (14 May 2012). "At least six people killed in spate of Iraq bombings". Al Arabiya News. Archived from the original on 2012-05-15. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  27. ^ "Dozens killed in Iraq car bomb attack". Al Jazeera. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-07-03.
  28. ^ "Iraq sees deadliest month in two years". BBC News. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  29. ^ "Iraq's monthly death toll halves in August". Trust.org. 1 September 2012. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  30. ^ "Iraq's monthly death toll doubles, bloodiest for two years". Trust.org. 4 October 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  31. ^ "Iraq violence drops off sharply in October". The Daily Star Lebanon. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  32. ^ Wing, Joel (3 December 2012). "Iraqi Insurgency Tries To End November 2012 With a Bang". Musings on Iraq.
  33. ^ Reuters (1 January 2013). "Iraqi civilian deaths rise in "low-level war" - study". Thomson Reuters Foundation. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013.
  34. ^ Ditz, Jason (1 February 2013). "Iraq Death Toll Spikes Again: 246 Killed Nationwide, 735 Wounded". Antiwar.com.
  35. ^ "Iraq monthly death toll down in February". Reuters. 2 March 2013.
  36. ^ Tawfeeq, Mohammed (4-2-2013). "4 Al Qaeda Leaders Executed in Iraq". Assyrian International News Agency (AINA). Check date values in: |date= (help)
  37. ^ UN News Service (2 May 2013). "April deadliest month in Iraq in five years – UN" (PDF). UN Daily News. p. 3.
  38. ^ UN News Service (6 June 2013). "UN envoy in Iraq strongly condemns ambush that leaves 14 dead at fake checkpoint" (PDF). UN Daily News. p. 8.

External links[edit]