The five most violent areas were Diyala, Tamim, Salahaddin, Ninewa, and Baghdad in that order. Out of those however, only Salahaddin saw a very small increase from the second quarter of 2009 to the third, going from 25.2 per week to 25.8. Those provinces along with Anbar however, hold roughly 70% of Iraq’s population. All remain violent because Baghdad is the seat of power, while Diyala, Tamim, Salahaddin, and Ninewa are at the center of the ethnosectarian struggle in the country.
These numbers, along with the fluctuating monthly death counts show that Iraq is a much changed place. Violence is still at unacceptable levels, but the number of attacks and casualties have seen a steady decline over the last two years. Not only that, but the nature of the conflict has drastically changed. Almost all of the incidents consist of bombings, mortar and rocket attacks, and assassinations. There are hardly any armed clashes between militants and the security forces anymore. This is due to the fact that Sunnis are attempting to join the political process, and the Shiite Special Groups and militias are hardly active anymore. This is not captured in the media, which hardly mentions Iraq anymore, and when it does, it’s almost always about violence. That creates a distorted picture of the situation there, and makes Iraq seem like it is in a perpetual state of chaos, when in fact, many there are attempting to return to their normal lives.
Weekly Average Attack Statistics In Iraq – May to October 2009
Aswat al-Iraq, “12 civilians wounded by roadside bomb blast in Babel,” 10/21/09
- “Sticky bomb kills 2 women, injures 12 persons in Babel,” 10/21/09
Cordesman, Anthony, "Recent Trends in the Iraq War: Maps and Graphs," Center for Strategic and International Studies, 10/1/09
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, “Quarterly Report to the United States Congress,” 10/30/09