Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Violence In Iraq Returning To 2004-2005 Period With Rebirth Of Insurgency

 
January 2014 was another turning point in Iraq’s security situation. The events in Anbar marked the return of the non-Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) insurgency. ISIS already successfully rebuilt itself in 2013, proving capable of carrying out attacks throughout the country from the north to the south. Now many militant groups that have largely been dormant since the civil war years have announced their return. The result is that Iraq today is much like Iraq in 2004-2005 when the insurgency was just taking off for the first time.

All the organizations that track deaths in Iraq had high numbers for January. The United Nations came in with the lowest figure with 733 killed, but that was because it did not include Anbar because of the difficulty of confirming deaths there. Agence France Presse had 991, the highest amount since it started tracking fatalities in 2012. Iraq’s ministries reported 1,013 and Iraq Body Count (IBC) had 1,062. For three of those four groups that averaged out to over 30 deaths per day. That compared to the beginning of 2013 when all four were averaging anywhere from 5-11 killed per day. Today's high level of violence was exemplified by the number of days last month that had at least 30 killed. According to IBC there were 19 of those topped off by January 15 with 94 deaths. That was the highest number of those types of days in the last 13 months. 


Deaths In Iraq 2003-2013
Month/Year
Iraq Body Count
Avg. Daily Deaths
Iraqi Ministries
Avg. Daily Deaths
United Nations
Avg. Daily Deaths
Agence France Presse
Avg. Daily Deaths
2003
4,675
19.0
-
-
-
-
-
-
2004
11,608
31.8l
11,313
30.99
-
-
-
-
2005
16,186
44.2
15,817
43.3
-
-
-
-
2006
29,144
79.8
32,622
89.3
34,452
94.3
-
-
2007
25,519
69.9
19,155
52.4
-
-
-
-
2008
9,839
26.9
9,046
24.7
11,536
31.6
-
-
2009
5,132
14.0
3,682
10.0
4,611
12.6
-
-
2010
4,109
11.2
3,949
10.8
4,855
13.3
-
-
2011
4,147
11.3
2,781
7.6
4,150
11.3
-
-
2012
4,573
12.5
2,174
5.9
3,878
10.6
1,531
(7 mo.)
7.1
Jan. 2013
357
11.5
177
5.7
319
10.2
246
7.9
Feb.
360
12.7
136
4.8
418
14.9
220
7.8
Mar.
403
13.0
163
5.2
456
14.7
271
8.7
Apr.
545
18.1
208
6.9
712
23.7
461
15.3
May
888
28.6
681
21.9
1,045
33.7
614
19.8
Jun.
659
21.9
240
8.0
761
25.3
452
15.0
Jul.
1,145
36.9
989
31.9
1,057
34.0
875
28.2
Aug.
916
29.5
365
11.7
804
25.9
693
22.3
Sep.
1,221
40.7
971
32.3
979
32.6
880
29.3
Oct.
1,095
35.3
964
31.0
979
31.5
743
23.9
Nov.
903
30.1
948/1,121
31.6/
37.3
659
21.9
693
23.1
Dec.
983
31.7
1,001
32.2
759
24.4
668
21.5
2013 Totals
9.475
25.9
6,843/
7,016
18.7/
19.2
8,948
24.5
6,818
18.6
Jan. 2014
1, 062
34.2
1,013
32.6
733
23.6
991
31.9




Days With 30 Or More Fatalities Per Month, Iraq Body Count
January 2013 – 5 Total
1/3/13 – 34 killed
1/16/13 – 46 killed
1/17/13 – 31 killed
1/22/13 – 34 killed
1/23/13 – 46 killed
February 2013 – 3 Total
2/3/13 – 40 killed
2/8/13 – 38 killed
2/17/13 – 59 killed
March 2013 – 3 Total
3/14/13 – 34 killed
3/19/13 – 73 killed
3/29/13 – 30 killed
April 2013 – 7 Total
4/1/13 – 55 killed
4/6/13 – 34 killed
4/15/13 – 62 killed
4/18/13 – 30 killed
4/23/13 – 71 killed
4/24/13 – 32 killed
4/29/13 – 34 killed
May 2013 – 10 Total
5/1/13 – 31 killed
5/15/13 – 40 killed
5/17/13 – 93 killed
5/18/13 – 33 killed
5/20/13 – 134 killed
5/21/13 – 46 killed
5/27/13 – 81 killed
5/28/13 – 45 killed
5/29/13 – 35 killed
5/30/13 – 34 killed
June 2013 – 7 Total
6/10/13 61 killed
6/16/13 49 killed
6/18/13 39 killed
6/23/13 36 killed
6/24/13 46 killed
6/25/13 45 killed
6/27/13 34 killed
July 2013 – 14 Total
7/1/13 43 killed
7/2/13 59 killed
7/11/13 59 killed
7/12/13 49 killed
7/13/13 37 killed
7/14/13 66 killed
7/19/13 36 killed
7/20/13 80 killed
7/21/13 41 killed
7/23/13 38 killed
7/24/13 37 killed
7/25/13 48 killed
7/29/13 60 killed
7/30/13 50 killed
August 2013 – 11 Total
8/6/13 – 50 killed
8/7/13 – 34 killed
8/10/13 – 94 killed
8/12/13 – 37 killed
8/15/13 – 42 killed
8/20/13 – 34 killed
8/23/13 – 46 killed
8/25/13 – 55 killed
8/28/13 – 98 killed
8/29/13 – 41 killed
8/31/13 – 30 killed
September 2013 – 18 Total
9/1/13 73 killed
9/2/13 33 killed
9/3/13 87 killed
9/10/13 34 killed
9/11/13 57 killed
9/13/13 50 killed
9/14/13 54 killed
9/16/13 67 killed
9/17/13 50 killed
9/19/13 33 killed
9/20/13 33 killed
9/21/13 116 killed
9/22/13 39 killed
9/23/13 46 killed
9/25/13 47 killed
9/26/13 49 killed
9/29/13 85 killed
9/30/13 62 killed
October 2013 – 14 Total
10/5/13 100 killed
10/6/13 46 killed
10/7/13 59 killed
10/10/13 30 killed
10/12/13 41 killed
10/13/13 68 killed
10/17/13 69 killed
10/20/13 80 killed
10/23/13 74 killed
10/25/13 33 killed
10/26/13 30 killed
10/27/13 74 killed
10/30/13 39 killed
10/31/13 39 killed
November 2013 – 13 Total
11/4/13 – 50 killed
11/7/13 – 33 killed
11/13/13 – 39 killed
11/14/13 – 54 killed
11/17/13 – 48 killed
11/20/13 – 82 killed
11/21/13 – 58 killed
11/23/13 – 48 killed
11/25/13 – 38 killed
11/27/13 – 75 killed
11/28/13 – 38 killed
11/29/13 – 55 killed
11/30/13 – 30 killed
December 2013 – 13 Total
12/1/13 – 44 killed
12/3/13 – 76 killed
12/8/13 – 58 killed
12/9/13 – 30 killed
12/10/13 – 30 killed
12/13/13 – 49 killed
12/14/13 – 29 killed
12/16/13 – 82 killed
12/19/13 – 65 killed
12/20/13 – 33 killed
12/25/13 – 56 killed
12/26/13 – 31 killed
12/30/13 – 31 killed
January 2014 – 19 Total
1/2/14 62 killed
1/3/14 45 killed
1/5/14 58 killed
1/7/14 50 killed
1/8/14 34 killed
1/9/14 51 killed
1/12/14 45 killed
1/13/14 38 killed
1/14/14 52 killed
1/15/14 94 killed
1/16/14 36 killed
1/18/14 38 killed
1/19/14 31 killed
1/20/14 47 killed
1/23/14 30 killed
1/25/14 45 killed
1/26/14 45 killed
1/27/14 32 killed
1/29/14 39 killed

Iraq is likely to see high levels of violence for the foreseeable future. With ISIS and the Baathist Naqshibandi now joined by others such as the Islamic Army, Hamas Iraq, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, the Mujahadeen Army, and Ansar al-Sunna the number of casualties each month is likely to remain at around 1,000 or more from now on. This harkens back to the 2004-2005 period when the insurgency was first taking off. Then the Americans alienated the Sunnis and they in turn took up arms to protest the new status quo. Now the insurgency is building upon the sense of victimization that has become part of the Sunni’s sectarian identity and the mistakes of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. It took several years for the U.S. to realize what it was doing wrong and change its policies. It is unknown whether the Iraqi government has the same capability given its divided nature, and short-term thinking. That could lead to years more of bloody conflict.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq casualties from violence (2014)”

Al Hayat, “Anbar: Conflict mosque and the clan … And the development of the mysterious “Daash,”” 1/10/14

Iraq Body Count

Al Masalah, “More than a thousand people were killed in Iraq in January, including 795 civilians,” 1/31/14

Yacoub, Sameer, “UN says more than 733 Iraqis killed in January,” Associated Press, 2/1/14


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