Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Security In Iraq Looked Much Worse In March 2014 Compared To February

 
The groups that tracked Iraqi deaths had a bit of a divergence in March 2014. Iraq Body Count and the Iraqi government had casualties going up, while Agence France Presse saw a large drop. The United Nations was roughly the same as the previous months of the year. Musings On Iraq’s own count saw a large increase to the highest level so far in 2014. Still the majority opinion was that the security situation was getting worse in Iraq.

The number of fatalities went in different directions in March depending upon which group was consulted. Iraq Body Count had 1,009 killed up from 930 in February. The Iraqi government said 1,004 people died in March compared to 790 the previous month. Since September 2012 the government ministries have been releasing much more realistic figures after keeping them extremely low compared to other organizations. The United Nations counted 748 killed. That included 592 deaths in Iraq’s 17 provinces and 156 from Anbar’s Health Directorate. In January the U.N. had 733 and 703 in February, but those did not include Anbar. Still their numbers have stayed relatively stable for 2014. Agence France Presse was the anomaly from the others as it went from 991 in January to 747 in February to 512 in March. Finally, Musings On Iraq’s own statistics had 1,607 killed in March, the highest amount so far this year. One major cause for deaths to go up and down are the number of major bombings. Musings On Iraq counted the same number of car and suicide bombers 73 and 43 respectively in February and March, so that was not the case this time. Rather the reason why there was an increase in casualties was a sharp jump in violence in Anbar and Salahaddin. The news agencies and the Iraqi press reported 184 killed in Anbar in February compared to 343 in March. 122 of the latter were from government shelling. Likewise in Salahaddin deaths went from 272 in February to 368 in March. Since the start of the year those two provinces have become some of the most insecure in the country.


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
Musings On Iraq
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.
1,012
32.6
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
9,571
25.9
6,843/
7,016
18.7/
19.2
8,948
24.5
6,818
18.6
-
-
Jan. 2014
1,076
34.7
1,013
32.6
733*
23.6
991
31.9
1,495
48.2
Feb.
930
33.2
790
28.2
703*
25.1
747
26.5
1,296
46.2
Mar.
1,009
32.5
1,004
32.3
748
24.1
512
16.5
1,607
51.8
* Figures do not include Anbar

The overall picture is that the security situation in Iraq is deteriorating. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is carrying out open military parades in Anbar and Baghdad provinces. The Naqshibandi, Ansar al-Sunna, the Islamic Army, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, Hamas Iraq, and some tribes are all carrying out attacks as well. The Iraqi Security Forces have proven incapable of containing these groups. That means that things will likely get worse, and 2014 is looking like a very bad year for Iraq.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq casualties from violence (March 2014),” 4/1/14

Iraq Body Count

Radio Nawa, “UNAMI: killing 592 people and wounding 1234 others as a result of violence in Iraq over the past month,” 4/1/14

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