Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Over 51,000 Casualties In Iraq In 2015


The preliminary numbers are in for the amount of casualties in Iraq in 2015 and they add up to over 51,000 dead and wounded. That was much higher than the United Nations and Iraq Body Count, which also follow violence in Iraq. Even then the 50,000 should be considered just a minimum because the Iraqi government has been suppressing losses since the war with the Islamic State started in 2014.

Musings On Iraq recorded 25,497 deaths in Iraq in 2015. That figure came from Western, Arab and Iraqi newspapers, the United Nations, and Iraq Body Count. That total was only a temporary number as the U.N. has one more human rights report to cover the end of 2015, and Iraq Body Count has only verified three-quarters of last year. That means countless more fatalities will eventually be added to that total within the coming months. The Kurds have also announced 1,813 Peshmerga killed from 2014-15. There was no breakdown to determine how many of those happened last year. There was also the larger issue of official sources censoring the number that have died fighting the Islamic State to maintain moral. Overall, the fatalities should just be considered a temporary minimum.

In comparison, the United Nations had 7,515 deaths and Iraq Body Count 17,080. The U.N. tries to make comprehensive counts, but did not have figures from Anbar for several months because of the fighting there. Iraq Body Count on the other hand only focuses upon civilian casualties meaning it does not include soldiers. There was still a wide differences between those two and Musings On Iraq, and that was due to sources. All three groups collect information from different places. For example, no Iraqi paper has comprehensive coverage of security in the country. That means which ones are consulted will lead to different figures.

Musings On Iraq’s 25,497 broke down to 3,924 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 2,474 Hashd al-Shaabi, 640 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters, 613 Peshmerga, 434 Sawha, 30 Asayesh, 20 volunteers to former Ninewa Governor Atheeel Nujafi’s militia, 10 People’s Protection Units (YPG), 8 Yazidi fighters, 2 Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) fighters, 2 Iranian Revolutionary Guard members, and 1 U.S. soldier along with 17,339 civilians died in 2015.

Another 25,579 people were wounded during the year. The U.N. is the only other organization tracking the injured and they had 13,855 for 2015. Musings On Iraq had 3,154 ISF, 2,560 Hashd, 886 Peshmerga, 413 PKK fighters, 313 Sawha, 30 of Nujafi’s militia, 13 Asayesh, 12 Turkish soldiers, 3 Yazidi fighters, 2 YPG fighters, 1 U.S. soldier, and 18,192 civilians wounded. Again, those figures are only preliminary. The Kurds and Iraq’s Interior and Defense Ministries announced 8,352 Peshmerga, 1,322 police, and 5,920 soldiers injured from 2014-2015. Even if half of those occurred last year, the difference between the dead and wounded is still skewed. Usually there are two to four times more injured then killed, but the two figures counted by Musings On Iraq are almost equal. Again, that is another example of how the authorities have been suppressing the real losses in the war against IS.

It may be years before the true cost of the fight against the Islamic State is revealed. Slowly numbers are being released, but even then there is likely to be major gaps. The Hashd for example, rarely talks about its casualties in an official capacity. Baghdad and Irbil are only slightly better as they are more interested in announcing their victories and releasing propaganda statements than talking about their dead and wounded. Maybe when the war is over attitudes will change and there will be more transparency.

Musings On Iraq Casualties 2015
1 U.S. Soldier
2 Iranian Revolutionary Guards
2 PJAK fighters
8 Yazidi fighters
10 YPG fighters
20 Nujafi militia
30 Asayesh
434 Sahwa
613 Peshmerga
640 PKK fighters
2,474 Hashd
3,924 ISF
17,339 Civilians
TOTAL 25,497 dead

1 U.S. Soldier
2 YPG fighters
3 Yazidi fighters
12 Turkish soldiers
13 Asayesh
30 Nujafi militia
313 Sahwa
413 PKK fighters
886 Peshmerga
2,560 Hashd
3,154 ISF
18.192 Civilians
TOTAL 25,579 Wounded

Iraq Death Counts 2015

United Nations
Iraq Body Count
Musings On Iraq
Jan
790
1,449
2,656
Feb
611
1,612
2,345
Mar
729
1,122
2,665
Apr
535
1,992
2,753
May
665
1,254
2,565
Jun
665
1,330
2,153
Jul
844
1,813
2,716
Aug
585
1,932
2,440
Sep
537
1,421
1,731
Oct
559
1,150
1,444
Nov
489
949
1,174
Dec
506
1,056
1,155
Total
7,515
17,080
25,497

Iraq Wounded Counts 2015

United Nations
Musings On Iraq
Jan
1,469
3,032
Feb
1,353
2,366
Mar
785
2,529
Apr
1,456
2,621
May
1,313
1,952
Jun
1,032
2,174
Jul
1,616
3,198
Aug
1,103
1,777
Sep
925
1,668
Oct
1,067
1,555
Nov
869
1,455
Dec
867
1,252
Total
13,855
25,579
 

SOURCES

Iraq Body Count

United Nations Iraq, “UN Casualty Figures for the Month of January 2016,” 2/1/16

2 comments:

Alan said...

Do the numbers from the PKK include fighters killed by Turkish airstrikes in Qandil or just those in anti-IS operations?

Joel Wing said...

Almost all of those deaths were actually reported in Turkish air strikes.