The Mosul campaign, which lasted from October 2016 to July 2017 was the largest and most important battle against the Islamic State in Iraq. The fighting was some of the most intense the world had seen in decades, and broke the back of the militants as a conventional force that held territory in the country. The human toll was tremendous as well, and likely never to be fully accounted for due to Iraqi government censorship on casualties. Based upon daily media coverage from over 40 sources, along with human rights and United Nations reports a rough total can be estimated.
The battle for Mosul went through different stages. First, the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga seized the rural areas of Ninewa to the north and south of Mosul. The eastern section of the city was assaulted, while the Hashd moved to the west of the city aiming for Tal Afar to complete the encirclement. Finally, the western half of Mosul was attacked in the most intense phase of the conflict.
The number of dead and wounded for the entire campaign in Ninewa was 20,546 killed and 30,484 injured. 2 officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, 2 U.S. soldiers/sailors, 69 Peshmerga, 251 Hashd al-Shaabi, and 2,211 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), 18,011 civilians lost their lives. Another 1 Coalition soldier, 2 U.S. soldiers, 152 Hashd, 200 civilians and ISF, 152 Hashd, 253 Peshmerga, 8,570 ISF, and 21,306 civilians were wounded. The lack of full reporting is revealed in these totals. The number of wounded should be four to six times higher than the dead. That means with roughly 20,000 dead there should be 80,000-120,000 injured instead of just the 30,000 that got into the media. A rough total for the entire battle then would be 100,000-140,000 casualties. Because the number of dead is unknown since the Iraqi government refuses to release figures means the actual numbers are probably much higher.
Total Number Of Casualties Mosul Campaign
2 U.S. Soldiers/Sailors
2 Iranian Revolutionary Guards
251 Hashd al-Shaabi
1 Coalition Soldier
2 U.S. Soldiers
152 Hashd al-Shaabi
200 Civilians and ISF
For Mosul alone, there were 17,075 deaths and 24,110 wounded in the media and reports. 18 Hashd, 1,889 ISF, and 15,168 civilians died, and 1 Coalition soldier, 16 Hashd, 8,000 ISF, and 16,092 civilians were injured. Again, the wounded were extensively under reported.
Total Number Of Casualties City of Mosul
18 Hashd al-Shaabi
1 Coalition Soldier
16 Hashd al-Shaabi
The Islamic State carried out a series of executions during the fighting. A reported 4,929 were killed in Ninewa from October to July, with 2,690 of those occurring inside Mosul. That was 23.9% of the dead for the province, and 15.7% for Mosul.
Executed By Islamic State During Mosul Campaign
4,929 in Ninewa
2,690 in Mosul
There was heavy bombing by the Coalition throughout the campaign in support of the Iraqi forces. Airwars has a comprehensive list of all the reported air strikes that caused civilian casualties. Not all of their incidents were ranked as reliable so those were not included in the count. Other sources were also used such as Coalition press releases and the media. All together there were 1,404 reported dead and 810 wounded in Ninewa during the battle, with 1,358 of the former and 803 of the latter occurring in Mosul. 1,399 civilians and 5 ISF were killed and 809 civilians and 1 ISF injured overall. That accounted for just 6.8% of the total number of dead and 2.6% wounded in Ninewa, and 7.9% of the fatalities and 3.3% of the injured in Mosul.
Casualties from Coalition Air Strikes During Mosul Campaign
1,404 Dead in Ninewa
810 Wounded in Ninewa
1,358 Dead in Mosul
803 in Mosul
Iraqi artillery and air power accounted for far more casualties than the Coalition. 3,528 were killed and 2,478 wounded in Ninewa as a result. In Mosul, there were 3,450 dead and 2,417 injured from the Iraqi forces’ firepower. That was 17.1% of the deaths and 8.1% of the wounded for Ninewa, and 20.2% of the fatalities and 10.0% of the injured in Mosul. The high figures are due to indiscriminate use of artillery by some forces, especially the Federal Police, and looser rules of engagement for the Iraqis compared to the Coalition.
Casualties from Iraqi Air Strikes and Artillery During Mosul Campaign
3,528 Dead in Ninewa
2,478 Wounded in Ninewa
3,450 Dead in Mosul
2,417 Wounded in Mosul