Thursday, July 2, 2009

Iraq Casualties See Large Increase In June 2009

Iraqi casualties continue to climb upwards since the beginning of the year. June 2009 saw the largest amount of deaths for several months. This follows May, which had the fewest victims since the 2003 invasion. Even before the monthly totals were released, the number of mass casualty bombings (attacks that caused 10 or more casualties) pointed to a bloody June.

Starting from highest to lowest sources, Iraq Body Count had a preliminary number of 516 killed last month, the Associated Press counted 447, the Iraqi Health Ministry claimed 438, and icasualties had 367.

Iraqi Deaths


Iraq Body Count

icasualties.

Org

Brookings Iraq Index

Iraqi Ministries

Associated Press

July 08

584

419

500

851

N/A

Aug. 08

592

311

450

N/A

475

Sep. 08

535

366

400

440

503

Oct. 08

528

288

350

317

N/A

Nov. 08

473

317

270

340

N/A

Dec. 08

522

320

350

316

N/A

Jan. 09

276

187

270

191

242

Feb. 09

343

202

230

258

288

March 09

416

278

260

252

335

April 09

484

347

340

355

371

May 09

325

188

N/A

165

225

June 09

516

367

N/A

438

447

Last 6 months of 2008 Average

539.0

336.8

386.6

452.8 5 of 6 months

N/A

First 6 months of 2009 Average

393.3

261.0

275.0 1st 4 months

276.5

317.5

According to the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index overall attacks in Iraq have leveled off since December 2008 with no noticeable increases up to the middle of May 2009. As Anthony Cordesman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies recently pointed out however, there is not a direct correlation between security incidents and casualties in Iraq. A more telling statistic to look at would be the number of mass casualty bombings occurring each month. In April 2009 for example there were 20 such bombings, compared to only 9 in May. The increase in casualties in June could be seen in the fact that there were 14 bombings. Those led to 174 deaths and 517 wounded.

Number of Bombings and Casualty Statistics – April to June 2009

April 2009
Bombings: 21
Deaths: 198 + 32 Iranians
Wounded: 497 + 105 Iranians + 10 Americans

May 2009
Bombings: 9
Deaths: 111
Wounded: 262

June 2009
Bombings: 14
Deaths: 174
Wounded: 517

The trend over the last year was for attacks and deaths to decline in the second half of 2008 as the provincial elections neared in January 2009. It appears that the insurgency held off on attacks to allow Sunnis to participate after they had boycotted the last voting in 2005. Until May, January saw the lowest casualties since the U.S. invasion. Since then the number of deaths has crept back up each month, with the exception of May. Since the insurgency is extremely weakened, that month might have been the result of the militants expending all of their resources on bombings and such in April, which they had to recover from in May. June of course was the deadline for U.S. combat troops to be out of Iraq's cities, so perhaps the insurgents were also saving up for that. If this pattern continues than there should be another decline in Iraqi dead and wounded towards the end of the year as Sunnis gear up for the January 2010 parliamentary elections. This all points to the fact that domestic events rather than American ones largely determine the security situation in Iraq.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq Suicide Bomber Wounds 34 in Mosul Shopping Street,” 5/24/09
- “Seven dead in Baghdad bus station blast,” 6/25/09
- “Two children killed in blast targeting father,” 4/20/09

Ahmed, Hamid, “Iraqi police: 35 dead in double bombing,” Associated Press, 4/24/09

Associated Press, “Car bomb kills 10 in northern Iraq city,” 4/15/09
- “Car bomb wounds 15 people west of Baghdad,” 5/27/09
- “June is deadliest month for Iraqis this year,” 7/1/09
- “Police report 17 dead in Baghdad bombings,” 5/6/09

Aswat al-Iraq, “2 civilians wounded by IED in Baghdad,” 5/18/09
- “2 cops killed, 20 wounded in blast inside police station in Baghdad,” 5/21/09
- “Booby-trapped car leaves 14 casualties in Mosul,” 6/25/09
- “Car bomb injures 10 in Mosul,” 4/1/09
- “Car bomb kills 4, wounds 10 in Baghdad,” 5/27/09
- “Car bomb leaves 10 casualties in Kirkuk,” 5/11/09
- “Final toll of Kirkuk blast reaches 126 – medic,” 6/30/09
- “URGENT/27 killed, 32 wounded in Kirkuk’s market explosion,” 6/30/09
- “URGENT/Mosul suicide blast leaves 5 killed, 6 wounded,” 5/1/09

Bakri, Nada, “3 U.S. Troops, 23 Iraqis Killed in Bomb Attacks,” Washington Post, 5/22/09

BBC News, “Iraq: Bomb in Baghdad cafĂ© kills nine,” 6/4/09
- “Suicide blast hits Iraq army base,” 4/16/09

Cordesman, Anthony, “Iraq: UNSCENTCOM and Iraqi Government Estimates of the Trends in the Patterns in Violence and Casualties,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 5/1/09

Dhaher, Abdul Rahman, “Bombings kill at least 27 in Iraq,” Washington Post, 6/22/09

Gamel, Kim, “Motorcycle bomb kills 15 in Baghdad market,” Associated Press, 6/26/09

Hammoudi, Laith and Kadhim, Hussein, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Saturday 11 April 2009,” 4/11/09

Icasualties

Iraq Body Count

Issa, Sahar and Kadhim, Hussein, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Friday 10 April 2009,” 4/10/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Monday 1 June 2009,” 6/1/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Monday 6 April 2009,” 4/6/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Tuesday 7 April 2009,” 4/7/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 10 June 2009,” 6/10/09
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 6 June 2009,” 6/6/09

Kadhim, Hussein, “Roundup of Daily Violence in Iraq-Friday 24 April 2009,” 4/24/09
- “Roundup of Daily Violence in Iraq-Wednesday 8 April 2009,” 4/8/09

Londono, Ernesto and Bakri, Nada, “Blasts Kill 22 Across Baghdad,” Washington Post, 6/23/09

Londono, Ernesto and Mizher, Qais, “Attacks Across Baghdad Leave At Least 48 Dead, Scores Injured,” Washington Post, 4/30/09

Londono, Ernesto and Sabah, Zaid, “Market Blast Kills More Than 75 in Baghdad’s Sadr City,” Washington Post, 6/25/09

Middle East Online, “Six Iraqis killed in truck attack in Kirkuk,” 5/12/09

Monsters and Critics, “At least 6 killed, 15 wounded in Iraq suicide bombing (Roundup),” 4/22/09

Myers, Steven Lee, “Six Car Bombs Kill at Least 33 in Iraq,” New York Times, 4/6/09

O’Hanlon, Michael Campbell, Jason, “Iraq Index,” Brookings Institution, 6/25/09

Press TV, “Baghdad blast kills 9, wounds 31,” 6/4/09

Quinn, Patrick, “Iraqi bombings kill scores ahead of US withdrawal,” Associated Press, 6/25/09

Reuters, “Blast kills four, wounds eight in Baghdad,” 4/17/09
- “FACTOBX-Security developments in Iraq, April 29,” 4/29/09
- “FACTOBX-Security developments in Iraq, May 21,” 5/21/09
- “Suicide bomb kills 7 north of Baghdad – Iraq police,” 4/23/09
- “Suicide truck bomb kills 5 U.S. troops,” 4/10/09

Sly, Liz, “IRAQ: Death toll for Iraqis jumps in June,” Babylon & Beyond Blog, Los Angeles Times, 7/1/09

Tawfeeq, Mohammed, “Iraq: Death toll from huge suicide blast soars,” CNN, 6/21/09

Xinhua, “At least 2 killed, 15 injured in bomb explosion near Baghdad,” 4/10/09

2 comments:

AndrewSshi said...

It seems that the big issue now is making sure that Iraqi Army S-2's and Iraqi Police detectives are up to speed. After all, finding a cell of bombers requires policing rather than soldiering. It's a bit worrying, because it's somewhat harder to train an investigator than it is an infantryman.

Joel Wing said...

As part of the withdrawal from the cities the U.S. is supposed to be turning over their intelligence assets to the Iraqis. This is problematic because 1) there are many Americans who don't trust their Iraqi counterparts, 2) you can't just give someone's phone number or something and expect them to start informing for someone else. A relationship needs to be built up between the two.

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