Antiwar.com has found that at least 4,800 people were killed across Iraq during August. Another 2,839 were wounded. Our analysis follows. In other news, the U.N. and Amnesty International are looking into war crimes conducted by Islamic State militants, as well as the problem of internally displaced refugees. Meanwhile, another 161 people were killed today and 79 more were wounded. They are the first casualties of September.
August Casualty Analysis:
Using various published sources, Antiwar.com has tallied 1,652 killed and 1,460 wounded among Iraq’s security forces and civilians. Another 3,112 militants were killed, and 673 of their colleagues were wounded. The United Nations released higher figures (see below), but ignored all reports of militant casualties. Using our militant casualty figures, the total numbers are 4,800 dead and 2,839 wounded.
Due to the conditions across Iraq, completely accurate figures are impossible. Many areas have no independent observers able to confirm each reported attack, clash or other deadly event. Also, the Iraqi government has been known to skew figures to suit their political purposes. Regardless, these figures should be viewed as a low estimate of the casualties.
The number of dead this past month is about 900 fewer than in July, but that may only be the result of a change in reporting habits. Previously, the Iraqi government was releasing very rough estimates. Now, the estimates have transformed into vague statements such as "a number of militants" or "many militants." Consequently, those deaths were not added. Considering that U.S. forces are now conducting airstrikes, it is likely that the number of militants killed should be on the increase, not decrease.
The United Nations reported 1,265 civilians and 155 security forces were killed across Iraq during July. The numbers do not include Anbar province where the U.N. does not have an adequate number of observers. Another 1,370 people were reported wounded. They did release figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate. They reported 268 killed in Anbar, while another 796 were wounded. Together, the tallies add up to 1,688 dead and 2,166 injured. The fatalities figure is very close to Antiwar.com’s, but their observers found many more wounded.
Their report also warns that figures could be significantly higher. They have purposefully left out casualties due to secondary events, such as dying of exposure while fleeing violence. More importantly, they admit they cannot confirm many attacks occurring deep within Islamic State territory.
The United Nations, working with the Kurdish Regional Government, has determined that Iraqi Kurdistan is hosting about 1.4 million refugees from Iraq and Syria. About 850,000 were displaced internally since January. Another 335,000 moved from other parts of Iraq before 2014. The smallest segment (at 216,000) came from Syria. Only about 5 million people permanently reside in the Kurdish region, so this large influx is a substantial burden on the local people and infrastructure. Duhok province has taken about 64 percent of the refugees so far.
Amnesty International released a 26-page report on what it considers to be "ethnic cleansing" by the Islamic State. The United Nations said they will send a fact-finding team to Iraq to investigate the many claims of war crimes.
Six security personnel were executed by the I.S. in Hawija.
A roadside bomb in Mosul wounded six civilians.
Six people were wounded by a blast in Diwaniya.
In Shamiya, an I.E.D. wounded two civilians.
During operation in Amerli, 56 militants were killed.
Security forces killed 25 Chechens while liberating Suleiman Bek.
Yankja was also freed, but no casualties were reported.
Al-Bashir and al-Salam were also liberated.
Twenty militants were killed in a failed attack on Tikrit University.
Tribal fighters killed 11 militants in Duluiya.
Artillery fire in Barwana killed 11 militants.
Three militants were killed in Hamra.
Airstrikes in Albu Ausag killed militants.