Updated at 7:58 p.m., Sept. 30, 2014
Antiwar.com has determined that at least 3,790 people were killed across Iraq during September. These numbers include militants, even foreign ones, killed in Iraq. Another 1,949 were wounded. The violence also left 126 dead and 184 wounded across Iraq on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, freshly equipped Peshmerga forces have apparently made a complete turnaround since losing Sinjar (Shingal in Kurdish) last month and are retaking towns and villages at a quickening pace. Further south, bombs targeting civilians in Baghdad and several Shi’ite cities left a significant number of casualties. Also, British forces conducted their first airstrikes, as the U.S. continued theirs, making this the busiest day for airstrikes across Iraq and Syria yet.
September Casualty Figures:
The number of people killed in Iraq, since the Islamic State invaded in June, is impossible to accurately pin down. Various organizations have reported casualties as they occur, but the Iraqi government has largely avoided reporting all but a few, obvious military deaths. Only today, Kurdish Peshmerga forces revealed about 200 dead and 1,000 injured during battles in Kurdish territory since early August. Most of those casualties were previously unreported, and are not included in our figures for September. Militant deaths are just as difficult, especially those deep within ISIS/DAASH territory.
During September, Antiwar.com compiled at least 1,158 civilian and security member deaths. Another 1,661 were reported wounded. These should be considered the minimum available numbers. The figures will rise as more details are received from rural areas of Iraq and those under militant control. For example, a clearer, if not final, total of the number of dead in a massacre at Camp Speicher was released early in September even though the attack occurred in June. Those deaths were not included in this month’s tally.
Militant casualties reached 2,632 dead and 288 wounded, while Iraq’s military announced that they alone conducted 2,116 sorties in September. It is difficult to gauge how accurate these casualtiy figures are. They could be wild estimates by the Iraqi government, which has been known to downplay or exaggerate figures to suit political purposes. However, many of the battles and airstrikes have been characterized with vague phrases, such as "heavy fighting" and "many killed." Those were not added to the above counts but must have produced some casualties. This suggests that even the militant deaths may have been undercounted. Certainly, the wounded figure is very low compared to the reality; wounded militants would be transported to militant care centers and out of reach of Iraqi casualty counters.
In August, Antiwar.com found that 4,800 were killed and 2,839 were wounded. Although the numbers seem to indicate fewer casualties, it should not be read as such, because accurate numbers simply are not available.
Peshmerga Gains in Northern Iraq:
Peshmerga forces said they were able to take control of Rabeaa, a strategic town near the Syrian border. If Peshmerga forces retain control of the city, they will have cut off a major roadway between Syria and northern Iraq and put a stranglehold on a travel by Islamic State militants between the two countries. Rabeaa was one of the first cities captured in June. Fighting there and elsewhere during the last several weeks has cost the Peshmerga forces 200 lives. Another 1,000 Peshmerga were wounded, according to Peshmerga Spokesman Hikmet Mela Ali. The number of casualties on Tuesday was not given.
ISIS/DAASH militants destroyed their own headquarters and checkpoints as they fled from there and Sinjar. Fighters from the Shammar Tribe helped, and the troops may have had air cover from U.S. fighter planes during the operation. British planes also bombed northwestern Iraq. Kurdish Y.P.G. forces in Syria claimed to have contributed to the operation as well. Heavy fighting also took place in Zumer, near the Mosul dam. Several villages surrounding Rabeaa have also been liberated.
Closer to Kirkuk, the towns of Khaled, Sa’ad, Taza and Wahda were freed. Two Peshmerga were killed and 18 were wounded in the fighting.
Casualties elsewhere in Iraq:
In Baghdad, 20 people were killed and 35 were wounded when two car bombs exploded in the Hurriya district. Five people were killed and 15 were wounded in a mortar attack in Sabaa al-Bour. A bomb in Zaafaraniya killed seven people and wounded 21 others. Mortars left three dead and 12 wounded in Shula.
A blast in Khanaqin killed four Peshmerga and wounded 12 more.
A bomb exploded in an Iskandariya parking lot and killed five people and wounded 13 more.
Another in Kefil killed two people and wounded eight more.
Four people were killed and seven were wounded during shelling in Tikrit.
Two policemen were shot dead in Hit.
Two people were wounded in a bombing in Basra.
Six militants were killed and more were wounded in an airstrike in Saidiya.
Security forces killed five militants in Tarmiya.
Five militants were killed near Baquba.
Heavy fighting is taking place in Rashad.
Airstrikes in Hawija killed several militants.
Many militant vehicles were destroyed, and the militants in them killed, during airstrikes in Thar Thar.
Militants suffered "heavy losses" in a failed attack on Balad.
Several sites in Anbar province were bombed by coalition jets.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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