At least 4,695 people were killed across Iraq so far in June, and the tally is only going to get higher as ISIS/DAASH militants continue their trek towards Baghdad. The United Nations also released its preliminary figures for the month, but they are much lower in comparsion. Below is our methodology for using the higher figures.
Today’s violence left 313 dead and 172 wounded. Many of the victims were killed in air strikes and clashes. There was also at least one political assassination.
The United Nations already announced preliminary casualty figures for June even though there is another week to go in the month. They reported 1,075 civilian deaths during a 17-day period in four provinces. Nearly, 1200 people were wounded.
These confirmed figures are a "minimum" estimate of the tally, the group warned. Included in the numbers are the executions of security personnel who had surrendered to militants. Also, scores of detainees who were killed either in attacks or allegedly by Iraq security forces were considered civilians as well.
The U.N. has been reluctant to give a full account of the deaths in Iraq, due to the inability to confirm many of the reported deaths. For several months, they’ve avoided publishing any figures from occupied Anbar province, for example, even confirmed civilian deaths.
Many of the reports, particularly those from the Iraqi government need to be taken with a grain of salt. First, they appear to be undercounting military deaths. If they are to be believed, then several ground clashes resulted in the deaths of dozens of militants but not one soldier or policeman. It is also impossible to tell if they are overcounting militant deaths. Some of the tallies of militant deaths in airstrikes deep within occupied territory seem completely made up.
In this column, Antiwar.com has ignored some of the most outlandish reports, while still trying to make sense of what is obviously a very deadly situation. Any estimates made by anyone, even authorities in Iraq, are going to simply be estimates.
Here, we’ve tallied about 4,695 total deaths and 2,131 wounded, including today. Of these deaths, 3,106 were militants, suicide bombers, gunmen or other antagonists. Most of those deaths were reported by the Iraqi government and are not independently confirmable. That leaves 1,589 other deaths. Those belong to security personnel as well as civilians and includes a longer length of time, so it is still higher than the U.N. estimate, which is just civilians.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with leaders in Kurdistan and urged them to maintain unity with Baghdad. Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, however, said that this would be very difficult and blamed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the country’s woes. Kurdish Spokesman Shafin Dizayee complained that Maliki has not been in touch with the Kurdish government at all since the hostilities began.
If Kurdistan is able to keep Kirkuk and its oilfields, which they occupied after Iraqi troops fled, the Kurds will have little incentive to stay within Iraq. Kirkuk would likely return to its historic status as a Kurdish capital.
The Iraqi cabinet announced it would not pay government employees in militant held areas until after the end of hostilities. Although it is obviously difficult to transfer money into the conflict areas, this could further alienate the minority groups residing there.
Jordanian jets peppered the border with air strikes as a warning to ISIS/DAASH militants. Unidentified jets were reported elsewhere, but they may have been Syrian.
The U.N. confirmed that 10 detainees were killed and 14 were wounded in Mosul, when Iraqi forces tossed a grenade in their cell. It is unclear when this occurred. Today, Iraqi air strikes were reported.
Twenty-five people were killed and 17 were wounded during air strikes in Baiji. Nineteen militants were killed in raids.
Around Balad, security forces killed 60 militants.
Thirty militants were killed near Falluja in Albu Shajal.
Security forces killed 24 gunmen in Saqlawiya.
In Jurf al-Sakhar, 36 militants were killed during a military operation.
In Qaim today, 20 civilians were killed and 93 were wounded when Syrian jets pounded the area.
The bodies of 12 policemen were found in Rutba. Eighteen civilians were killed and 42 more were wounded in an air strike against a petrol station. The "unidentified" aircraft may have been the same Syrian jets bombing other Iraq locations.
Airstrikes in Husseiba killed seven militants and six civilians.
In Baghdad, three dumped bodies were found.
Security forces killed three militants including their leader, in Hashimiya.
Six security elements were wounded in a mortar attack in Habaniya.
In Jalawla, at least one officer was killed in violent clashes.
A civilian was gunned down in Muqdadiya.
A militant leader was killed, along with dozens of his followers, in Hor al-Basha.
Several militants were killed in Tal Afar.
Government forces are still in control of the Baiji refinery and Haditha dam.
Militants kidnapped 180 civilians from the villages of Shiekhan and Kubba in Ninewa province.