2,748 Killed in Iraq During February

During February, at least 2,748 people were killed and 1,224 were wounded. This is a large drop from January, when 4,176 were reported killed and 1,433 were injured. The reduction is likely due to an extensive break in the fighting in Mosul. After the eastern half was captured, Iraqi forces took time to reorganize troops and only resumed fighting last week.

Analysis: At least 512 civilians, 174 security personnel, and 2,024 militants were killed during February. Also killed were one Iranian soldier and 36 Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) guerrillas. A U.S. servicemember died in a non-combat-related event as well. As for wounded: 1,003 civilians, 149 security personnel, and 72 militants were reported injured or sickened (by tear gas) during the month. Several U.S. servicemembers were also wounded, but details, including exact numbers, were not released, and they remain untallied. This brings the totals to 2,748 killed and 1,224 wounded for February.  These numbers are rough estimates. The true casualty figures could be much higher.

Casualties among security personnel — including American troops, as seen above — have been underreported for months. During February, General Joseph Votel, the head of the U.S. Central Command, revealed that about 500 Iraqi troops were killed, and 3,000 more were wounded during the first three months of operations in Mosul. Few of these casualties were reported, and these numbers did not contribute to the monthly tallies above.

The number of civilians killed is likely too low as well. There are reports from Mosul that many civilians are being left to die in their homes or have been buried hastily in nearby parks and gardens. Some of the casualties being reported as Islamic State deaths could be civilians who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Militant deaths, on the other hand, could be too high. There is little to no independent confirmation of ISIS/Daesh deaths behind the enemy lines, and there is a clear propaganda benefit to exaggerating the number of militants killed.

Other News: According to the United Nations, at least 16,000 people have fled the recent fighting in western Mosul, but authorities are unsure of the number of Islamic State militants hiding among them. However, many of the militants they are encountering are foreign fighters, who should be easily distinguishable from the Iraqi population.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Wasit University in Kut on Tuesday but was met with protests that turned violent. The demonstrators were recorded chanting slogans popular with followers of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Sadr later apologized to the premier, stressing that Abadi is not involved in the corruption the Sadrists are targeting. At least 97 were killed and 75 more were wounded in the latest violence:

In Kut, about 70 protesters were injured. Three among them were shot, and 50 were sickened by tear gas.

In Mosul, 31 people were killed in a mortar attack on the Tayaran neighborhood. Security forces killed 18 militants in Wadi Hajar and Mamoun.

An I.E.D. killed eight militiamen in Alam.

In Baghdad, blasts on a playing field in Shuhada killed one person and wounded four more. Two people were wounded by a bomb in Bab al-Sham.

Sixteen militants were killed in clashes in the Makhoul Mountains.

Security forces killed nine militants in Metabijh.

Six militants were killed in Tal Abta.

In Karab al-Jahash, four militants were killed.

Three suicide bombers were killed in a failed attack on Dhuluiya.

Shelling in Subaihat left a militant official dead.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.