1,649 Killed in Iraq During October

Antiwar.com found that at least 1,649 people were killed and 647 were wounded in violent activity during October. This is considerably fewer than in September, when at least 3,129 people were killed; only 496 were wounded.

The breakdown is as follows: At least 374 civilians were killed, and 300 were wounded. Among Iraqi and Kurdish servicemembers, at least 296 were killed, and 345 were wounded. One U.S. servicemember was killed, and another was wounded. Also, two Turkish servicemembers were killed, and three were wounded. At least 20 members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) were also killed. Finally, at least 979 Islamic State militants were reported killed, but only two were wounded. Some of the dead were found in mass graves.

The lower number of fatalities is likely due to the wind down of operations against the Islamic State militants. Hawija seemed a relatively easy target are to conquer. That was followed by an operation to retake contested territory held by the Kurds, which meant a pause in activity against the Islamic State.

As always, these figures are estimates. The Iraqi government has refused to release accurate casualty figures, and the true number of ISIS/Daesh deaths may also be hidden.

In other news:

The Ibrahim Khalil (Habur) border crossing between Kurdistan and Turkey may now be in Iraqi hands; Baghdad had demanded control of all international border crossings in Kurdistan territory after the ill-fated Kurdish independence referendum. However, Abdul Wahab Mohammed, head of Kurdish border intelligence, rejected reports that the crossing was handed over to Iraqi forces. Furthermore, former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, now an adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government, said talks about Iraqi oversight at the border are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Iraqi army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanmi visited Faysh Khabur on the Syria border ahead of Iraq taking control of a border crossing there.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi promised that the Iraqi government will resume paying the salaries of Kurdish Peshmerga members and civil servants in Kurdistan which they had ceased paying in 2014. The resumption may reduce tensions.

Operations against the Islamic State militants in Anbar have resumed.

At least six people were killed, and four were wounded:

An armed group killed two people and wounded two more in Goum Balagh, north of Sulaimaniya.

Three people were killed in an explosion in Rutba.

Gunmen in Amara killed a woman.

In Baghdad, a bomb wounded two people.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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