Iraq Annual Roundup: 1,625 Killed During 2021

During 2021, at least 1,625 people were killed in violence attributable to the ongoing conflicts within Iraq. Another 2,001 people were wounded , and 484 bodies were found in mass graves. These figures are, thankfully, lower than last year’s numbers. In 2020, at least 1,942 were killed and 3,324 were wounded. And, 1,752 bodies were found in mass graves or under rubble.

In general violence, mostly from Islamic State militants and allies, at least 1,294 people were killed and 1,087 were wounded. The dead include 380 civilians, 409 security personnel, and 487 militants. The wounded include 714 civilians, 344 security personnel, and 29 militants. Also, 18 people were executed by the Iraqi government; they were found guilty on terrorism charges.

In the ongoing conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.) at least 313 were killed and 47 more were wounded. The P.K.K. lost 257 members, and five more were reported wounded. At least 38 Turkish personnel were killed, and 16 were wounded. A number of collateral casualties were reported; these include civilians unintentionally killed in strikes or Iraqi/Kurdish security personnel caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. These last figures are 18 dead and 26 wounded.

Ongoing anti-government protests petered out during the early months of 2021, but at least 13 people were killed, and 856 were wounded. A new Iraqi parliament is scheduled to meet this week. A national election was held in October.
With the number of Coalition forces reduced, casualties numbers are low in this group. At least four contractors of various nationalities were killed, and nine more were wounded. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded, and one soldier from Fiji was killed. Many of these casualties occurred during a rocket attack in Erbil in February.

Also, 484 people were found in mass graves or under battle rubble.

More recently, during December, at least 200 people were killed, and another 92 were wounded. The casualties flipped from November totals, when at least 98 people were killed and 197 more were wounded. Although the number of wounded dropped precipitously, there was a significant new activity in northern Iraq, between Turkish forces and Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Militant-related violence left at least 43 civilians, 33 security personnel, and 51 militants dead. The wounded consisted of 25 civilians, 56 security personnel, and three militants. 

The conflict between Turkey and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.)  left 64 guerrillas dead and two wounded in Iraqi territory. Three Turkish soldiers were killed, and one civilian was wounded.

Also, six people were executed by the Iraqi government, and five protestors were wounded.

The last violence reported in December was a bombing. Seven people were killed, and five more were injured, when an old mine, likely dating to the Iran-Iraq War, exploded near the Iran border in Rumaila.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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