Iraq Casualty Figures For February 2013

March 8, 2013 at 3:49 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Iraq Casualty Figures For February 2013

http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.be/2013/03/iraq-casualty-figures-for-february-2013.html

There were conflicting numbers for casualties in February 2013. That has been an on going trend between Iraq Body Count and the Iraqi government for the last few years. Still, the two have followed roughly the same pattern since 2011.
Iraq Body Count (IBC) and Baghdad’s numbers for deaths last month went in different directions. IBC’s preliminary count was 349 in February 2013almost the same as January’s 341. Since 2011, Iraq Body Count has recorded a jump in deaths in January as Shiite pilgrims were targeted. January 2013 was slightly different, because not only were Shiites hit, but so were Kurds, Turkmen, and government forces. This year was also a departure, because IBC had deaths remaining high in February rather than dropping as they had the last two years. The government had the number killed going in the opposite direction. It had 177 dead in January, down from 208 in December. February continued that downward trend with 136 fatalities. Agence France Presse has also been tracking violence. It had 246 deaths in January, and 220 in February. If IBC and the government statistics are averaged out they come out to 259 killed in January, and 242 in February. Since last month has fewer days the averaged number of people killed per day actually went up from 8.3 in January to 8.6 in February. Since Iraq Body Count is considered the most reliable of the three, it appears that insurgents have launched a new offensive, which started around December 2012. Still, it is not as deadly as the last two years. In January 2011 for instance, 389 were killed, and in January 2012 524.
Deaths In Iraq 2011-2013
Month
Iraq Body Count
Iraqi Ministries
Avg. Monthly Deaths
Avg. Daily Deaths
Jan. 2011
389
259
324
10.4
Feb.
252
167
209
7.4
Mar.
310
247
278
8.9
Apr.
289
211
250
8.3
May
381
177
279
9.0
Jun.
386
271
328
10.9
Jul.
307
259
283
9.1
Aug.
401
239
320
10.3
Sep.
397
185
291
9.7
Oct.
366
258
312
10.0
Nov.
278
187
232
7.7
Dec.
388
155
271
8.7
2011 Mo. Avg.
345
217
281
9.2
2011 Totals
4,144
2,615
Jan. 2012
524
151
337
10.8
Feb.
356
150
253
9.0
Mar.
376
112
244
7.8
Apr.
392
126
259
8.6
May
304
132
218
7.0
Jun.
529
131
330
11.0
Jul.
466
325
395
12.7
Aug.
422
164
293
9.4
Sep.
396
365
380
12.6
Oct.
290
144
217
7.0
Nov.
238
166
202
6.7
Dec.
275
208
241
7.7
2012 Mo. Avg.
380
181
280
9.1
2012 Totals
4,568
2,174
Jan. 2013
341
177
259
8.3
Feb.
349
136
242
8.6
Despite the government’s official numbers being far below those of Iraq Body Count’s, the two have followed a somewhat similar trend. From January to November 2011, the two had the same up and down pattern. After that however, the two diverged as IBC recorded a huge jump in casualties in the opening of 2012 while the government claimed there was a decline. In the summer the two re-converged, seeing an increase in violence, which tapered off after September. The two have once again gone in opposite directions since December. The likely cause of the difference between the two is politics. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has de facto control of the Interior and Defense Ministries, which are two of the three main sources of the government’s figures. Maliki is trying to portray his country as a stable and secure one, and therefore has a vested interest in keeping the statistics low.
Comparing Iraq Body Count to Iraqi Government Fatality Figures 2011-2013
chart
(RED = IBC, BLUE = Avg. IBC & Iraqi Govt GREEN = Iraqi Government)
The differences between the government and Iraq Body Count over deaths in Iraq will likely continue for the foreseeable future. The gap between the two is usually considerable, but an analysis of the overall trend shows that they have gone in the same direction most, but not all of the time in the last two years. Most importantly, despite the monthly ups and downs, both have shown that militants are trying to make a comeback. Starting last year, both groups recorded a spike in violence. With U.S. forces out of the country, the Iraqi military and police no longer carrying out counterinsurgency operations, and on-going political disputes there is more room now for insurgents to operate throughout the country. That has likely prolonged their life after the majority of Sunnis turned against them with the end of the civil war. As long as Shiites continue to protest the bombings, but let the government handle security, this will continue to be a serious terrorist situation, but not a sign of an impeding sectarian conflict.
SOURCES
Agence France Presse, “Iraq casualties from violence (2013)”
Iraq Body Count
Reuters, “Iraq monthly death toll down in February,” 3/2/13

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