UN Agrees To Stop Reporting Iraqi Casualties After Military Complains

Authored by AntiWar.com's Jason Ditz via TheAntiMedia.org,

Following complaints from the Iraqi government, the United Nations has agreed to stop recording casualty figures for the ISIS war in Iraq, meaning that November’s report of 1,959 deaths among Iraqi security forces will be the last deaths you’ll be hearing about from them.

The war with the Islamic State militants left at least 5,719 people killed and 1,734 wounded in the last month. The fighting has slowed in Mosul, but the numbers remain high. In October, 5,930 people were killed and 2,463 were wounded. The Iraqi government will not release their casualty figures, so these numbers are rough estimates.

 

At least 1,533 civilians were killed and another 1,113 were wounded across Iraq. These figures are likely low as some witnesses are estimating that over 100 civilians are wounded in Mosul everyday. Many of the dead in Mosul are being buried in gardens and going unreported.

 

At least 216 of the fatalities belonged to military personnel, and 287 more of them were wounded. These figures are likely underreported as well. Workers at the Wadi al-Salam cemetery in Najaf say they take in at least 20 bodies belonging to security personnel, including Shi’ite militiamen, on a daily basis.

 

Militants reportedly lost about 2,227 personnel. Another 171 were wounded. The number of fatalities among ISIS/Daesh may be exaggerated by sources in the Iraqi government seeking to boost morale or to cover the deaths of civilians in the war zone. In any case, due to the nature of the fighting, precise figures are impossible.

 

The United Nations, which has a team on the ground in Iraq, released its figures on Thursday. The team found that 926 civilians were killed, about a third of them in Nineveh province. Another 930 were wounded. The U.N. team apparently has access to verifiable military figures, because they also report that 1,959 security personnel were killed and 450 more were wounded.

 

The U.N. figures do not include casualties from Anbar province. The Anbar Health Directorate, however, reported 292 civilians killed and 98 injured.

 

Combining the highest figures, Antiwar.com finds that a total of 5,719 people were killed or their remains were discovered in the last month. Another 1734 were wounded.

 

At least 74 were killed and 18 were wounded in recent violence:

Iraqi Army officials claimed the figure was an “exaggeration,” though they’ve offered no death tolls of their own for the fighting. They further accused the UN report of hurting morale by making the death toll known.

The Iraqi Army command further claimed that the UN report was a deliberate attempt by the international body to “influence the course of Nineveh operations,” and that they were deliberately providing false reports in favor of ISIS.

The UN did note that they had requested casualty figures from the official Iraqi government sources, but never got any response, so they had to try to come up with their own figures. The UN says it will continue to report on civilian deaths in some parts of Iraq, but since they deliberately exclude the largest province, Anbar, this has always been of limited value anyhow.

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Much better to lie or hide the truth!?