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Iraqi insurgency (2011–14)

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Title: Iraqi insurgency (2011–14)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 18 April 2013 Baghdad bombing, Iran–Saudi Arabia relations, 13 June 2012 Iraq attacks, Assassinations of the Iraq War, February 2003 Saddam Hussein interview
Collection: 2010S Conflicts, 2010S in Iraq, 2011 in Iraq, 2012 in Iraq, 2013 in Iraq, 2014 in Iraq, Al-Qaeda Activities in Iraq, Anti-Sunnism, Anti-Sunnism in Iraq, Arab Winter by Country, Conflicts in 2011, Conflicts in 2012, Conflicts in 2013, Conflicts in 2014, Iran–saudi Arabia Relations, Iraqi Insurgency (2003–11), Iraqi Insurgency (2011–present), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq, Ongoing Conflicts, Ongoing Insurgencies, Rebellions in Iraq, Religiously Motivated Violence in Iraq, Wars Involving Iran, Wars Involving Iraq, Wars Involving Syria, Wars Involving the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Iraqi insurgency (2011–14)

Insurgency in Iraq
(post-U.S. withdrawal)
Part of aftermath of the Iraq War and spillover of the Syrian Civil War (Arab Winter)

A map of Iraq. For a map of the current military situation in Iraq, see .
Date 18 December 2011 – ongoing
(3 years, 2 months and 5 days)
Location Iraq (mostly central and northern, including Baghdad)
Result Ongoing
  • Significant increase in violence since the U.S. withdrawal, with an increasing number of insurgent large-scale attacks and assaults
  • Most insurgent activity remains in the central and northern parts of Iraq (excluding Iraqi Kurdistan)
  • Resurgence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq[1]
  • Insurgent forces seize at least 70% of Anbar province,[2] including the cities of Fallujah,[3][4] Al Qaim,[5] Abu Ghraib,[6] and half of Ramadi[7] during the Anbar campaign
  • Tikrit, Mosul, and most of the Nineveh province, along with parts of Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, seized by insurgent forces in the June 2014 offensive[8][9][10][11]

Ba'ath Party Loyalists

Military Council of Anbar's Revolutionaries[16]

Ansar al-Islam
Mujahideen Army
Ansar al-Sunnah
Al-Nusra Front Supported by:

Iraqi government



 Iraqi Kurdistan

 Syrian Kurdistan

Dwekh Nawsha[32]
Sinjar Protection Forces[33]
Sinjar Defense Force[34]
Malik Al-Tawus Troop/Sinjar Resistance Units
International Coalition forces:[37][38]

Special Groups

Supported by:

Commanders and leaders
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri[74][75][76]
Ismail Jubouri
Abu Hashim al Ibrahim
Fuad Masum

Haider Al-Abadi
Nouri al-Maliki
Babaker Shawkat B. Zebari
Massoud Barzani
Ahmad Abu Risha

Muqtada al-Sadr
Qais al-Khazali
Akram al-Kabi
Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis
Wathiq al-Battat (POW)[77]
Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant: 30,000 (in Iraq) (SOHR est.)[78][79]

Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order: 5,000+[80][81]
Islamic Army in Iraq: 10,400 (2007)[82]

Free Iraqi Army: 2,500[15][83]
Iraqi Security Forces
600,000 (300,000 Army and 300,000 Police)[84]
Awakening Council militias - 30,000[85]
Contractors ~7,000[86][87]
US Forces 1,000[88]
Canadian Forces 600[89]
Special Groups: 7,000[90]
Badr Brigade: 10,000[91]
Insurgent losses
1,929 killed, 5,529 arrested
(Government figures, December 2011 – June 2014)[92]
Iraqi security forces losses
1,668 policemen and 1,791 soldiers killed
3,088 policemen and 3,208 soldiers wounded
(Government figures, December 2011 – June 2014)[92]
Civilian casualties
12,068 killed and 18,875 wounded
(Government figures, December 2011 – June 2014)[92]
Total casualties
17,456 killed
(Government figures, December 2011 – June 2014)[92]
23,138 killed
(civilians and executed prisoners only)
(Iraq body count figures, December 2011 – July 2014)[93]

The Iraqi insurgency, later referred to as the Iraq Crisis and the Iraqi Civil War,[94] has escalated[95] since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011, resulting in violent conflict with the central government, as well as sectarian violence among Iraq's religious groups. The insurgency was a direct continuation following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since the U.S. military's withdrawal, the level of violence has risen,[96] as Sunni militant groups have stepped up attacks targeting the country's majority Shia population to undermine confidence in the Shia-led government and its efforts to protect people without American backup.[97] Armed groups inside Iraq have been increasingly galvanized by the Syrian Civil War, with which it merged in 2012. Many Sunni factions stand against the Syrian government, which Shia groups have moved to support, and numerous members of both sects have also crossed the border to fight in Syria.[98] In 2014, the insurgency has escalated dramatically following the conquest of Mosul and major areas in northern Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), thereby merging the new conflict with the Syrian Civil War, into a new, far deadlier conflict.


  • 2011 Summary 1
  • January–June (2012) 2
  • July–December 3
  • Beginnings of Sunni protests (2012) 4
  • January–June 2013 5
  • July–December 2013 6
  • 2014 7
  • Casualties 8
    • Iraqi government figures 8.1
    • Month by month 8.2
    • Other reports 8.3
  • See also 9
  • References 10

2011 Summary

Two Kuwait soldiers manning the border crossing checkpoint with Kuwait as the last US convoys pass through
U.S. and Kuwaiti troops unite to close the gate between Kuwait and Iraq after the last military convoy passed through on Dec. 18, 2011, signaling the end of Operation New Dawn and the beginning of the post-U.S. phase of the insurgency

As previously planned, the last US combat troops were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, with security responsibility in the hands of the Iraqi Armed Forces. On 15 December, martial closing ceremony was held in Baghdad putting a formal end to the U.S. mission in Iraq. This ceased direct U.S. combat involvement in the war.[99][100][101] The last 500 soldiers left Iraq under cover of darkness and under strict secrecy on early morning of 18 December 2011, ending the U.S. military presence in Iraq after nearly nine years.[102][103][104][105][106] In 22 December 2011 at least 72 were killed and more than 170 wounded in a series of bombings across Baghdad, while nine others died in various attacks in Baqubah, Mosul and Kirkuk.

January–June (2012)

A number of bombings took place in Baghdad and Nasiriyah, killing 73 and leaving 149 injured. The bombing in the southern Iraqi city was targeted at crowds of Shi'ite Muslims and killed at least 44, injuring more than 80 others. It was the first major attack in Nasiriyah since a suicide attack against an Italian army base killed 28 in November 2003, including 19 Italians. The ISIL claimed responsibility.

A al-Qaeda in a carefully planned early morning attack in Anbar Governorate.[107] On March 20 – A wave of attacks centered on Baghdad and Kerbala killed at least 52 and left more than 250 injured. The Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility.[107] On April 19 – More than 20 bombs exploded across Iraq, killing at least 36 people and wounding almost 170.[108] The ISIS claimed responsibility.[108] On June 4, A suicide bomber killed 26 people and wounded almost 200 at the offices of a Shiite foundation in Baghdad, sparking fears of sectarian strife at a time of political crisis. The attack in the center of the capital was followed later by an explosion near a Sunni religious foundation, causing no casualties.[109] On June 13, At least 93 people were killed and over 300 wounded in a series of highly coordinated attacks across Iraq. The ISIS claimed responsibility.[110]


Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad, 26 December 2011

On July 3, Explosions in Diwaniyah, Karbala, Taji and Tuz Khormato killed 40 and injured 122 others.[111] On July 22, Car bombs killed 23 and wounded 74 in Baghdad, Mahmoudiyah and Najaf.[112] On July 23, Coordinated attacks across Iraq killed 116 and left 299 injured. The ISIS claimed responsibility.[113] On July 31, Attacks across Iraq killed 24 and injured 61, most of them in twin car bombings in Baghdad.[114] On August 13, at least 128 people were killed and more than 400 wounded in coordinated attacks across Iraq, making them the deadliest attacks in the country since October 2009, when 155 were killed in twin bombings near the Justice Ministry in Baghdad.[115][116] On September 9, A wave of attacks across the country killed at least 108 and left more than 370 others injured.[117][118][119][120][121] On September 30, A string of attacks occur in at least 10 Iraqi cities, killing 37 and injuring more than 90 others, most of them civilians.[122] On October 27, a wave of attacks during the Eid al-Adha holiday across Iraq killed at least 46 and left 123 injured. Most incidents occurred in Baghdad, Taji, Mosul and Muqdadiya.[123] On October 28, a Car bombings during the last day of Eid left 15 people dead and 33 injured in Baghdad.[124] On November 6, a car bombing outside an army base in Taji killed 31 people and injured at least 50 others, most of them soldiers. The blast struck as troops were leaving the base and potential recruits were lining up for job interviews.[125][126] On November 14, Insurgents staged a number of attacks on the eve of the Islamic New Year, killing 29 and injuring at least 194 others. The deadliest incidents took place in Kirkuk and Hilla, where at least seven bombings killed 19 and left 129 wounded. Other attacks took place in Baghdad, Mosul, Kut, Fallujah and Baqubah.[127] On November 27, At least 29 people are killed and 126 wounded in eight car bombings across Iraq.[128]

Two days of consecutive attacks across northern and central Iraq on December 16 and 17 killed at least 111 and injured 299 others. A significant part of the casualties were from a series of blasts in Kirkuk, Baghdad and Tuz Khormato, where at least 34 died and 154 others were injured. Other incidents took place in Mosul, Tarmiyah, Diwaniyah, Dujail, Tikrit and Baqubah, among others. Most of the attacks appeared to target police officers and members of the Iraqi Army.[129][130][131]

Beginnings of Sunni protests (2012)

After a period of calm, renewed political tension within Iraq led to renewed protests, this time mostly centered around the country's Sunni minority. The main cause for upheaval was the ongoing standoff between Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and Prime Minister al-Maliki, but strained relationships with the Kurdish autonomous regions added to the scene. On December 23, 2012, several thousand Iraqis marched against al-Maliki, responding to his moves against al-Hashemi and other influential Sunni leaders.[132]

January–June 2013

  • A car bombing in the central Iraqi city of Musayyib killed 28 Shi'ite pilgrims and injured 60 others as they were returning from Karbala. In the capital Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded near a minibus, killing 4 pilgrims and leaving 15 wounded.[133][134]
  • A suicide bomber killed a prominent Sunni MP and six others in Fallujah on January 15, two days after Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi survived an assassination attempt in the same city. The parliamentarian, Ayfan Sadoun al-Essawi, was an important member of the Sons of Iraq committee in Fallujah and part of the opposition to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.[135] On January 16, a suicide bomber detonated a truck full of explosives next to the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Kirkuk, killing 26 and leaving 204 injured. A similar attack against another Kurdish office in Tuz Khormato killed 5 and wounded 40. Roadside bombings and shootings in other areas, including Baghdad, Tikrit and Baiji, left at least 24 dead and 44 injured.[136][137]
  • A wave of attacks in and around Baghdad killed at least 26 and left 58 injured on January 22. Bombings and shootings took place in the capital, as well as Taji and Mahmoudiyah.[138] On the next day, a suicide bomber blew himself up during a funeral for a politician's relative in the city of Tuz Khormato, killing 42 and leaving 75 others wounded. Other attacks across central and northern Iraq killed 7 people and injured 8 others.[139][140]
  • Ongoing protests by Sunni Muslims in Iraq against the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki turned deadly in Fallujah, as soldiers opened fire on a crowd of rock-throwing demonstrators, killing 7 and injuring more than 70 others. Three soldiers were later shot to death in retaliation for the incident, and clashes erupted in Askari, on the eastern outskirts of Fallujah. Security forces were placed on high alert as a curfew and vehicle ban were brought into effect. In a statement, Maliki urged both sides to show restraint and blamed the incident on unruly protesters. He also warned that it could lead to a "rise in tension that al-Qaida and terrorist groups are trying to take advantage of".[141][142]
  • A suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle near the provincial police headquarters in Kirkuk, killing at least 36 and injuring 105 others. Among the wounded was Major General Jamal Tahir, the city's chief of police, who had survived a previous attack at almost the same spot 2 years earlier. Three additional attackers were killed after the initial blast, as they attempted to throw grenades at security forces. Several officers who survived the attack reported that the first bomber was driving a police car and wearing a uniform. When guards at the gate stopped him to check his credentials, he detonated his explosives.[143][144]
  • Unidentified gunmen ambushed a Syrian Army convoy escorted by Iraqi soldiers in the Battle of Akashat, killing 48 Syrians and 13 Iraqis. The assault took place near the desert border between the two nations in Iraq's Al Anbar Governorate. Authorities suspected the Free Iraqi Army, Jabhat al-Nusra, or al-Qaeda in Iraq of being behind the attack.[145] A week later, on March 11, the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that they had "annihilated" a "column of the Safavid army," a reference to the Shia Persian dynasty that ruled Iran from 1501 to 1736. The group also claimed that the presence of Syrian soldiers in Iraq showed "firm co-operation" between the Syrian and Iraqi governments.[146]
  • A series of coordinated attacks across the capital Baghdad and several major cities in the north and central parts of the country killed at least 98 people and left 240 others injured. The wave of violence was directed mostly at Shia civilians and took place on the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. The Islamic State of Iraq later claimed responsibility for the attacks.[147]
  • A tanker bomb exploded at the police headquarters in Tikrit, killing at least 42 people and injuring 67 others. Insurgents attacked an oil field near Akaz in a remote part of Al Anbar Governorate, killing 2 engineers and kidnapping a third one. Other attacks across the country left a prison warden in Mosul dead and 11 others injured, including the mayor of Tuz Khormato and at least four journalists, who were stabbed by unknown assailants in a series of attacks on media offices in the capital Baghdad.[148]
  • A suicide bomber killed 22 and injured 55 at a political rally for a local Sunni candidate in Baqubah. Other attacks across the country killed 7 and injured 9 others, most of them members of the security forces.[149]
  • series of coordinated attacks across more than 20 cities killed at least 75 people and left more than 350 others injured just days before the provincial elections.[150]
  • On April 23, Iraqi Army units moved against an encampment set up by protesters in Hawija, west of the city of Kirkuk, sparking deadly clashes and reprisal attacks across the country.[151] According to army officers, the operation was aimed at Sunni militants from the Naqshbandi Army, who were reportedly involved in the protests. A total of 42 people were killed and 153 others injured, with most of them being protesters - only 3 soldiers were confirmed dead and 7 others wounded.[151][152] The incident sparked a number of revenge attacks, that soon spread out across much of the country. Minister of Education Mohammed Tamim resigned from his post in response to the Army's operation, and was followed later by Science and Technology Minister Abd al-Karim al-Samarrai.[151] Insurgents from the Naqshbandi Army completely captured the town of Sulaiman Bek, about 170 km north of Baghdad, after heavy fighting with security forces on April 25, only to relinquish control of it a day later, while escaping with weapons and vehicles. More than 340 were killed and 600 others injured in the four days of heaviest violence, while attacks continued after that at a pace higher than earlier in the year.[153][154][155][156] On May 3, the United Nations mission to Iraq released figures, showing that more people died in violent attacks in April than in any other month since June 2008. According to the numbers, at least 712 were killed during April, including 117 members of the security forces.[157]
  • In the latest round of violence, a series of deadly bombings and shootings struck the central and northern parts of Iraq, with a few incidents occurring in towns in the south and far west as well. The week of attacks killed at least 449 people and left 732 others injured in one of the deadliest outbreaks of violence in years.[158][159][160][161][162][163][164]
  • The Iraqi government launches Operation al-Shabah ('Phantom'), with the stated aim of severing contact between al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Syrian al-Nusra Front by clearing militants from the border area with Syria and Jordan.[165]
  • A series of coordinated attacks took place in Baghdad, killing 71 people and injuring more than 220 others.[166]
  • A series of bombings and shootings struck the central and northern parts of Iraq, killing at least 94 people and injuring almost 300 others.[167]
  • A series of deadly attacks across Iraq killed at least 54 people and injured more than 170 others, with most of the major bombings taking place in the country's south.[168]

July–December 2013

  • September 21 – A series of car and suicide bombings struck a funeral in the predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood of Sadr City, in Iraq's capital Baghdad. The attacks left at least 78 dead and more than 200 others injured. A number of smaller incidents occurred in the country's north and central regions as well.[169]
  • November 1 – Attacks and other violence across Iraq killed 979 people in October, the United Nations said Friday, a monthly death toll that is the same as the figure for September. UN's report said 979 people were killed in October—the same number as in September. Out of those, 852 were civilians while 127 were Iraqi soldiers and members of the police force. Also, the U.N. said 1,902 Iraqis were wounded in attacks across the country last month—a drop of more than 200 from September, when 2,133 Iraqi were wounded. Baghdad was the worst affected province, with 411 killed and 925 wounded. It was followed by the volatile Ninevah province, where 188 people were killed and 294 were wounded.[170]
  • December 1 – Health Minister of Iraq and the Defence Minister of Iraq said 948 people, including 852 civilians, 53 police officers and 43 soldiers, had been killed in violent attacks across the country in November. The figures make November one of the deadliest months in 2013, with civilians accountin.[171][172][173]
  • December 4 – Two people were killed and 70 others were wounded due to a clash between security forces and assailants who tried to capture the intelligence building in Iraq's Kirkuk Governorate. Meanwhile, a car bomb was detonated by security forces in front of the intelligence building. Five assailants tried to prevent the assistance provided to security forces and wounded four ambulance drivers.[174]
  • December 8 – Car bombs killed at least 39 people across Iraq on Sunday and wounded more than 120, mainly targeting busy commercial streets in and around the capital, police sources said.[175]
  • December 9 – The deadliest of Monday's attacks took place outside a cafe in the town of Buhriz, about 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, killing 12 people and wounding 24, police said. Three more bombings around the country killed an additional six people. A roadside bomb targeted an army patrol just south of the capital, killing one Iraqi soldier and wounded two others, while in Baghdad’s eastern Basmaya district a bomb at an outdoor market killed three people and wounded seven, police said. In a village just north of Baghdad, three policemen were killed and 10 were wounded when a car bomb exploded near their checkpoint. And in the southwestern suburbs of Baghdad, a roadside bomb struck a car carrying anti-al-Qaida Sunni fighters, killing two and wounding three, police and hospital officials said.[176]
  • December 10 – At least 18 people have been killed in two deadly attacks, including a bombing and a shooting, in Iraq's Diyala Governorate. The deadliest attack took place on Tuesday in Baquba where a bomb blast left eleven people dead. Reports say that the explosion also left 19 people injured.[177][178]
  • December 10 – The country's ministries of health and defense said that 948 people, including 852 civilians, 53 police officers and 43 soldiers, were killed in violent attacks across the Arab country in November. Another 1,349 people were also injured in the attacks. The figures make November one of the deadliest months in 2013, with civilians accounting for about 90 percent of the fatalities.[177]
  • December 14 – At least 17 people, most of them Shi'ite Muslims, were killed in a series of bombings and shootings across Iraq on December 14 ahead of a major Shi'ite ritual, according to medical and police sources. Police and medics said the deadliest of the attacks occurred in Baghdad's mainly Shi'ite district of Bayaa when a car bomb blew up near a gathering of Shi'ite pilgrims, killing seven people and wounding another 16. Additionally, police also reported that three people were killed and ten wounded in a mainly Shi'ite district on the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded in a vegetable market, while in the district of Husseiniya, a bomb left inside a restaurant killed two people and wounded another five.[179]
  • December 15 – Police reported that seven people were killed, including five family members, in separate attacks in Iraq. A provincial police source also reported that earlier in the day, a government employee, his wife and three of their children were killed when bombs planted in their house exploded in the city of Saadiyah, some 120 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The provincial source also stated that, in a separate incident, a member of a government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group was shot dead at a village near the Diyala Governorate capital city of Baquba, some 65 km. northeast of Baghdad.[180]
  • December 16 – According to police officers, militants detonated a car bomb at the city council headquarters in Iraq's Tikrit and then occupied the building. The officers said an unknown number of employees were still in the building at the time of the explosion in the city north of Baghdad, while the number of casualties remains unclear.[181] Iraqi security forces surrounded the building and released 40 people who were held inside, according to Counter-Terrorism Service spokesman, Sabah Noori. Meanwhile, a police major and a doctor said a city council member as well as two police died in the incident. In clashes that erupted afterwards between the militants and Iraqi security forces, three policemen lost their lives while three militants were also killed. In a separate incident, gunmen killed three soldiers guarding an oil pipeline near Tikrit. In another deadly attack on Monday, militants gunned down 12 people on a bus in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. Also on Monday, five car bombs and a magnetic “sticky bomb” on a vehicle went off in and around the Iraqi capital, leaving at least 17 people dead and over 40 injured.[182][183]
  • December 17 – Iraqi security officials reported that militants killed at least eight Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad Governorate. A suicide bomber detonated explosives among pilgrims walking south of Baghdad, killing four, while militants in a car threw a hand grenade at pilgrims in the capital, killing at least four others. The two attacks also wounded at least 27 other people.[184]
  • December 18 – A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt among Shiite pilgrims walking northeast of the Iraqi capital, one of several attacks that killed a total of nine people Wednesday, officials said. The bomber struck in the Khales area, killing five people and wounding 10, a police colonel and a doctor said. The colonel said one of the dead was a policeman tasked with guarding the pilgrims, who embraced the bomber just before the attack in an effort to shield others from the blast.[185][186]
  • December 19 – Three suicide bombers detonated explosives belts among Shiite pilgrims in Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 36 people, while militants shot dead a family of five, officials said. The deadliest attack hit the Dura area of south Baghdad, where a bomber targeted pilgrims at a tent where they are served food and drinks on their way to the shrine city of Karbala, killing at least 20 people and wounding at least 40. Among those killed in the blast was Muhanad Mohammed, a journalist who had worked for both foreign and Iraqi media, one of his sons told AFP.[187][188]
  • December 20 – Two bombings in an Iraqi market and another in a cemetery as people buried victims of the first blasts killed 11 people on Friday, police and a doctor said. The first two attacks targeting a livestock market in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometres (110 miles) north of Baghdad, killed eight people and wounded 25. As people gathered at a cemetery to bury the victims of the market blasts, another bomb went off, killing three people and wounding two.[189][190]
  • December 21 – Officials say attacks in western Iraq and south of Baghdad have killed six people – four policemen and two Shiite pilgrims. Police officials say gunmen in a speeding car opened fire at a police checkpoint in the western city of Fallujah on Saturday morning, killing four policemen, while in the town of Latifiyah, 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, a mortar shell hit a group of Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy sites in the city of Karbala.[191] Also, military sources said at least 15 Iraqi military officers were killed in an ambush on Saturday in western Iraq's Sunni Muslim-dominated Anbar Province. According to the sources, several top-ranking officers were among those killed in the attack.[192][193]
  • December 23 – The Iraqi military attacked camps belonging to an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group in Anbar Province, destroying two, the defence ministry said on Monday. After locating camps with aircraft, Iraqi forces launched "successful strikes... resulting in the destruction of two camps in the desert of Anbar Province," spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said in a statement. The assaults came after five senior officers, including a divisional commander, and 10 soldiers were killed during an operation against militants in the mainly Sunni western Anbar Province.[194]
  • December 25 – Three separate bombings in Baghdad, Iraq targeted Christians on Christmas, killing 38 people and wounding 70 others. At least 34 people were killed and 50 injured in three bombings in Christian areas of Baghdad on Wednesday, including a car bomb that exploded as worshippers were leaving a Christmas service, Iraqi police and medics said. Elsewhere in Iraq, at least 10 people were killed in three attacks that targeted police and Shi'ite pilgrims, police said.[195]
  • December 28 – Twelve people were killed and 27 wounded in Iraq in violent attacks and an operation by security forces to arrest a Sunni lawmaker, police said. In an incident, up to five were killed and 17 wounded in a clash between Iraqi security forces and guards of Ahmad al-Alwani, a Sunni Arab member of parliament in Iraq's western Anbar Province. The incident occurred when a joint army and a Special Weapons And Tactics force, backed by helicopters, carried out a pre-dawn raid on the house of Alwani in the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad. During the operation, the troops exchanged fire with Alwani's guards who resist the arrest and called the operation illegal since lawmakers enjoy immunity under the constitution.
"The clashes resulted in the killing of five people, including Alwani's brother and a soldier, and the wounding of 13 guards and four soldiers," the source said, adding that Alwani and a number of his guards were also arrested.
Later in the day, the Defence Minister of Iraq said in a statement that the troops went to Alwani's house with an arrest warrant against his brother, who was among the killed, and they arrested Ahmad al-Alwani despite his immunity.[196]
  • December 29 – Attacks in Iraq mainly targeting members of the security forces killed at least 16 people on Sunday, among them three senior army officers, security and medical officials said.
Earlier on Sunday, a car bomb exploded near an army checkpoint in Mosul, killing four more soldiers, among them an officer, while a roadside bomb in the city killed a child and wounded three people. The attacks on the soldiers come after five senior officers, including a divisional commander, and 10 other soldiers were killed during a December 21 operation against militants in the western Anbar province. In Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, gunmen killed at least four Sahwa militia anti-Al-Qaeda militiamen and wounded at least three at a checkpoint on Sunday.[197]


From December 2013 onwards, the rise of ISIS (or as it is also known, ISIL), a major belligerent in the Syrian Civil War, has transformed the insurgency into a regional war that includes Syria, Iran and a large coalition of Western and Islamic forces led by the United States.


An independent UK/US group, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) project compiles reported Iraqi civilian deaths from violence during the Iraq War, including those caused directly by coalition military action, the Iraqi insurgency, and those resulting from excess crime. The IBC maintains that the occupying authority has a responsibility to try and prevent these deaths under international law. It shows a total range of at least 132,866 to 149,659 civilian deaths in the whole conflict as of November 01, 2014.[93][198]

Following are the monthly IBC Project civilian death totals, from the US pullout in December 2011 onwards.[93]

2012 Iraqi deaths by province, per 100,000 people
Monthly Iraqi civilian deaths counted by the IBC Project from December 2011
Year Month Total
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2011 392 4,153
2012 531 356 377 392 304 529 469 422 400 290 253 299 4,622
2013 357 360 403 545 888 659 1,145 1,013 1,306 1,180 903 983 9,742
2014 1,076 930 1,009 1,013 1,027 2,534 1,481 1,592 1,956 1,797 1,468 103 15,986

The IBC includes non-paramilitary police forces as civilians, and members of the Iraqi Army & paramilitary/militia when the death is a result of summary execution.[199] The IBC does a constant check on all its reports, and publishes weekly updates to its monthly casualty table. Consequently, the figures for the last few months in the table above should always be considered preliminary and will be marked in italic until confirmed by IBC.

Month by month casualty tolls after the U.S. withdrawal (IBC database)

Iraqi government figures

The Iraqi government releases its own figures, usually on the first day of each month. These are almost always significantly lower than other estimates and often even contradict with news reports, leading to an apparent "under-reporting" of casualty figures, although after the escalation of violence in the summer of 2013 the casualty tolls began to "catch up" with independent estimates. Most news outlets still report on these, and [200] has a running estimate based on the Lancet study [201] with the rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count.

Iraqi casualties counted by the Iraqi government
Year Month Total
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2011 155 155
2012 151 150 112 126 132 131 325 164 365 144 166 208 2,174
2013 177 136 163 205 630 240 921 356 885 964 948 897 6,522
2014 1,013 790 1,004 1,009 938 1,922 6,676

The Iraqi government also compiles the number of wounded from these three categories, as well as the number of killed and captured insurgents. From the beginning of December 2011 until the end of June 2014, at least 25,277 Iraqis have been injured according to these reports, including 3,095 police officers and 3,209 members of the Iraqi Army. During the same period, 1,929 insurgents were killed, while a total of 5,529 suspects were arrested.

A running tally of all the figures can be found at Google Docs, courtesy of Agence France-Presse.[92] The numbers include civilians, as well as members of the Iraqi Army and police forces.

Following the escalation of violence in June 2014, AFP stopped updating the table at Google Docs. The Iraqi government reported that in July 2014, 1,669 people (1,401 civilians, 185 soldiers and 83 policemen) were killed. An additional 2,104 people were wounded, including 246 soldiers and 153 policemen. It did not provide a number for killed or captured insurgents.[202] In October 2014, 865 civilians and 417 security forces members were killed, according to the United Nations. In contrast, the Iraqi government reported a total figure of 1,725 civilians and members of the security forces for the month.[203]

Month by month

Iraq soldier standing guard in Baghdad, 26 December 2011
  • This section includes both AFP and Iraqi government estimates, and as such, is intended as an addition to the tables above.

Several dozen were killed within the first few days after U.S. withdrawal on December 18, 2011. At least 337 casualties were inflicted by the wave of violence during December 20–26. About 200 died in January,[97] with Al-Arabiya channel claiming mortal casualties to be at least 151 people.[96] The Iraqi Body Count (IBC) claimed 451 casualties in January, including injuries.[107] In February, the death toll across Iraq reached 278 according to IBC.[107] 74 people were killed between March 1–8 according to IBC,[107] and a total of 112 were killed in Iraq in March, according to government figures.[108] At least 126 Iraqis were killed in April, while 132 Iraqis were killed in sectarian violence in Iraq in May 2012.[109][204] June marked a significant spike in violence, with a major attack occurring on average every three days. At least 237 were killed during the month, with an additional 603 people left injured.[205]

July 2012 was the deadliest month in Iraq since August 2010, with 325 deaths; 241 civilians, 40 police, and 44 soldiers. The month also saw 697 people being wounded by violence; 480 civilians, 122 police, and 95 soldiers. The rise in violence was linked to Sunni insurgents trying to undermine the Shia led government.[206] According to government figures, at least 164 Iraqis were killed during August 2012 – 90 civilians, 39 soldiers and 35 policemen, with 260 others injured.[207] September was a particularly bloody month, with government reports citing at least 365 deaths (182 civilians, 95 soldiers and 88 policemen) and 683 injuries (453 civilians, 120 soldiers and 110 police).[208] Government casualty tolls released for the month of October showed a total of 144 people were killed (88 civilians, 31 policemen and 25 soldiers), and another 264 were wounded, including 110 civilians, 92 policemen and 62 soldiers.[209] At least 166 people were killed throughout Iraq in November 2012 according to government casualty tolls, and 208 died in December, including 55 policemen and 28 soldiers.[210][211] During January 2013, at least 246 people were killed nationwide (including 30 policemen and 18 soldiers), while 735 others were injured.[212] Government figures remained low in February 2013, with a total of 136 killed (88 civilians, 22 soldiers and 26 policemen) and 228 injured.[213] There was a slight increase in March, when according to government sources 163 were killed and 256 injured nationwide, though officials in Baghdad stressed that these numbers did not include the Kurdish regions.[214]

According to figures released by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), April 2013 was the deadliest month in Iraq in over five years, with a total of 712 people were killed and 1,633 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence.[215] Conditions continued to deteriorate in May when UNAMI reported a total of 1,045 Iraqis were killed and another 2,397 wounded in acts of terrorism and acts of violence, making it one of the deadliest months on record. The figures include 963 civilians and 181 civilian police killed, while 2,191 civilians and 359 civilian police were wounded. An additional 82 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 206 were injured.[216]

Other reports

The United Nations keeps its own statistics on casualties, and according to their reports, 2,101 Iraqis were killed in violent attacks in June 2012, compared with 1,832 in the first half of 2011.[217]

In July 2014, according to, 5,698 people were killed, including 3,961 insurgents. The rest were civilians and security forces.[218] For the following month, reported 1,642 civilians and security forces and 3,112 militants died.[219] In September, per, 1,158 civilians and security forces were killed, along with 2,632 militants.[220] Finally, in October, 1,572 civilians and security forces died, in addition to 4,990 militants, as reported by[221]

See also


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