Monday, September 01, 2014

At least 1635 violent deaths in Iraq for the month of August

A new month, a new round of tabulated death tolls.  UNAMI goes with 1420 dead (minus Anbar).  They issued the following statement today:

Baghdad, 1 September 2014 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of at least 1,420 Iraqis were killed and another 1,370 were injured in acts of terrorism and violence in August*.
The number of civilians killed was 1,265 (including 77 civilian police), while the number of civilians injured was 1,198 (including 105 civilian police).  A further 155 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed, and 172 were injured (not including casualties from Anbar operation). 
“In August alone the UN estimates that 600,000 people have been displaced while thousands continue to be targeted and killed by ISIL and associated armed groups simply on account of their ethnic or religious background”, said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov.  “The true cost of this human tragedy is staggering”, he added.
“Despite the difficult conditions, urgent measures are being taken by the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the international community to alleviate the suffering of those fleeing the violence and to secure the return of displaced people to their places of origin in safety and dignity”, Mr. Mladenov added.
CAVEATS: Data do not take into account casualties of the current conflict in Anbar, for which we report separately the figures received from our sources, but which remain unverified by UNAMI.  In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties from conflict areas and areas under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and associated armed groups.  In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents.  In addition to the verified figures provided below, UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of hundreds of casualties along with a large number of reports of civilians who have died from secondary effects of violence, having fled their homes but who perished from lack of access to water, food, medicines and health care in extreme weather conditions.  These cases have not been included in the final tally.  For these reasons, the figures reported are the absolute minimum number of casualties for the month of August - the actual figures could be significantly higher.
Civilian Casualties (killed and injured) per governorate
Anbar excluded, Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 857 civilian casualties (246 killed, 611 injured), followed by Nineveh (625 killed, 70 injured), Kirkuk (95 killed, 248 injured), Diyala (140 killed, 94 injured), Salahadin (105 killed, 103 injured).

Operations in Anbar
According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the total civilian casualties in Anbar up to 31 August, inclusive, were 268 killed and 796 injured, with 53 killed and 360 injured in Ramadi and 215 killed and 436 injured in Fallujah.

So with their Anbar figure, that's 1635 violent deaths for the month of August.

They can track many thing but they can't --

Excuse me, they won't.  They won't track the dead civilians killed by the aerial bombings -- not in Falluja or anywhere else.

They can shriek like scared children over deaths they pin on the Islamic State but they look the other way when it comes to the deaths caused by the Iraqi government and its 'helpers' like the US.

Doubt it.

United Nations investigators are going into Iraq.

Did we all collectively mumble 'finally!'?  Pretty much.

Why are they going in?

Ian Black (Guardian) reports Iraq's Minister of Human Rights -- yeah, that's good for a chuckle -- Mohammed Shia al-Sudani told the UN Human Rights Council that he sees Islamic State members "oozing with barbarity."

Yeah, al-Sudani  does sound sexually turned on by the thought, doesn't he?  Like a heroine in a bodice ripper page turner.

In broad daylight, in the Green Zone where I thought I would be safe, I decried the "barbarity" of the Islamic State only to find myself, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, tossed over the shoulder of a barrel-chested, sweaty and swarthy, six-foot man oozing with barbarity who declared, "You will be mine!" My knees shook.

Reuters quotes him calling IS "a terrorist monster" and notes of UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri:

Pansieri raised concerns that Iraqi government forces had also engaged in acts that may amount to war crimes. She said government-allied militias had opened fire on a mosque in Khanaqin district, northeast of Baghdad, killing 73 men and boys. 

Iraqi soldiers had shelled towns and carried out air strikes killing and injuring dozens of civilians, she added. 

But there was never UN investigators sent in over that, of course.  And they certainly didn't rush to hold an emergency meeting over it.

Just like they don't care about today's dead -- civilian dead -- who most likely died at the hands of Iraq and the US.  Alsumaria reports a woman and her daughter were killed while eleven other civilians were left injured as a result of bombs hitting two homes in a village north of Tikrit.  This was most likely bombs dropped by the US. NINA notes the Pentagon announced US war planes bombed "near" Mosul Dam and Amerli.  Alsumaria notes US aircraft dropped leaflets on the city of Mosul -- leaflets from the Ministry of Interior which are seen as the prelude to bombings.  All Iraq News notes "a drone crashed near Sleimaniyah."  It's safe to assume this was a US drone.

The White House issued the following today:

Letter from the President -- War Powers Resolution Regarding Iraq

September 1, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
As I reported on August 8 and 17, 2014, U.S. Armed Forces have conducted targeted airstrikes in Iraq for the limited purposes of stopping the advance on Erbil by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), supporting civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar, and supporting operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam. U.S. Armed Forces have also provided humanitarian assistance to the civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar.
On August 28, 2014, I further authorized U.S. Armed Forces to conduct targeted airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the town of Amirli, Iraq, which is surrounded and besieged by ISIL. Pursuant to this authorization, on August 30, 2014, U.S. military forces commenced targeted airstrike operations in the vicinity of Amirli, Iraq. These additional operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli.
I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. These actions are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the Iraqi government.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.

The violence continues.  National Iraqi News Agency notes 1 corpse was discovered dumped in Baghdad "riddled with gunshots to the head and chest," an al-Qadisiya bombing left two people injured, and a Mosul roadside bombing left six people injured.  Alsumaria adds 2 car bombings south of Baghdad left 5 people dead and twenty more injured, and 2 people were shot dead in Mahmudiyah.  That's some of today's reported violence.  Margaret Griffis ( counted 95 violent deaths for Sunday.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan -- updated Saturday and Sunday:

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