For Iraq, The War Isn’t Over

The war may have ended for the US, but in Iraq, civilian deaths have increased since 2011.

Tuesday marks the ten-year anniversary of the Iraq War, and while that war officially ended for the United States in December of 2011, life for Iraqi civilians — while better than it was at the bloody height of the insurgency — is still something short of peace. 4,573 Iraqi citizens were killed in 2012, up from 4,147 in 2011.

The organization Iraq Body Count, which counts civilian casualties based on media reports and hospital and morgue records, says the rise in deaths is likely less a reaction to US departure, and more a symptom of an “entrenched conflict” that simply continues to grind on. This has been the status quo for a while — the worst year for Iraqi civilian casualties was 2006, when 29,028 died, and while it hasn’t reached those levels again, the death toll has remained in the thousands. Iraq Body Count has already counted 715 deaths so far in 2013.

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