King’s College London has released a study related to the Iraq Body Count (IBC) collection of data on civilian deaths, cross referencing it with information from hospitals, NGOs, and official figures to provide an overall picture of the source of “violent civilian deaths” over the first five years of the US-led occupation.
The IBC count puts the toll for that period at 92,614, with the vast majority related to gangs and sectarian violence. But the study also found 12 percent of the violent deaths of innocent civilians were caused by “coalition forces,” which virtually exclusively means US and British forces in the context of Iraq.
This means that the US and its allies, excluding the Iraqi government forces themselves, directly killed over 11,000 innocent civilians over that period. This means the occupation forces, on an average day, killed six innocent civilians.
That’s an unfathomable amount, indeed neither the Taliban nor the occupation forces in Afghanistan could lay claim to such a grim number of innocent victims. The 11,000 US-led killings were bolstered by another 10,000 or so slain directly by the Iraqi government forces.
Of course, when one discusses the IBC it must be pointed out that the toll provided by them is extremely conservative, covering only direct violent killings, and that other other studies have put the “excess deaths” in the period in the high hundred thousands or more. That includes those who died by virtue of the disastrousness of life post occupation Iraq.
The 11,000+ civilians directly killed would have been an unthinkable claim to make a couple of years ago, even if the study’s data surely backed it up. Since the release of WikiLeaks’ Iraq War documents, however, the evidence of wholesale civilian slaughter seems all the more plausable, as killing innocent people seemed to be an all-too-common occurance.
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