Death tolls have been generally rising since April of 2013, when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered a crackdown on Sunni protesters. 2014 has been even worse so far, and every years, since the worst of the US occupation era.
The UN figures confirmed the trend, though as usual were woefully misleading on the number. Official UN figures put the May toll at 799 dead, but excluded all violence in Anbar Province, where most of the fighting actually is.
The UN has argued that Anbar is too violent to get reliable tolls from since al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) took over much of the province earlier this year. Iraq launched a military operation, trying to retake Anbar, but most of the major cities remain outside their control, a fact that meant most of Anbar did not participate in this month’s election.