The UN mission to Iraq has released its official figures for violence in the month of July today, putting the toll at 1,057 dead and 2,326 wounded. This is almost exactly in line with the death toll for May, and the highest toll since 2007.
The UN’s death toll for May was 1,045, meaning July was slightly ahead. The death tolls since late April have been dramatically higher than the past several years, and rival those of summer 2007, the tail end of the worst phase of the US occupation.
July brings the annual death toll of 2013 to 4,137, putting it already ahead of the entire year of 2012, which was itself the highest toll since 2008. 2013 seems set to top 2008 within a few months, if the trend continues.
Violence in Iraq surged starting in late April, with a violent government crackdown on Sunni protesters. Anger at the crackdown, along with spillover violence from neighbouring Syria, has brought Iraq to the brink of another civil war.