Over 10,000 Killed in Iraq in 2013, Worst Since 2007

1,180 Killed in December, Capping a Grim Year

2013 in Iraq began much the way 2012 did, with violence well down from the levels of the US occupation era. Then the Maliki government attacked a peaceful protest in Hawija in mid-April, and a sectarian powderkeg just exploded.

By summer the death tolls were again rivaling the worst of the US surge-era, and 2013 ended with well over 10,000 dead, and 1,180 killed in the month of December alone. The toll is the worst since 2007.

2013 in Iraq included a 3 and a half month span of relative calm too, before the Hawija killings and this week’s Ramadi killings bookmarked the remainder of the year, killing protesters and sparking ever-worsening tensions.

If something isn’t done to calm those tensions, 2014 is going to be the same, only moreso. Anbar Province is on the brink of full-scale revolt at this point, and the Maliki government’s answer so far is to keep sending the same troops in for heavy-handed crackdowns that only make matters worse. How much worse can Iraq possibly get? Sadly, we may be about to find out.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.