By Patrick Schmidt.
According to figures from the Iraqi government, at least 15,000 individuals have been killed since the start of the year. Many of those individuals died following the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in June.
This year’s figure is a sharp increase from 2013, when only 6,522 people were killed by violence throughout Iraq.
Some observers have disputed Iraqi government figures, and a recent estimate from Iraq analyst Joel Wing put the estimate of fatalities at 24,581.
Whatever the final total, it has no doubt been a grim year for Iraq with levels of violence not seen since 2006-2007.
Iraq Business News notes however, that ISIL are losing ground on many fronts such as Salahaddin, Diyala and Ninewa, home to the city of Mosul. In November for example, many reporters did not notice that violence dropped suddenly as ISIL were forced to re-organize.
Only in Anbar in western Iraq has the group been making and holding gains, but as international coalition and Iraqi government support for Sunni tribes increases, we may expect a turnaround on Baghdad's western flank as well.
(Source: Al Arabiya)