The continued rise of different extremist armed groups has caused violent repercussion on Iraq’s security and peace. Since the Iraqi war in 2003 military and terrorist groups have launched several destructive attacks on civilians in market, hospital, school or mall killing hundreds of thousands of people.
According to Iraqi Body Count (IBC) report in March 20, 2016 between 155,923- 174,355 civilians have died from either military action or terrorism, and 3million Iraqis have been displaced within and outside the country depleting a population of over 37 million people.
A large-scale survey of Iraqi households by UNICEF reveals that over five million Iraqi children are orphan constituting almost half of the country’s children, and between 800,000 and a million Iraqi children under 18 have lost one or both of their parents.
United Nations Development Program called the Iraqi Living Condition “a matter of great concern”. The nation’s health care has deteriorated to a level not seen since 1950. The former health minister Al-Shemari, in his statement acknowledged that many Iraqi doctors have fled the country and more than 80,000 beds are needed-“we need help from anybody” he said. There is degraded infrastructure and increased lawlessness.
Seventy percent of Iraqi children are traumatized. Over 10,000 primary school children from Sha’ab section Northern Baghdad are suffering from trauma-related symptoms. Press release by Iraqi Society of Psychiatrists and the World Health Organization says- “We’re now finding an elevation of mental health disorders in children with some even resulting in suicide’’.
Since the start of the war thousands of people have missed without trace and hundreds of civilians have been buried in the chaos of war without official notice. The Iraqi Body Count blamed US and its allies for the largest share (37%) of the causalities following the US-Iraq war of 2003. The remaining deaths were attributed to crime (36%), anti-occupations forces (9%) and unknown agents (11%). Richard Brennan mortality research expert for Congo and Kosovo believed that the data of IBC is underestimated because many deaths go unrecorded in war zones. Now, mass graves have been uncovered as improved security allows patrols in formerly off-limits areas. Vast majority of the deaths is recorded from insurgents, women and children.
Although, Iraqi government has intensified efforts to retake territories from the terrorizing armed groups but the recent attack on Shia mosque that killed 30 people during the holy month of Ramadan has shown that more needs to be done. It is unlikely that the grisly attack started by US and taken over by extremist groups will be abated soon.