ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The UN mission in Iraq, UNAMI, will stop publicizing military casualty figures after the Joint Operations Command of the Iraqi military complained the UN’s figures for November were “much exaggerated.”
“UNAMI acknowledges that the military figures were largely unverified,” reads a statement published by the UN’s Iraqi mission on Saturday.
On Thursday, UNAMI reported that 1,959 Iraqi Security Forces, including army, police, and Peshmerga, had been killed in the month of November.
In their statement on Saturday, UNAMI admitted that obtaining accurate figures was difficult given the active conflict and few reliable sources. They noted that their requests for numbers from official government sources had gone unanswered.
“As such the Mission shall discontinue the publication of military casualty figures unless a sound methodology of verification can be found to better substantiate the figures being reported,” UNAMI stated.
Earlier on Saturday morning, the War Media Cell of the Joint Operations Command had published a statement saying the UN’s information was inaccurate. They added that such a false report “comes in the favor of Daesh [ISIS] who is working on exaggerations intended to influence the course of Ninawa operations.”
On Thursday, the Kurdistan Regional Government released figures of the number of Peshmerga killed in the two and a half years of war against ISIS. From mid-2014 through to November 21, 2016, they stated, 1,604 Peshmerga have been killed, 9,461 have been wounded, and 62 are missing.