Bad-mouthing the surge.
Despite the recent U.S. military buildup in Baghdad, insurgent and militia attacks persist and “civilian casualties continue to mount” in Iraq as a whole, according to a report released Monday by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
The 15-page report, which tracks events in Iraq over the past three months, said U.S.-led efforts to restore calm in Baghdad have progressed “slower than had been hoped for” and that violence has spread to other parts of the country.
The dire security situation has forced the United Nations to scale back its operations in Iraq and to relocate some staff at its headquarters in the U.S.-controlled Green Zone to temporary, reinforced quarters elsewhere within the zone. Citing an increase in rocket fire, Ban has asked the U.N. Security Council for money to construct a costly new headquarters in the walled-off Green Zone, where the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi government are housed.
Ban agreed with U.S. statements that the number of civilian casualties in Baghdad has declined in recent months, but said that the total number of attacks against civilians in Iraq has not. Iraqi and international forces, meanwhile, have “suffered higher levels of casualties.”
“Despite the initial success of stepped-up security measures in recent months, the situation in Iraq remains precarious,” Ban wrote. “Insurgent attacks persist and civilian casualties continue to mount” in Iraq as a whole.
The implementation of the U.S.-sponsored buildup has “forced some insurgent activity” out of Baghdad, Ban’s report said. At the same time, insurgent activities have increased in Diyala, Salahuddin and Tamim provinces.
U.N. officials said the Iraqi government has stopped giving them full access to statistics on civilian deaths, impeding U.N. efforts to maintain accurate tallies of civilian casualties.