How many Americans live in Iraq

The first bombs fell in March 2003, and just six weeks later, US President George W. Bush prematurely announced "mission accomplished". But the war in Iraq dragged on for the USA and its comrades-in-arms for more than eight years. Not only critics quickly spoke of a "new Vietnam", a war that the USA could only lose. Almost 5,000 soldiers from the Western "coalition of the willing" died in the course of the conflict.

How many Iraqis died during the US occupation is still a matter of dispute. Estimates range from 100,000 deaths to more than a million victims between 2003 and the withdrawal of the US combat troops in 2011. A new study now clarifies the picture.

In the study "The Iraq War 2003 and Avoidable Human Sacrifices", researchers from the USA commit themselves to around 500,000 people who died as a result of the war. "We estimate the war killed about half a million people. And that's a low estimate," said Amy Hagopian of Washington University in Seattle, who led the study.

Researchers surveyed 2,000 Iraqi households

Most of the deaths can therefore be traced back to direct violence such as gunfire and bombing. About a third of the victims, on the other hand, died of indirect consequences, according to the investigation. The indirect but war-related causes include stress-related illnesses such as heart attacks and the collapse of the infrastructure for drinking water, nutrition, transport and health.

The researchers from Washington University, Johns Hopkins University and Simon Fraser University surveyed representative households in Iraq about the birth and death of their relatives in 2000. They came to an estimated 405,000 Iraqi citizens who had been killed, directly or indirectly, by acts of war by mid-2011. In addition, 55,805 Iraqis died in exile. The study was published on October 15 PLOS Medicine released.

Even after the end of the US occupation, Iraq continues to be shaken by unrest. Around 5,000 Iraqis are estimated to have died in bomb attacks and shootings this year alone.