ISIS unleashed a wave of car bombings in Baghdad this week, killing approximately 150 people in the Iraqi capital. The terrorist organization is currently besieging the town of Fallujah, which is only about 25 miles from Baghdad.
For Baghdad's civilians, though, these bombings are in some ways just a continuation of the more than decade of terror that the city has endured. To put these latest attacks in context, the map below, which was created by The Guardian using Wikileaks' Iraq War Logs data, shows a partial tally of combat-related deaths in Baghdad that were recorded by the US-led forces in Iraq between 2004 and 2009.
This map is a sea of red dots, each of which represents a fatal attack. But the true extent of the violence is much worse: the map likely only shows a small fraction of the attacks from that period. The database the map is drawn from does not include deaths from criminal activity, or those that were initiated by Coalition or Iraqi forces. And many deaths may not have been officially tallied. That means that the real total is almost certainly much higher. But even seeing the number of attacks recorded here shows how devastating this war has been to Baghdad's civilians, who must now face even more attacks.
General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN on October 15 that he is "confident" that the US can assist the Iraqi military to keep Baghdad from falling to ISIS. But the bombings are a reminder that ISIS does not have to take over Baghdad to inflict horrifying damage on the civilians who live there.
Correction: This post originally described the map as showing only deaths from car bombs. In fact, it shows combat-related deaths from a number of causes, approximately one in three of which were caused by IEDs.