Iraq: at any cost: the civilian catastrophe in west Mosul, Iraq

The battle for west Mosul has caused a civilian catastrophe. Civilians have been ruthlessly exploited by the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), which has systematically moved them into zones of conflict, used them as human shields and prevented them from escaping to safety. They have also been subjected to relentless and unlawful attacks by Iraqi government forces and members of the US-led coalition. Residents of west Mosul count themselves lucky if they escape with their lives.

Iraq. Displacement from Mosul and Tal-Afar

On 4 May, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) launched an offensive from the northwest of the area held by Islamic State (IS) in Mosul, along the boundaries of the neighbourhoods of Musharifah, Khanisah and al Haramat. With hundreds of thousands of civilians still believed to be trapped in west Mosul, this new front has triggered displacement from that area. Since the beginning of the operation to recapture Mosul from IS on 17 October 2016, over 806,200 people have been displaced from Mosul as of 4 June.

Crossroads: The future of Iraq’s minorities after ISIS

Minority communities in Iraq fear their ancestral lands will be stolen by government-backed forces as ISIS is pushed back, a new report finds. Territories ‘liberated’ from ISIS months ago remain occupied by Shi’a militias, Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraq Security Forces while Yezidis, Christians, Shabak and Turkmen have yet to return, a coalition of international NGOs reports.


Iraq: Turning a blind eye: The arming of the Popular Mobilization Units

Index number: MDE 14/5386/2017. Proliferation of arms and ammunition to militias across Iraq has had devastating impacts on civilians, dragging the country into a spiral of insecurity and instability. In the context of the conflict against IS, militias operating under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have extrajudicially executed, tortured and abducted thousands of men and boys. The PMU continue to use a wide range of arms and ammunition to commit or facilitate serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law with impunity. Far stricter controls on the transfer of arms are needed to avoid further serious violations of human rights.


Internal Displacement in Iraq: More than Just Mosul

The second half of 2016 has seen some changes in the humanitarian response to the 3.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq, particularly in the central governorates. With Ramadi and Fallujah liberated in the past year, fewer towns remained under siege, more people were able to leave dangerous areas, and a limited number of the displaced are even returning home.

Marked With An “X”. Iraqi Kurdish Forces’ Destruction of Villages, Homes in Conflict with ISIS

The report, “Marked With An ‘X’: Iraqi Kurdish Forces’ Destruction of Villages, Homes in Conflict with ISIS,” looked at destruction of homes between September 2014 and May 2016 in disputed areas of Kirkuk and Nineveh governorates, areas nominally under Iraqi government jurisdiction but under Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) control. The destruction, which took place after KRG Peshmerga forces routed Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters, targeted Arab homes while leaving Kurdish homes intact. KRG leaders have maintained that these are historically Kurdish areas that they intend to incorporate into the Kurdistan region.