ISHM: November 3 – 9, 2017


Key Takeaways:

  • Abadi, Speaking in Qa’im, Declares City Cleared of ISIS Militants; Operations in Anbar Continue – On November 3, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Iraqi Security Forces and Popular Mobilization Units successfully cleared ISIS militants from the city of Qa’im, in western Anbar Province. Two days later, Abadi raised the Iraqi flag at the Husaybah border crossing with Syria, which had been under ISIS control since 2014 and used by the militant group as part of a critical supply route between the two countries. Military operations in the area are continuing north and east of Qa’im in the last geographic territory held by ISIS in Iraq. more…
  • Suicide Attacks Roil Kirkuk; Sadr Orders PMU to Withdraw – At least six people were killed and a dozen wounded following two coordinated attacks on a Shia militia building in Kirkuk on November 5. Kirkuk security official Major General Maan al-Saadi said that ISIS militants were responsible for the vehicular IED and suicide bombing. Interim Governor of Kirkuk Province Rakan al-Jabouri called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send security reinforcements to the city. Two days later, influential Shia cleric and leader of the Peace Brigades militia Muqtada al-Sadr directed the PMU to withdraw from Kirkuk within 72 hours, noting that Iraqi Security Forces needed to take control of security in the province. more…
  • Federal Court Ruling, Budget Woes Further Erode KRG Leverage – Amid continuing fallout over the September 25 referendum on Kurdish independence, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled this week that the Iraqi Constitution does not authorize the separation of any part of Iraq and instead emphasizes a federal responsibility to maintain unity. The Office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on the Kurdistan Region to “declare its clear commitment to non-separation…on the basis of the decision of the Federal Court” and the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq also urged the Kurdistan Regional Government to respect the Court’s ruling. Meanwhile, the draft of Iraq’s Federal Budget for 2018 was discussed by the Council of Ministers this week and reportedly reduces the Kurdistan Region’s allocation from 17 to 12.67 percent. The draft budget can be amended by Abadi, a point he will likely use in leveraging negotiations with the KRG. It will then need to be approved by the Iraqi Parliament. more…
  • VP Nujaifi Sets Conditions for May Elections in Speech at USIP; Denies Report He Asked U.S. to Arm Sunni Militias – In a speech this week at the US Institute for Peace, Sunni Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi outlined the conditions for holding Parliamentary elections in Iraq, scheduled for May 2018. These include returning IDPs to their places of origin after securing cleared territory and restoring services, and separating political influence from Popular Mobilization Units. These conditions may be difficult for the Iraqi government to meet within the next six months, making it uncertain that elections will be held as scheduled. During his visit, Nujaifi was interviewed by the Associated Press who released an article based on the interview and a draft copy of Nujaifi’s USIP address, claiming that the VP was in Washington to seek military support for Sunni militias – a request that Middle East analyst Michael Knights suggested would be met “with collective eye-rolling.” Nujaifi made no mention of support for Sunni militias in his address and has since accused the AP of fabricating his remarks. The VP did suggest, however, that political ambitions of Iran-backed Shia militias do pose a threat to stability. more…
  • ISIS Atrocities During Mosul Battle Detailed in UN Report – The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report outlining the atrocities committed by ISIS militants in the final weeks and months of the battle for Mosul. According to the report, at least 741 Iraqi civilians were executed by ISIS while trying to escape the city and at least 2,521 civilians were killed during the battle, mostly from ISIS attacks. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that “during the course of the operation to retake Mosul city, thousands of civilians were subjected to shocking human rights abuses and clear violations of international humanitarian law…those responsible must answer for their heinous crimes.” more…

For more background on most of the institutions, key actors, political parties, and locations mentioned in our takeaways or in the stories that follow, see the ISHM Reference Guide.

Abadi, Speaking in Qa’im, Declares City Cleared of ISIS Militants; Operations in Anbar Continue

On November 3, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) began to clear a number of neighborhoods in Qa’im of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants. First, the ISF cleared the Gaza neighborhood in Qa’im. Security forces then managed to retake the Husaybah border crossing to Syria. Next, the ISF retook the Tanak and Saqq neighborhoods. Later that day, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah announced that the ISF had cleared Al-Aghawat, Saadah police station, Ghura district, Saadah power station, Wadi al-Batikhah, Nahdha district, and Buhajm.

On November 3, an anonymous source reported that the operation to clear Qa’im was complete. The source said, “these forces raised the Iraqi flag over a number of government buildings in the center of Al-Qa’im…the pieces of the army are doing security reinforcements to protect the city.”

On November 3, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that ISF had cleared ISIS from the district of Qa’im, in western Anbar Province. He congratulated the “heroic” security forces and described how the takeover of Qa’im was completed in “record time.” Qa’im sits on Iraq’s border with Syria, to which many of the ISIS militants fled during the fighting. It was the last ISIS-controlled district in Iraq; however, ISIS presence in Iraq still exists.

On November 4, the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) released a statement congratulating the ISF on their victory over ISIS in Qa’im. Maj. Gen. Robert P. White, Commanding General of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command, said that “the threat remains, and there is still hard work to do, but we will continue to stand side-by-side with the Iraqi Government and the ISF to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

On November 5, Iraqi Prime minister Haider al-Abadi personally raised the Iraqi flag at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Husaybah, Qa’im District, in west Anbar Province. The act symbolizes the redeployment of ISF and the end of ISIS presence in Iraq east of the Euphrates River. The central district of Qa’im was declared “liberated” from ISIS two days earlier.

On November 6, Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) began to withdraw from Qa’im. Three days prior, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had reported the operation to clear Qa’im of ISIS complete.

On November 6, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi directed authorities in Qa’im to make the “utmost efforts” to clean up the district. Abadi requested that cleanup efforts begin as soon as possible to restore basic services and allow the return of displaced people.

On November 8, German Foreign Minister Zygmar Gabriel said that withdrawing German troops would lead to an increased possibility of civil war. Gabriel urged the German Parliament to extend its military mission. He said, “The more international groups are active there, the fewer opportunities for a new escalation…The withdrawal will be a wrong signal to the parties to the conflict, as if we accept the threat of a new civil war,” Currently, Germany has about 150 troops in Iraq training the Peshmerga.

On November 8, Lieutenant General Mizher al-Azzawi announced a new operation to clear any remaining pockets of ISIS militants east of Baquba. Azzawi said, “The operation is conducted according to accurate intelligence to end any pockets or dormant cells of terrorist organizations.”

On November 8, Al-Sheikh Sheikh Qatir al-Obeidi reported that an operation to clear ISIS in Rummaneh, north of Qaim, had begun. Obeidi disclosed that forces had already cleared the Rummaneh bridge.

Suicide Attacks Roil Kirkuk; Sadr Orders PMU to Withdraw

On November 3, Yasin Izz al-Din, a high-ranking Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) official, accused the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) for trying to split the PUK party and for creating obstacles for the PUK’s candidate for the Governor of Kirkuk. Kirkuk Province is currently governed by an interim governor, after its previous governor, Najmiddin Karim, was ousted from office after an Iraqi Parliament decision and the Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF) eventual entry into Kirkuk City. Tensions have grown between the PUK and KDP after the short-term failure of Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) referendum for independence and ISF’s invasion into Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)-Iraqi federal disputed territories.

On November 3, Iraqi Member of Parliament (MP) from the Turkmen Front, Jassim Mohammed Jaafar, claimed that reports of Peshmerga atrocities on Iraqi civilians were immensely scaled-down. Jaafar recalled that Peshmerga forces attacked unarmed civilians in Tuz Khurmatu, in east Salah ad-Din Province, on October 16, the day the ISF entered Kirkuk. He accused the Peshmerga of being responsible over the last 10 years for killing 2,700 people, wounding more than 7,000, and destroying more than 2,000 homes, resulting in displacements of Tuz Khurmatu residents to Karbala and Najaf.

On November 4, Niazi Muemari Oglu, Iraqi MP from the Turkmen Front, called on the Human Rights Commission in Iraq to investigate Asayish prisons and claimed that thousands of missing or kidnapped Iraqis are held there. The Asayish is the military intelligence faction of the Kurdish Peshmerga. He accused Peshmerga forces of being responsible for 3,000 deaths and 7,000 wounded in Tuz Khurmatu, east Salah ad-Din Province, as well as the destruction of 11 houses and torching of 65 others when the ISF were sent there on October 16. Now that federal forces are present, he said that Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu “enjoy security after 14 years of threats, killings, kidnappings and abuses.”

On November 5, Iraqi MP from Salah ad-Din Province, Hana al-Bayati, expressed surprise and disappointment at the decision to remove Turkmen Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) from Tuz Khurmatu, in east Salah ad-Din Province, and called on authorities to “cancel this unjust decision against the Turkmen people.” She reiterated the same message Turkmen MPs had delivered recently, describing the suffering of the Turkmen population in Tuz Khurmatu district over the past 14 years by both “terrorist groups” and “Kurdish armed factions,” which amounted to large losses of wealth, 3,000 deaths, and 7,000 wounded. Protests broke out in Tuz Khurmatu earlier that day following the news revealing the return of Tuz Khurmatu’s former Qaimaqam (sub-governor), Shalal Abdul, to his position. The protests temporarily interfered with traffic on the road connecting Baghdad and Kirkuk.

On November 5, two separate terrorist attacks were conducted in Kirkuk. Both incidents were near Atlas Street and were targeting a building used by Shia militias. The first attacker detonated a vehicle laden with explosive devices; the second used an explosive belt. After the attacks, a third explosion was heard when security forces safely detonated a subsequent vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) on Atlas street. One person was killed and a 16were wounded. These were the first terrorist attacks in Kirkuk since the ISF retook control of the area. Kirkuk security official, Major Gen. Maan al-Saadi, reported that the two foreign ISIS fighters were responsible for the attack..

On November 5, the interim Governor of Kirkuk Province, Rakan al-Jabouri called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send reinforcements to Kirkuk. Jabouri’s request came after a double suicide bombing in Kirkuk earlier that day. Jabouri noted that the counter-terrorism service (CTS) currently in Kirkuk does not have sufficient numbers to deal with terrorist threats like the one that day. Jabouri said, “counter-terrorism forces have proved their professional work, but their number is insufficient to cover the vast area of ​​the city and must be doubled to meet the terrorist challenge that began targeting civilians Isolation in their daily lives and this is what we saw today.”

On November 5, Ala Talabani, of the PUK leadership, addressed the terrorist attacks in Kirkuk in a press conference, saying that “Kirkuk is going through a period of transition, so it requires efforts, mediators and experience to promote peace… it must be managed through partnership between the components, as confirmed by the great deceased Mam Jalal.” The Iraqi Turkmen Front party also responded in a statement to the press describing the attacks as “an attempt to undermine the government effort” to secure Kirkuk. Contrary to Kirkuk security official, Major General Maan al- Saadi, who reported that foreign ISIS fighters carried out the attacks, Turkmen Iraqi MP Niazi Muemari Oglu accused Kurdish opposition factions — with support from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Iranian Azadi Movement, and the former Governor of Kirkuk Najmiddin Karim — for conducting the attack. He explained that the factions were trying to mislead the public into believing that Kirkuk would be insecure without the Peshmerga and Asayish.

On November 7, Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, Abdal-Rahim al-Shammari, confirmed incidents of Kurdish attacks on Arab homes in several locations in the KRI, including six incidents in which Arabs were expelled from their homes. The information he received followed earlier reports in news outlets and social media showing armed groups in Erbil. Shammari recognized an urgent protect Arabs and their properties and called on the Iraqi Prime Minister to “verify that information and take the necessary measures to protect these families.”

On November 7, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi opened an investigation into detainees held by the Kurdish Asayish in Kirkuk and the KRI. Kurdish security prisons have held dozens of detainees since 2003. Abadi’s order answers parents’ long-standing demands to reveal the fate of their children.  

On November 7, Muqtada al-Sadr directed his popular mobilization units, the “Peace Brigades,” to withdraw from Kirkuk within 72 hours. He noted the need to let the ISF gradually take control of security in the province. He forbade the units to conduct any business or speak in the name of the Sadrist movement and warned his followers not to interfere in any political, social, or financial matters. One of the twin suicide attacks in Kirkuk on November 5 occurred at the headquarters of the Peace Brigades.

On November 7, in his weekly press conference, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned of a serious and continuing terrorist threat. Abadi said, “There is a global desire to see the capabilities and expertise of the Iraqi joint forces…I am warning of a serious terrorist threat and Europe and the countries of the region are not immune to it.” In the same conference, Abadi declared that the ISF would confront any threat, including from inside Syrian territory.

Federal Court Ruling, Budget Woes Further Erode KRG Leverage

On November 4, Kurdish Iraqi Minister of Displacement and Migration, Derbaz Mohammed, called for the cancellation of the results of the referendum for independence of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). He argued that agreeing to cancel the referendum would allow reaching an agreement on oil and border-crossings, prevent causing more harm to citizens, and prevent worsening the Erbil-Baghdad crisis. Baghdad has demanded that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cancel the referendum results; however, the KRG has only agreed to “freeze” them. Mohammed argued that cancelling the results was similar to freezing them.

On November 5, the Iraqi Council of Minister proposed a draft federal budget for 2018, which would reduce the KRI share of the federal budget from 17 to 12.67 percent. The budget was rejected by two Kurdish ministers on the Council. Before it becomes law, the budget must be approved by the Iraqi Prime Minister and Parliament. Budget allocations are supposed to be representative of population, however, no proper census to determine the KRI’s population was conducted in recent years, and the previous budget plan set the budget for the KRI at 17 percent until such a census was conducted. Since the turmoil caused by the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the Federal Government stopped sending funds to the KRI and Kurdistan authorities held large amounts of Iraq’s oil-wells, which they used to fund themselves.

On November 5, the KRG Office of the President released a statement calling on the Iraqi Federal Government not to approve the draft law for the 2018 budget without the KRG’s participation and adherence to constitutional principles. The statement said “the draft law was prepared by the Iraqi Ministry of Finance without the participation of the Kurdistan region,” contrary to the Iraqi Constitution, which requires “fair participation of the Kurdistan region in federal institutions.” The draft law aims to reduce the KRI’s budget from 17 percent to 12.67 percent of the total Iraqi budget.

On November 5, KRI’s Council of Ministers held a meeting with KRI’s Provincial Councils and Governors intended to increase cooperation among Kurdish institutions to overcome their fallout with Baghdad following the September 25 referendum on Kurdistan’s independence. Head of Sulaimania’s Provincial Council, Azad Hama Amin, welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s initiative to provide salaries to the KRI but stressed the importance of doing so in accordance with Iraq’s budget and the KRI’s population size relative to Iraq’s total population. He said that Iraq’s draft budget law allocated the KRI less than half of the budget it deserved.

On November 5, Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Jabbar Yawar, announced that the Peshmerga forces are ready to manage the border crossings in the KRI in coordination with the Federal Government of Iraq. “The problem between Baghdad and Erbil is political and not military, and Peshmerga part of the Iraqi defense system and the region is part of Iraq,” he claimed in an attempt to separate the Peshmerga from the KRI’s political crisis. Yawar added that the Ministry of the Peshmerga was satisfied with the pre-2014 security arrangement in the disputed territories, noting that “Baghdad retreated from them” when ISIS attacked. He warned that continued tensions between the ISF and Peshmerga would “contribute to the return of terrorism.”

On November 6, Prime Minister of the KRG Nechirvan Barzani addressed the Iraqi Federal Government during a press conference, calling on them for dialogue. “Baghdad did not respond to our call to conduct dialogue so far,” he said, and accused Baghdad of attempting to undermine the political and legal entities in the KRI. He also mentioned the need to discuss salaries for the KRI, pointing out that at least 17 percent of Iraq’s budget is guaranteed to the KRI, according to a precedent agreement. He also called for a permanent ceasefire with the ISF, and to negotiate a political, not military, solution to the border crossings. “The Peshmerga and Iraqi forces did not reach any agreement and we believe that the solution is political and not military,” he said, “we want to address the problem of border crossings according to the Constitution and not military operations.”

On November 6, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court ruled that the Iraqi Constitution does not contain any text authorizing separation of any component of Iraq. On the contrary, Article 1 and Article 109 of the Constitution emphasize the unity of Iraq and the requirement of federal authorities to maintain it.

On November 6, the office of the Prime Minister of Iraq released a statement to the press reflecting on the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court ruling earlier that day, interpreting that the Iraqi Constitution contains no text authorizing separation. The Prime Minister’s office renewed its call for the KRI to “declare its clear commitment to to non-separation or independence from Iraq on the basis of the decision of the Federal Court.” He noted that the Federal Court’s decision applies to all regions of Iraq, adding that the KRI “expanded at the expense of internal crises” in Iraq, and that “We are working to achieve justice in the distribution of wealth across all regions of Iraq.”

On November 7, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) released a statement regarding the Federal Court ruling on Article 1 of the Iraqi Constitution. By the Federal Court ruling, no text in the Constitution allows the secession of any component listed in Article 116. UNAMI urged the Kurdistan Regional Government to respect the Court’s ruling and to reiterate its commitment to the Constitution. UNAMI also stressed the need for dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil and offered to play a facilitating role in any such dialogue.

On November 7, the Kurdish Gorran Party Spokesman Shursh Haji called on the KRG to resign and form a National Salvation Government. He said the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) failed to manage the government, exposed KRI citizens “to a major disaster,” and lost “a large part of the gains of the people of Kurdistan.” He argued that a National Salvation Government would protect the people of Kurdistan and implement talks with the Iraqi Federal Government — actions the current government in the KRI has, so far, failed to do. He accused the KRG of being “ready to make concessions in return for remaining in power.”

On November 7, the Political Bureau of the KDP held a meeting led by head of the party and former KRG President Masoud Barzani to discuss the situation in the KRI and relations with the Iraqi Federal Government. Reporting from the meeting, Arif Rushdi, adviser to KDP’s Political Bureau, said that there is a need to “reconsider the future relations between Baghdad and Erbil by building a more sophisticated formula of the federal system.” He also critiqued the United States’ silence towards the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) step towards “genocide” of the people of Kurdistan and asked the United States to “put an end to the abuses of Baghdad.”

VP Nujaifi Sets Conditions for May Elections in Speech at USIP; Denies Report He Asked U.S. to Arm Sunni Militias

On November 4, Diyala Provincial Council Chair, Ali al-Dani, said he will ask to postpone the elections in his province if the issue of internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Diyala is not resolved. He said that there are 17,000 families displaced from Diyala, which have the right to participate in the elections. He said that the reconstruction process of “liberated” areas is slow, and called on the federal government to contribute to the reconstruction and return of IDPs to the province.

On November 7, Sunni Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi talked at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) as part of his week-long visit to Washington D.C. for meetings with U.S. officials. Regarding Iran, Nujaifi emphasized the need for Iraqi sovereignty to be able to run its affairs independently from outside influence. Nujaifi said that the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) are dangerous for the future of Iraq because they have their own interests and political agendas that had  foreign influence at the same time that they are “a parallel army to the Iraqi army.” Additionally, he said they pose a problem ahead of the Spring 2018 elections because they have strong ties to political parties. Nujaifi said that holding the elections would require political, economic, security, and military improvements. “First,” he explained, “we have to put back displaced people that are still in camps or who migrated outside Iraq… In the coming six months, we have to re-establish the security infrastructure, clean water, electricity, health care, so people can go back to their homes.” He added that the United States (U.S.) can support Iraq’s political process and “assist the transformation to making Iraq a democratic country.”

On November 7, Associated Press (AP) reporter Stephen Braun published an article, describing Iraqi Vice President Osama Nujaifi’s visit to the U.S., that Nujaifi’s Media Office later renounced. The article was published in several news outlets, including the Washington Post and PBS. It was first published prior to Nujaifi’s appearance at USIP and then again after his appearance — but with a changed headline. The first headline was “Iraqi VP asks for arms training for Sunnis in his country.” The article speculates, based on an interview of Nujaifi with the AP, that Nujaifi’s visit to Washington and his USIP address would be to lobby for U.S. military aid for Iraqi Sunni factions because they are overmatched by Iranian-backed Shia militias. “I presume his pleas will be met with collective eye-rolling,” the article quoted Michael Knights, a Mideast analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, saying in response. However, Nujaifi did not convey this message at USIP. The headline was changed after the event to “Iraqi VP calls Iran-backed militias his nation’s top threat.” However, the article still backed-up the initial claim with a quote from a draft of Nujaifi’s USIP address: “More attention should be paid to the strengthening of military capabilities of the people of former ISIS-occupied areas, training and enabling them to defend their areas.” The article explains that Nujaifi was referring to mostly Sunni areas.  I Nujaifi’s Media Office renounced the AP News article within hours of its publication (and before Nujaifi’s appearance at USIP), claiming that it distorted Nujaifi’s message during the interview. “Everything related to the meeting with the Associated Press… is completely misleading.” The Media Office’s statement to the press made a specific reference to the claim that Nujaifi asked the U.S. for weapons: “This did not happen,” the Media Office’s statement said, “and it is known that Nujaifi’s position is to limit the arms of the state.”. The Media Office further stated that it is regrettable that a known international agency fabricates news and misrepresents an official or any person. They contacted the AP after the article was published to explain Nujaifi’s position and claimed AP promised to publish an apology.

ISIS Atrocities During Mosul Battle Detailed in UN Report

On November 2, The New York Times posted an article about a United Nations (UN) report that detailed the atrocities during the battle for Mosul. In the report, the UN disclosed that 741 Iraqi civilians were executed by Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) fighters in Mosul when they tried to flee. In total, 2,521 civilians were killed during the battle, mostly from ISIS attacks. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that, ”during the course of the operation to retake Mosul city, thousands of civilians were subjected to shocking human rights abuses and clear violations of international humanitarian law…Those responsible must answer for their heinous crimes.” The full report details additional atrocities committed by ISIS and may be used to prosecute ISIS militants for war crimes.

On November 3, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) published a flash update on the situation in Iraq. In particular, UNHCR noted that it was concerned about reports of premature returns; in camps east of Mosul, 6,000 people have left the camps in the past week. Displacements are continuing from both the disputed territories and western Anbar. Additionally, UNHCR has begun its winter assistance program, providing support for around 600,000 people.

On November 3, the ACT Alliance released an appeal for funding for internally displaced people (IDPs) and their hosts in Iraq. In total, the ACT Alliance requested US$ 7,148,988 in funding. The ACT Alliance noted that as the fighting with ISIS was ending, the aid would be necessary to allow IDPs to return to their areas of origin and begin to rebuild their lives.

On November 5, the Government of Germany donated EU€ 7 million (approximately US$ 8.1 million) to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). These funds will aid UNMAS in clearing explosive hazards, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and explosive remnants. Pehr Lodhammar, the Senior Programme Manager for UNMAS Iraq, said, “The generous contribution from the Government of Germany will enable UNMAS to provide explosive hazard management technical advice and training for the Government of Iraq as well as assistance with clearance of IEDs and unexploded ordnance in retaken areas in support of critical stabilization efforts.”

On November 7, UNHCR published their weekly Mosul protection update for the previous week. According to UNHCR, displacements are continuing from disputed areas in parts of Ninewa Province due to clashes between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi Federal Government. Additionally, many displaced families who had returned to their homes in disputed areas are being forced to go back to displacement camps because of the clashes.

On November 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) received an additional seven million Euros (approximately US$ 8.1 million) in funding from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). These funds will support WHO in providing emergency medical care for people affected by the conflict. Altaf Musani, WHO Country Representative in Iraq, said, “This support demonstrates the strong partnership between the European Commission and WHO with a shared goal of delivering quality health services to all vulnerable communities in Iraq.”

On November 8, the Minority Rights Group published a report about reparations for victims of conflict in Iraq. The report makes an argument for the right to reparations under international law and then discusses the necessary actions to create a reparations plan for ISIS victims. The report also uses Iraq’s Law No. 20 on Compensation for Victims of Military Operations, Military Mistakes and Terrorist Actions as a case study. Miriam Puttick, co-author of the report, said that “reparations should be a central component of the accountability process because of their enormous potential to make both a symbolic and concrete difference in the lives of victims.”

On November 9, the Library of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague (in cooperation with People In Need) started a public library collection for the Mosul University library, which was destroyed when ISIS controlled the city. Klara Rösslerová, director of the library in Prague, said that “all university libraries throughout the Czech Republic were involved in the collection, and we hope to collect as many funds as possible by the end of the year.” Before ISIS, the library at Mosul University was the pride of the school. According to a professor at the school, “[t]here were 250,000 books and a million other volumes, an electronic library, newspapers and other sources necessary for research. Everything was burned.” The Czech initiative to provide funds for the library will allow Mosul University to restore the library to its former glory.

IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

11/08/17Near Diyala Bridge, South of Baghdad04
11/07/17Zawbaa District (38 km west of Baghdad), Anbar Province02
11/06/17Mezher al-Asi village in ​​Rashad district (35 km southwest of Kirkuk)10
11/05/17Dibs (55 km northwest of Kirkuk)11
11/05/17Tarmiyah, Salah ad-Din Province27
11/05/17Resala, Qa'im District, in west Anbar Province, near the border with Syria 02
11/05/17Atlas street in central Kirkuk116
11/04/17Near the Phosphate Plant in Qaim, west Anbar Province14
11/04/17Zaidan (32 km west of Baghdad), Anbar Province10
11/04/17Dora, south Baghdad05
11/04/17Madain (30 km southeast of Baghdad), Diyala Province10
11/03/17Radwaniya (16 km southeast of Baghdad), Anbar Province 14


Please note: some geographic locations represented are approximations and this map may not represent all incidents.

Derived from firsthand accounts and Iraq-based Arabic and Kurdish news sources, the Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor is a free publication of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center.

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