Safe Return

NINEWA ISHM NO.6: OCTOBER 25 – NOVEMBER 29

Key Takeaways:

  • Coalition resumes airstrikes over Ninewa; Turkey bombs Sinjar; Security forces intervene to prevent University students from demonstrating – The 53 security incidents recorded in Ninewa province by the research team during the reporting period included: 26 operations by Iraqi security forces (ISF), compared to 25 in the previous report and 36 in the one before, that resulted in the arrest of insurgents believed to belong to ISIS in different areas, some of which were accompanied by the discovery or destruction of weapons, equipment, destruction and hideouts belonging to the militants. The past five weeks have also saw the return of airstrikes by coalition forces in support of the ISF in at least seven operations, following a lull in activity. In contrast, six small arms attacks and five attacks with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as opposed to eight in the last report, targeted civilians and the ISF. The past few weeks have also seen at least three airstrikes carried out by Turkish warplanes on the positions of the YBS forces in Sinjar. Recent weeks have also seen tensions between the ISF and Mosul University students over attempts by students to organize sit-ins in solidarity with their peers in the central and southern provinces. It is noteworthy that the interruption of the internet services imposed by the government to control the demonstrations that prevailed in central and southern Iraq has impacted the transmission of news and reduced the number of events recorded in the past weeks. more…
  • Prisoners transferred to Baghdad to ease the overcrowding of Ninewa prisons; Migration Ministry releases third payment of emergency return stipends; UN investigators identify 160 accused of crimes against Yazidis – On October 27, the Ninewa Operations Commander announced that 600 prisoners from Ninewa province would be transferred to prisons in Baghdad to address the problem of overcrowding in the province’s prisons. On November 3, the Ministry of Migration announced the launch of the third payment of the emergency return stipend of ID 1.5 million for each returning family. The payment will cover 9,733 families, including 2,590 families in Ninewa province. On November 13, police sources said that the Iraqi authorities transferred about 180 families, mostly families described as having links to ISIS fighters, from the Jada’a camps in Qayyarah to camps in Salah ad-Din province. On November 26, the head of the UN investigators team working on genocide crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis (UNITAD) reported to the Security Council that the team has successfully identified 160 ISIS members accused of killing Yazidis in northern Iraq in 2014. The team is now preparing lawsuits against the suspects in the hope that they will be brought before Iraqi courts. On November 27, Ninewa police announced the return of 90 displaced Christian families to their areas of origin in Mosul after a nearly four-year exodus because of ISIS. more…
  • Mine clearance from Mosul International Airport site completed; Work completed at the Qubba water project; Several public facilities in Mosul rebuilt and reopened – On November 5, the US embassy announced the completion of the mine clearance project at the Mosul International Airport which the embassy had funded, allowing for the subsequent reconstruction and operation of the airport. On November 12, the Qubba water project, funded by a grant by the Government of the United Arab Emirates in cooperation with the local government and UNDP, was opened in eastern Mosul. The project will cover 75% of the city’s needs. On November 24, the Rafidain Bank of Iraq said it has reopened the Hadbaa branch in Ninewa province. On November 25, social media reported that Mosul’s public library has reopened. more…
  • Parliament dissolves provincial councils District and subdistrict councils shut down; Ninewa council tries to dismiss Mansour Al-Mureid and appoint Najim Al-Jubouri in his place – On October 28, the Iraqi parliament voted to dissolve provincial councils in provinces that are not part of a federal region and end the work of district, subdistrict and local councils. The decision also included authorizing governors to manage the financial and administrative affairs in the concerned provinces. On October 29, Ninewa police forces closed district and subdistrict councils in different parts of the province. The closure included several councils in Qayyarah, Nimrud, Hamdaniya, Bartella and others. On October 31, the Ninewa police chief announced the opening of the first office to issue the unified national card to the residents of Mosul. On November 6, social media reported on the dismissal of Ninewa education director Aseel Al-Abadi, who had just assumed the post a few months ago, and the appointment of Kahlid Juma Shaheen as her replacement. On November 12, an Integrity Committee official revealed that there had been fraud and theft of more than ID10 billion in the stipend allocated to IDPs returning to their areas. On November 19, Ninewa provincial council voted to dismiss Governor Mansour Al-Mureid, and on the 24th the council voted to elect the former commander of Ninewa operations, retired Lt. Gen. Najim al-Jubouri as the new governor. more…

Safe Return is a multi-organization USAID project that is providing support for the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced Iraqis—many from minority communities—to their homes in the Ninewa Plains and Western Ninewa.


Security Developments

Coalition resumes airstrikes over Ninewa; Turkey bombs Sinjar; Security forces intervene to prevent University students from demonstrating


Note: Above figures represent information collected from Iraqi and international news sources, social media, and our community monitors. They do not necessarily represent all incidents that occurred during this reporting period.

On October 27, sources in the popular mobilization forces (PMF) denied earlier reports about their withdrawal from regions west of Mosul. The sources confirmed that PMF units continue to perform their duties in the regions extending from Tel-Afar up to the Mosul airport road.

On October 28, the ISF arrested seven suspects in connection with various crimes in the Rashidiya neighborhood in east Mosul. A security source said one of the suspects was a fighter in the ISIS “Diwan al-Jund” during the ISIS occupation of Mosul.

On October 28, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said that the Ninewa police arrested a suspect accused of defrauding the relatives of detainees and taking money from them claiming that he would help expedite the detainees’ release. The suspect confessed that he collected more than $80,000 from his victims. The suspect was apprehended in the Rajm Hadid neighborhood of west Mosul.

On October 29, the ISF arrested a suspect who was described as a combatant who fought against the ISF during the battels to liberate Ninewa from ISIS and is thus wanted based on article 4 (terrorism). The suspect was arrested in the Qayrawan subdistrict west of Mosul.

On October 29, the ISF intensified their presence in east Mosul, especially near the entrance to Mosul University and the parade grounds. The increased deployment was described as a precautionary measure in anticipation of peaceful demonstrations in solidarity with protests in Baghdad and other provinces that have been ongoing since October 25.

On October 31, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said that International Coalition aircraft conducted airstrikes against a number of ISIS positions and tunnels used by ISIS militants in the desert areas surrounding Mosul. The statement did not include details about the exact locations or any resulting losses among ISIS.

On October 31, an IED exploded in the Badush area northwest of Mosul. The explosion wounded two civilians.

On October 31, the Interior Ministry said that the Ninewa police arrested three members of ISIS in the neighborhoods of Wadi Hajar, Tanak and Mamoun in west Mosul. Two of the suspects were reportedly fighters in the ISIS “Diwan al-Jund”.

On October 31, police sources said that unknown individuals set an elementary school in the Sinjar district west of Mosul on fire. The sources said the incident occurred after school hours at the Qurdoba elementary school in the Hittin compound, in the Shamal subdistrict.

On November 2, Ninewa police said that the ISF arrested a group of seven individuals accused of trading in human organs in the Hammam al-Alil subdistrict south of Mosul.

On November 3, one of our community based monitors reported armed clashes between the ISF and a group thought to be ISIS members in the region of al-Qawsiyat, north of Mosul.

On November 4, the Interior Ministry said that Ninewa police arrested nine individuals wanted for various crimes, one of whom is an ISIS member who was part of the “Hisba” organization during the ISIS occupation of Mosul. The suspects were arrested in several parts of east Mosul.

On November 4, the ISF and popular mobilization forces (PMF) arrested eight suspects thought to be members of ISIS in an unspecified region north of Mosul.

On November 4, the ISF uncovered two tunnels used by ISIS militants and a cache of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the Atshana mountains area in the Badush subdistrict northwest of Mosul. The Defense Ministry said the operation, which was conducted by the 20th division of the Iraqi army, led to the discovery of six IEDs and one rocket, all were disposed of.

On November 4, aircraft believed to be of the Turkish air force bombarded the Khan Sor complex in the Shamal/Sinuni subdistrict in Sinjar, west of Mosul. According to news websites, eyewitnesses said the airstrikes targeted an office of the Sinjar Protection Units (YBS) in the Shirgan neighborhood of Old Khan Sor and the Bara area near Mount Sinjar. Security sources said the strikes killed three people and wounded two more. The Turkish airstrikes were repeated on November 5, when three more people were reportedly wounded in two airstrikes at Bara, north of Mount Sinjar.

On November 7, one of our community based monitors reported that security forces of the Kurdistan region (Asayish) have threatened civil servants who work in areas inside the borders of the region but reside in the village of Batnaya near Bashiqa. According to the monitor, the security forces threatened the civil servants with dismissal from their jobs if they decided to return to Batnaya, which is under the control of the federal government. The monitor noted that some Batnaya residents decided against returning to Batnaya because of these threats, despite the reconstruction works that were done in the village.

On November 7, the Interior Ministry said that the Ninewa police arrested four members of ISIS. One of the suspects worked as an ISIS security agent in the Ibrahim al-Khalil area of the Nimrud subdistrict, while the others were fighters in the “Diwan al-Jund” during the ISIS occupation of Ninewa. The suspects were arrested in the Quds and Rashidiya areas of east Mosul, the Hadhar junction south of Mosul, and in Tal-Afar west of Mosul.

On November 8, unknown militants launched multiple rockets at the Qayyara air base south of Mosul. The commander of Ninewa operations said the ISF responded immediately to the incident, killing three militants, destroying a one of their vehicles and seizing another that was carrying a rocket launcher near the base. A later statement said the number of rockets fired at the base was 17. No casualties were reported among the troops stationed at the base.

On November 9, an IED exploded in the Tal Afar district west of Mosul near a passing Iraqi army patrol. The explosion severely injured two civilians.

On November 9, the Ninewa police said the ISF arrested 21 individuals in the Qayyara subdistrict south of Mosul, suspected of being ISIS members. A police source said the suspects were suspected of involvement in the rocket attack at Qayyara. The suspects were taken to the Ninewa police HQ for questioning.

On November 9, an IED exploded in the village of Qaraj in the Makhmour district southeast of Mosul. Three civilians were injured in the explosion.

On November 10, the ISF arrested ten individuals suspected of being ISIS members. A source in the Interior Ministry said the arrests were made in the neighborhoods of Nahda, Cairo and Zahraa in east Mosul. The source added that two of the suspects were ISIS security agents, another was involved in the ISIS Sharia organization while the rest were ISIS fighters during the ISIS occupation of Mosul.

On November 11, Iraq’s counterterrorism service conducted an air assault operation southeast of Mosul that led to the killing of 14 ISIS militants. A statement by the service said the operation, which was backed by airstrikes, took place in the Makhmour mountains area southeast of Mosul.

On November 12, the Ninewa operations commander said that the ISF attacked and killed two ISIS members in a tunnel in the Badush mountains northwest of Mosul. The ISF also destroyed IEDs and other supplies belonging to the militants that were also found inside the tunnel.

On November 12, the Interior Ministry said the ISF arrested five individuals suspected of being ISIS members in the neighborhoods of Khazraj and Bab al-Beidh in west Mosul. The Ministry said one of the suspects worked in the ISIS “Hisba” organization while the others were fighters during the ISIS occupation of Mosul.

On November 13, the ISF arrested two individuals who were described as senior ISIS members in the Hawi al-Kanisa neighborhood in east Mosul. One of the suspects was involved in the ISIS Sharia organization while the other was involved in making car bombs in the Intisar neighborhood. The ISF said the suspects were wanted based on article 4 (terrorism).

On November 14, the ISF arrested four individuals suspected of being ISIS members in the Shuhada and Mamoun neighborhoods in west Mosul. The Interior Ministry said the arrests were based on court issued warrants.

On November 14, military intelligence units arrested a wanted individual in the Jedaa camp for displaced persons south of Mosul. A security source said the suspect is wanted in connection with several murders and had entered the Jedaa camp pretending to be a displaced person.

On November 14, military intelligence units operating with the 14th division of the Iraqi army arrested two suspected terrorists and a third person accused of kidnappings in the Zumar subdistrict northwest of Mosul.

On November 15, unknown militants opened fire on a civilian in the Islah Zera’i neighborhood west of Mosul. The civilian died immediately as a result.

On November 16, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said that a join force of Ninewa police and counterterrorism force arrested a member of ISIS who was part of the “Hisba” organization during the ISIS occupation of Mosul. The arrest took place in the Quds neighborhood in east Mosul.

On November 16, units for the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Ninewa arrested 12 wanted individuals based on court-issued warrants in east Mosul. The report did not mention other details about the incident.

On November 17, security sources reported hearing sounds of explosions without knowing the nature of the incident. The governor of Ninewa stated later that the explosion was part of an airstrike by the International Coalition targeting ISIS positions in the Atshana mountains west of Mosul.

On November 18, unknown militants opened fire from small arms on Salah Farouk Hassan, the mukhtar of the Hleila village west of Mosul, killing him immediately.

On November 18, the PMF said that their units took into custody an unspecified number of families thought to be affiliated with ISIS members and coming from the Syrian camp of al-Hol. A statement by the PMF said these families were smuggled in and on their way to Ninewa, and that they have been taken in for interrogation.

On November 19, the Interior Ministry said that the ISF dismantled ten IEDs and arrested a member of ISIS in the Qabousiyah area south of Sinjar.

On November 19, the ISF arrested two individuals wanted on terrorism charges in the Shora area west of Mosul and the Tel Kaif are north of Mosul. The military intelligence department said the detained suspects were ISIS fighters and they have been handed over to the competent for further investigation.

On November 19, the commander on Ninewa operations said that an airstrike based on intelligence provided by his command led to the deaths of six ISIS members inside a tunnel in the Badush area west of Mosul. A subsequent report by the Falcons Intelligence Cell added that the six militants were preparing to launch attacks in Mosul. The statement added that three of the militants wore suicide vests while the other three were equipped with silenced weapons. The ISF confiscated or destroyed a number of rifles, 50 IEDs, grenades, and communication and detonation devices found at the site.

On November 20, the Security Media Cell mentioned that forces under the Ninewa operations command destroyed a VBIED during a search operation in southern Baaj and al-Hadhar desert, and the area up to the Mosul-Baghdad highway. The force also discovered seven militant hideouts containing communication equipment, a suicide vest, three IEDs and other supplies. The hideouts were demolished and the explosives destroyed by military engineers without collateral damage.

On November 20, the Security Media Cell reported that unknown aircraft directed an airstrike at a position belonging to the YBS militia in the Khana Sor area north of Sinjar. The airstrike resulted in the destruction of the building and the death or injury of 20 YBS members. Other sources confirmed that the attacking aircraft belonged to the Turkish air force, and put the casualty figure at five injured only. Turkish military aircraft had previously attacked the same area about two and a half weeks ago.

On November 22, military intelligence forces uncovered a number of suicide vests and other weapons and explosives in the Atshana mountain region west of Mosul. The operation uncovered 5 suicide vests, 23 sticky IEDs and 13 regular IEDs, small arms and associated munitions, along with devices used in detonating IEDs.

On November 22, an IED exploded against a vehicle carrying civilians in the Hamam al-Alil subdistrict south of Mosul. Two civilians were severely injured in the explosion.

On November 24, one of our community based monitors (CBMs) reported that the ISF in large numbers entered the Mosul University campus with their vehicles and weapons after students from several departments organized a sit-in and strike to express solidarity with fellow student in southern and central provinces. The CBM added that some students heard the ISF member threaten students who participate in protests inside or outside campus with arrests and dismissal from college.

On November 24, one of our CBMs reported that a 30 year old person from the subdistrict of Bartella went missing on November 19. The person was reportedly on the way to the Kurdistan region for work. The CBM said the missing person’s family tried to contact him on his phone but could not reach him. No word has been received from the missing person since then.

On November 24, the director for the water department in west Mosul, engineer Ahmed al-Obeidi, survived a failed assassination attempt by unknown militants in the forests area in east Mosul.

On November 25, the ISF arrested nine members of ISIS in several neighborhoods of east Mosul. One of the suspects was a security agent for ISIS, two worked in the “Hisba” organization while the rest were fighters during the ISIS occupation of the city.

On November 25, local police forces discovered the bodies of two civilians in the Hleila village west of Mosul. The bodies showed signs of torture.  The mukhtar of the same village was assassinated a week earlier.

On November 26, the Interior Ministry said that the Ninewa police SWAT teams arrested three ISIS members in the Mosul Jedida and Aamil neighborhoods in west Mosul. One of the suspects was worked in the “Hisba” organization while the other two were fighters during the ISIS occupation of the city.

On November 27, an IED exploded against a passing ISF patrol in the Qara Sor area in the Makhmour district southeast of Mosul. The explosion killed one soldier and injured another.

On November 28, one of our CBMs reported that a child from the subdistrict of Bartella east of Mosul went missing on November 26. The missing child was visiting relatives in a nearby village and his family lost contact with him after he left the relatives’ home.

On November 28, one of our CBMs reported that the Peshmerga forces blocked the roads to commercial traffic between a number of villages inhabited by the kakaie minority (Wardak, Kazkan, Majidiya and Tel al-Liban) and the center of Hamdaniya district. The CBM said that the road remained open to students and school teachers. The partial closure caused discontent among the locals due to the road’s economic importance.

On November 28, the Ninewa operations command said its forces foiled an attempt by prisoners to escape from the investigations directorate prison in the Faisaliya neighborhood in east Mosul Wednesday night. There were reports of gunfire in Mosul city that reportedly took place inside the aforementioned prison while prisoners made their attempted escape. The Ninewa operations commander, Noman al-Zobaie, affirmed that no prisoners had escaped and that the ISF was in control of the situation.

On November 29, the Ninewa operations command said its troops killed an ISIS suicide bomber and destroyed tunnels used by ISIS militants south of Mosul. The ISF operation was backed by airstrikes by the International Coalition against the tunnels that were located near the Tel Teeba village in the Shora subdistrict south of Mosul.


Humanitarian Issues

Prisoners transferred to Baghdad to ease the overcrowding of Ninewa prisons; Migration Ministry releases third payment of emergency return stipends; UN investigators identify 160 accused of crimes against Yazidis

On October 27, Ninewa operations commander Nouman Al-Zobaie announced that 600 prisoners would be transferred from prisons in Ninewa to prisons in Baghdad. The local government had earlier talked about a plan to transfer 2,000 convicts from Ninewa prisons to Abu Ghraib and Taji to reduce the problem of overcrowding in the province’s prisons, which host nearly double their capacity of inmates. “There are other groups of prisoners who will be relocated later,” Zobaie added.

On October 28, USAID, in cooperation with local organizations, reportedly provided three power generators with all their accessories, including water tanks, fuel, and various electrical materials, to the Yazidi village of Biban and the Christian villages of Karmawa and Dashkotan. The first generator has a 400 KV capacity, and other two are 100 KV each.

On October 30, it was reported that a Yazidi woman who had been kidnapped by ISIS since August 2014 was released from the village of Solagh. The director of the Yazidi abductees rescue office said the 25-year-old freed woman, Nofa Khalad Qasem, had arrived in a safe area in Rojava (northeast Syria). On October 28, another Yazidi abductee, Rana Nawaf Abbas, a resident of the Tal Qasab complex, south of Sinjar, was released from captivity after more than five years in the hands of ISIS.

On November 1, the people of Sinjar inaugurated the Shrine of Sultan Yazidi in the center of Sinjar city by holding special religious ceremonies and playing Yazidi religious music. The ceremony was attended by clerics, social, religious and political figures and a gathering of Yazidis.

On November 2, Nadia Murad’s initiative said it had implemented a project to rehabilitate a number of agricultural fields in Sinjar district, west of Mosul, with financial support from the government of Taiwan. The project, implemented by the Nadia Initiative in collaboration with the implementing partner, Dorcas International Assistance, will contribute to the rehabilitation of 32 agricultural fields in the region by distributing seeds and pesticides and preparing a training plan for pre-selected farmers. The project will also include training on rain-fed agriculture, fertilizer distribution and well restoration.

On November 3, the Ministry of Migration announced the release of the third round of the emergency displacement return stipend of ID1.5 million for each returning family. This payment will benefit 9,733 families, including 2,590 families in Ninewa province, 2,393 in Diyala, 1,358 in Anbar, 956 families in Salah ad-Din, 24 in Kirkuk, and finally 2,412 families in Baghdad. The included families can receive payments via smart card from the date of reporting.

On November 13, a police source in Ninewa said that the Iraqi authorities transferred families from al-Jada’a camps, mostly families described as having links with ISIS fighters south of Mosul. The transfer involved about 180 families from al-Jada’a camps in the Qayyarah subdistrict to the Shahama and Salah ad-Din camps in Salah ad-Din  province.

On November 14, the Consul of the Czech Republic opened a health-care center in Mazar Sharafdin district of Sinjar that was funded by the Czech government.

On November 15, our community-based monitors reported that eight families of the Christian minority from the town of Bakhdida in Hamdaniya had emigrated to Europe during a period two days.

On November 12, the oil products distribution company of the Ministry of Oil said it would distribute 50 liters of kerosene per month, free of charge, to each displaced family in the camps of Ninewa, Kirkuk and Kurdistan. The deputy director of the company explained that the distribution will continue for four months, for a total of 200 liters per family. The cost will be covered by the Higher Committee for Relief. Another official at the company added that the distribution will be through government stations, mobile agents and vehicles equipped with official metering devices.

On November 20, our community-based monitors reported discontent among residents of Bashiqa due to the increased emission of smoke and polluting gases from the oil operations carried out by the oil company (DNO), which is exploring for oil in the region. According to Bahzani website, a delegation representing Bashiqa met with a representative of the company at the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan region to discuss the problem. According to the report, the company representative promised that the emission of smoke will be for only four to five days to examine the well, during which the company will try to reduce emissions by any available means. After the inspection period has passed, and in case the well is successful, the company said that the emitted gas would then be completely burned without smoke, but if the well fails, the company would completely shut down the well.

On November 26, the head of the UN investigative team looking into the crimes of genocide committed by ISIS against the Yazidis (UNITAD), reported to the Security Council on the activities and achievements of the investigation team. Team leader Karim Ahmed Khan said the 107-member team had successfully identified 160 ISIS members accused of killing Yazidis in northern Iraq in 2014 and is now preparing lawsuits against them in the hope that these cases will be brought before Iraqi courts. The UN Security Council extended the team’s mandate by one year at the request of the Iraqi government. The team includes two groups operating in the field in Ninewa and is focused on investigating the killing of religious and social figures and civil servants, in addition to investigating the destruction of archaeological sites during the occupation of Ninewa by ISIS. In the 230 investigations conducted so far, the team relied on laser surveys of crime scenes, collecting forensic evidence from mass graves, hearing the testimonies of victims and their families, and gathering information from social media and locals to help identify the criminals.

On November 27, the Ninewa police directorate announced  the return of 90 displaced Christian families to their original areas in Mosul after a nearly four-year exodus because of ISIS. The Ninewa police chief said the families returned from the cities of Dohuk, Erbil, and Zakho and entered Mosul under tight security measures provided the security forces and were transported to their homes and areas.


Economy, Reconstruction And Aid

Mine clearance from Mosul International Airport site completed; Work completed at the Qubba water project; Several public facilities in Mosul rebuilt and reopened

On November 3, the governor of Ninewa said that the completion rate in rebuilding the Mosul – Dohuk road reached 65%, exceeding the work schedule which had anticipated a completion rate of 25% at this stage. The governor added that the maintenance, paving and fixing of the shoulders of the road will be completed in less time than expected, which will accelerate the completion of the project and the opening of the road for traffic.

On November 5, the US Embassy announced that the mine-clearance project at the Mosul International Airport, which the embassy had funded, has been completed. The embassy said it has handed over the airport to the local government during an official ceremony following 18 months of mine and explosive clearance efforts, that resulted in removing more than 170 explosive objects. The American companies executing the project have also removed large amounts of debris, allowing for the subsequent reconstruction and operation of the airport.  .

On November 6, municipal workers completed the paving of the Najafi Street in the old area in west Mosul.

On November 7, the Suez bridge in east Mosul was opened following the completion of its reconstruction, which was financed by the UNDP and supervised by the directorate of roads and bridges in Ninewa.

On 12 November, the Qubba water project, funded by a grant from the Government of the United Arab Emirates, was opened in eastern Mosul in cooperation with the local government and UNDP. The project helped to modernize the plant completely and replace the main pumps and water purification systems. The plant is one of the largest water stations in Ninewa, covering 75% of the city’s needs and serving 750,000 people. The opening of the water plant is among 23 projects implemented by UNDP in Iraq that funded by $60 million from the UAE.

On November 14, a children’s school was opened in Kanhash village in Nimrud subdistrict with support from the Italian organization, UPP. The school reconstruction project also included the construction of a new annex within the school, as well as equipping the school with furniture and organizing a number of artistic, social and summer sports activities for children to promote the concept of peace.

On November 14, the Construction Materials Testing Laboratory and the Soil Testing and Stabilization Laboratory of the Civil Engineering Department and the Laboratory of Minerals and Mechanical Workshops of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Mosul reopened. These facilities were completely destroyed during ISIS control of the city and Mosul University. The reconstruction of these laboratories was assisted by UNDP programs in Iraq.

Between 16 and 20 November, the staff of Mosul municipality began the construction and repair of a number of roads and streets in the old area of ​​Mosul, including the neighborhood of Najjar, the Sayagh market, the Sa’aa street and the alleys of Bab Lagash and the street of the Great Nuri Mosque.

On November 24, the Rafidain Bank of Iraq said it had reopened the Hadba branch in Ninewa province after rehabilitating it to provide banking services to citizens.

On November 25, social media websites reported that the Mosul public library has reopened. The project was supported by the United States Agency for International Development.


Politics and Administration

Parliament dissolves provincial councils District and subdistrict councils shut down; Ninewa council tries to dismiss Mansour Al-Mureid and appoint Najim Al-Jubouri in his place

On October 28, the Iraqi parliament voted to dissolve the provincial councils in provinces that are not part of a federal region and to end the work of the districts, subdistrict and local councils. The decision also included authorizing governors to manage financial and administrative matters in the concerned provinces, including the submission of provincial budgets to the finance committee in parliament, pending new elections. The vote on the resolution was attended by 222 members of parliament in the session which was devoted to discussing the demands of the demonstrators and the reform initiatives launched by the government.

On October 29, a SWAT force cordoned off the Ninewa provincial council building in preparation for its official handover following a decision by parliament to dissolve provincial councils. The next day, Ninewa police forces closed the district and subdistrict councils in different parts of the province on orders from the Interior Ministry. The Ninewa police chief said the closure included several councils in Qayyarah, Nimrud, Hamdaniya, Bartella and other areas.

On October 31, Ninewa police chief Major General Hamad al-Namis announced the opening of the first unified national card department in Ninewa province, which will grant the unified card to the residents of Mosul.

On November 6, social media reported that Ninewa education director Ms. Aseel Al-Abadi, who had just assumed the post a few months ago, has been dismissed and replaced by Mr. Khaled Juma Shaheen.

On 11 November, The Commission of Integrity issued a statement announcing the issuance of two summoning orders against one of the current members of parliament and the former governor of Ninewa based on the provisions of Articles 307 and 331 of the Penal Code. The investigation department of the Commission said that the members of parliament is accused of having received a bribe of ID450 million from the former governor of Ninewa in exchange for having members of the Ninewa provincial council from the MP’s party  abstain from voting to dismiss the governor. The department added that the former governor is accused of embezzling ID422 million from the salary adjustments of the provincial government’s employees for the months of June, July and August 2015.

On 12 November, an Integrity Committee official revealed that there had been fraud and theft in the ID1 million stipends allocated to IDPs returning to their areas. The official explained that the examination of a sample of documents indicated the existence of a significant breach through the falsification of recipient’s fingerprints, which were frequently repeated. According to the official, the evidence indicated that the repetition of the fingerprints caused a waste of public money exceeding ID10 billion.

On November 19, the Ninewa provincial council reportedly voted to dismiss Governor Mansour al-Mureid. Al-Mureid in turn denied the news, saying that the council’s decisions have no legal basis and are not applicable as the parliament had voted last month to dissolve the provincial councils. Al-Mureid denied further reports that he had submitted his resignation because he was unable to complete his duties. In a later development, the Ninewa provincial council voted on November 24 to elect former Ninewa operations chief, retired Lieutenant General Najim al-Jubouri, as the new governor. The council chose al-Jubouri by 23 votes out of 39. The resigned Governor of Ninewa confirmed that he will not hand over the post of governor without a presidential decree. In a later development, President Barham Salih met on 28 November with the new governor, emphasizing the need to meet the needs of the people of Ninewa and the reconstruction of areas affected by terrorist operations.


Officially launched in June 2019, Ninewa-ISHM utilizes information collected from community-based monitors; Iraq-based Arabic, Kurdish, and English news sources; data from aid agencies; and social media posts, verified and fact-checked by EPIC’s research team. This report is part of Safe Return, a project to support the safe and voluntary return of IDPs who have survived severe human rights abuses to their homes in Ninewa. Safe Return is made possible with the generous support of the American people through USAID in partnership with Heartland Alliance International.


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