Safe Return



Summary: Security incidents during this reporting period included at least five operations by Iraqi security forces (ISF) that resulted in the arrest of more than 20 suspected terrorists and the dismantling of a terrorist cell whose size was not declared. Meanwhile, four civilians were injured in improvised explosive device (IED) explosions in Badush and east Mosul, and militants kidnapped seven civilians, two of whom were killed, four were released, and the fate of the other person remains unknown. Finally, the ISF found the body of a civilian who was killed by gunfire in unknown circumstance.

Note: locations are approximate

Security Incidents

On January 17, Ninewa police in west Mosul arrested a suspected senior figure in ISIS who is also the brother of the ISIS “Mufti” who was arrested last week.

On January 18, a joint force on Ninewa police and the army arrested six ISIS members in west Mosul. The suspects included fighters and members of the ISIS Hisba and security organizations during its occupation of Mosul.

On January 19, one of our community based monitors reported that Peshmerga forces closed the road connecting Hamdaniya and a number of outlying villages, including Wardak, Tel Liban, Kazkazan and Majidiyah. The reasons for and duration of the closure could not be ascertained.

On January 20, the military intelligence said their forces dismantled a cell whose members were described as wanted terrorists operating in the areas around the Mosul dam, Gwer bridge and Islah Zeraie.

On January 20, the ISF arrested ten members of ISIS in different parts of east Mosul. Five of the suspects were ISIS fighters while the rest worked in the Hisba, Sharia and security organizations within ISIS during its occupation of Mosul.

On January 20, Ninewa police said that ISIS militants killed a civilian after they kidnapped him and four of his sons from their home in the village of al-Bret in al-Hadhar south of Mosul. The militants later released the victim’s sons and left his body on the side of the road.

On January 20, and IED exploded in the Badush area northwest of Mosul. Two civilians were injured in the incident.

On January 21, our community based monitors and social media sources reported that one or two IEDs exploded on minibuses in Mosul. Despite some conflicting details, it appears that two separate explosions occurred in the Karama and Quds neighborhoods of east Mosul and two civilians were injured as a result.

On January 22, Ninewa police said its units arrested four suspected ISIS members, one of whom was a member of the Hisba organization while the others were fighters during the ISIS occupation of the city. The arrests took place in Hay al-Shuhada neighborhood in west Mosul.

On January 23, security sources said that ISIS militants kidnapped a civilian, killed him and then set his house on fire in al-Hadhar south of Mosul.

On January 23, security sources said that militants kidnapped a young man from his workplace in the Yarmouk neighborhood of west Mosul. Meanwhile the ISF said that they discovered the dead body of a civilian who was shot in the head and chest, also in west Mosul.

Officially launched in June 2019, Ninewa-ISHM and Security Bulletins utilize 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 weekly bulletin 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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