Safe Return



Summary: This reporting period recorded at least two airstrikes by the Turkish air force targeting positions belonging to the Sinjar Protection Units (YBS) in the Khan Sor and Bara areas north of Sinjar. The airstrikes on Monday and Tuesday resulted in several casualties. There were also reports last Sunday of clashes between militants thought to be ISIS members and Iraqi security forces (ISF) in al-Qawsiyat region north of Mosul. Meanwhile, there were five reports of ISF operations that resulted in the arrest of 28 suspects wanted for various crimes, some of whom believed to be ISIS members, and the discovery of an explosives cache northwest of Mosul. In other security news, one of our community based monitors sent a report about civil servants from the village of Batnaya being subjected to harassment and threats of dismissal from government jobs by some members of the security forces.


Note: locations are approximate

Security Incidents

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.

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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