While the crimes of ISIS affected many parts of Iraq and Syria since early 2014, there are few places where the suffering was longer or more severe than in Iraq’s Ninewa province.
With ISIS’s genocide against Iraq’s Yazidi community and other atrocities, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) hesitate to return home because of distrust and fear of further violence. The presence of militias, explosive remnants of war (ERW), destroyed homes, lack of basic services, and other factors have also discouraged returns.
In October 2018, EPIC joined a USAID-funded consortium of organizations led by Heartland Alliance International (HAI) to design and carry out “Safe Return”, an innovative 30-month pilot project to support the safe and voluntary return of IDPs who have survived severe human rights abuses to their homes in Ninewa.
To enhance public and stakeholder understanding of the obstacles preventing the return of these IDPs, EPIC created the Ninewa-Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor (Ninewa-ISHM), an innovative monthly report that documents security incidents, human rights violations, and other developments in Ninewa to inform IDPs and returnees. Working with young people from Ninewa’s diverse ethnic and religious communities, EPIC will also perform weekly mapping security incidents and threats and work with consortium partners to identify and undertake actions to address security issues with local authorities, civil society organizations, and legal entities.
Through our partnerships and strengthened presence on-the-ground in Iraq, we look forward to learning more about the challenges facing Iraq and identifying needs and gaps where our research, monitoring, field work, and advocacy can make a difference.
Summary: Security incidents during this reporting period included seven operations by Iraqi security forces (ISF) in which the ISF arrested at least 31 suspected terrorists, including a person described as the “Mufti” of ISIS. The ISF also removed or disposed of a number of IEDs and other explosives during two other operations in Mosul and Hamdaniyah. Conversely, there was one attack with an improvised explosive device (IED) that seriously wounded two policemen, and the ISF found two bodies of civilians killed by bullets in unknown circumstances. In al-Hadhar to the south, ISIS militants renewed their attacks on the positions
Summary: The main security incident during this reporting period was the rocket attack that targeted bases for the Iraqi and coalition forces in the palaces compound in Mosul, which is thought to be connected to the ongoing escalation between Iran and the United States. In related developments, information from our local monitors indicated that locals critical of Iran and the popular mobilization forces (PMF) were facing harassment from some PMF units. Meanwhile, there was one militant attack in which one civilian was killed and another was wounded, while seven school children were injured in an explosion whose causes remain
Summary: Security incidents during this reporting period included three attacks with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that killed one person and injured four, and three attacks with small arms fire that killed five victims. This week there were also clashes between Iraqi security forces (ISF) and ISIS militants in al-Hadhar to the south and Rabia to the northwest in which at least twenty militants were killed. The ISF also launched sweeping operations backed by Iraqi and Coalition aviation in Badush, Baaj and al-Hadhar, which resulted in killing three suicide bombers and destroying a large number of tunnels used by ISIS
VOICES FROM NINEWA
Interview with Mr. Hussein al-Shabaki, member of the Free Shabak Movement This is the third in a series of interviews we had with representatives of various minority communities in Ninewa. More interviews will be published in the coming weeks. As part of EPIC’s work on Safe Return, a USAID project designed to enable the safe and sustainable return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes in Ninewa, we recently had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Hussein al-Shabaki, a prominent figure in Iraq’s Shabaki community, and a leading member of the Free Shabak Movement (Tayyar Ahrar al-Shabak). To many
Interview with Ido Babasheikh, Former Member of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Parliament and former adviser to the president of Iraq. This is the second of a series of interviews we had with representatives of various minority communities in Ninewa that will be published in the following weeks. In July, EPIC traveled to Iraq and visited Erbil and Ninewa provinces as part of our work on Safe Return, a USAID project designed to enable the safe and sustainable return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes in Ninewa. While in Erbil, we had the pleasure of meeting with Mr.
Interview with Yacoob Yaco, the deputy secretary general of the Assyrian Democratic Movement. This is the first of a series of interviews we had with representatives of various minority communities in Ninewa that will be published in the following weeks. In July, EPIC traveled to Iraq and visited Erbil and Ninewa provinces as part of our work on Safe Return, a USAID project designed to enable the safe and sustainable return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes in Ninewa. While in Erbil, we had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Yacoob Yaco, the Deputy Secretary General of the