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: 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
Summary: Security incident during this reporting period included four operations by Iraqi security forces (ISF) that resulted in the arrest of at least 12 suspects, including members of ISIS and one person accused of defrauding the relatives of detainees for money. In addition, the international coalition conducted an airstrike in the desert around Mosul targeting ISIS cells. On the other hand, there was one attack with an improvised explosive device (IED) in which two civilians were wounded, and unknown individuals torched a school in the Shamal subdistrict of Sinjar. In other developments, the ISF increased their presence in the
Key Takeaways: Noticeable decreases in security forces operations compared to September as insurgent attacks continue; Coalition air strikes halted – The 39 security incidents recorded in Ninewa province by the research team during the reporting period included: 25 operations by Iraqi security forces (ISF) (compared to 52 in August and 36 in September) that resulted in the arrest of militants believed to belong to ISIS in different parts of the province, some of which included the discovery of weapons and equipment and the destruction of militant and hideouts. There have been no airstrikes by the International Coalition forces in the
SAFE RETURN UPDATES
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