ISHM: July 15 – 21, 2016

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ISHM LOGO

Key Takeaways:

  • On July 15, thousands of protesters led by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gathered in Tahrir Square in Baghdad and elsewhere throughout the country calling for reform, an end to government corruption, and for the abolition of the sectarian quota system in government. Following the protests, Parliament postponed a vote on the “Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Demonstration Act,” which would require protesters to receive the approval of “relevant officials” before demonstrations (not simply notify them that a demonstration was to take place as required by current law). Citing disagreements with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s reform strategy, the Ministers of Oil, Transport, Construction and Housing, and Industry resigned their posts. The Ministers of Water Resources and Higher Education and Scientific Research also resigned, having been previously dismissed by Parliament, but with those dismissals later overturned by the Supreme Court. The six resignations are in addition to the July 8 resignation of the Minister of the Interior, who left following the July 3 bombing of Baghdad’s Karadah neighborhood.
  • On July 20, the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and Kuwait co-hosted a Pledging Conference in support of Iraq’s security and humanitarian crisis. The host nations and 24 others attending the conference in Washington raised US$ 2.1 billion, surpassing the U.S. State Department’s original US$ 2 billion goal. Funds will be allocated to humanitarian response, reconstruction, and clearing IEDs and other explosive remnants of war. Aid agencies have called on the conference attendees to prioritize protection and relief for the displaced, especially children.
  • More than 6,000 families displaced from Salah ad-Din’s Sharqat District are being relocated to the Baiji District, even though Baiji was declared a disaster area last week and lacks sufficient supplies of water. A lack of camp space led another 5,000 IDPs to take shelter in a fertilizer plant 20 kilometers north of Baiji. The UNHCR is working to expand camps quickly and is still struggling to meet the needs of those displaced from Fallujah, contributing to growing concerns that the international aid community may not be able to keep up with displacements related to the continued swift advance of Iraqi Security Forces toward Mosul. Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, said Tuesday that “once the final battle begins, it is too late to start mobilizing relief. We failed the Iraqi people when they fled from Fallujah – it’s inexcusable to make the same mistake again.”
  • Iraqi Security Forces, assisted by U.S.-led international coalition airstrikes, are making rapid progress in clearing areas of ISIS militants and repairing infrastructure in preparation for impending operations in Mosul. The Iraqi Army Engineer Corps constructed a bridge across the Tigris River, 50 kilometers south of Mosul, which will allow forces to move between the key areas of al-Qayyarah and Makhmour. According to the ISF, airstrikes last week killed two senior ISIS leaders, the ISIS governors of Kirkuk and al-Hawijah.
  • Over 1,000 Iraqi soldiers arrived at the Ain al-Asad military base northwest of Ramadi. The newly arrived troops will assist ground operations to clear areas along the Syrian/Iraqi border of ISIS militants. Sources within the ISF and Iraqi government outlined the national strategy against ISIS, which focuses on securing the Syrian and Jordanian borders, engaging along the Euphrates River in Anbar Province, and operating from al-Qayyarah, Sharqat, Kirkuk and al-Hawijah. Securing the border will require intensive efforts on the major ISIS strongholds of Tal Afar in the north and al-Qai’m in the west.
  • Following the July 15 coup d’etat attempt in Turkey, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers to discuss the Iraqi response. Iraqi President Fuad Masum expressed confidence that democracy would be restored in Turkey and Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri condemned the coup attempt. The Turkish Ambassador to Iraq publicly thanked Iraqi officials for their encouragement and support.

Protests Surge Throughout Iraq Prompting Resignations, Response from Parliament

On July 14, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi condemned calls for protests on Friday, July 15 to be led by Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and warned that any armed protestors would be treated as a “terrorist threat.”

On July 15, thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, calling for reform, an end to government corruption, and for the abolition of the sectarian quota system. Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the instigator of the protests, ignored the Council of Ministers’ ban on the protest. Security forces in Baghdad cut off access to major roads, squares, and other access points in order to protect the thousands of demonstrators. The protest was described as “well ordered and disciplined.” The Al-Sadr affiliated Parliamentary coalition, the al-Ahrar Bloc, continues to boycott Parliament.

On July 15, hundreds of protesters gathered in Samawah, 280 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, condemning government corruption. The protesters demanded a reform of both the security structures in Iraq, as well as an overhaul of state organizations.

On July 15, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the reopening of several security checkpoints in Baghdad due to the overwhelming traffic caused by their closure. Furthermore, al-Abadi called on security workers to respect citizens at checkpoints in response to recent claims of harassment.

On July 15, dozens of protesters gathered in Nasiriya, 360 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, renewing their calls for governmental reform and demanding the execution of prisoners convicted of terrorism.

On July 15, dozens of protesters assembled in Karbala, 100 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, seeking government reform. Specifically, protesters called to dissolve the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission’s mandate includes voter registration, candidate approval, adjudicating complaints, and the logistical operation of elections.

On July 15, dozens of protesters gathered in Najaf, 160 kilometers south of Baghdad, calling for government and security reform and symbolically referencing the July 14, 1958 revolution that reflected the will of the poor. Dozens of protesters congregated with similar interests in Amarah, Maysan Province, 180 kilometers northwest of Basra, demanding job stimulation and provision from the Iraqi government.  

On July 15, hundreds of protesters gathered in Diwaniya, 150 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, renewing calls for government reform.

On July 15, dozens of student protesters assembled in al-Hilla, 100 kilometers south of Baghdad, demanding reform and the abolishment of the quota system.

On July 15, leader of the State of Law Coalition Nouri al-Maliki attributed the “fewer than expected” number of Sadr protesters to the Iraqi citizens’ appreciation for the severity of the internal situation of Iraq. Al-Maliki praised those who decided not to protest- those who, in his eyes, understand the protests only serve to dismantle security efforts and promote “ wahhabi and takfiri” agendas.

On July 17, Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr wrote on his website that U.S. troops are “a target for [shia militias],” when asked how to react to the recent deployment of 560 additional U.S. troops to Iraq. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced the deployment last week, which seeks to aid the ISF and Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) in logistics and infrastructure development in the battle for Mosul.

On July 17, Parliament agreed to postpone the vote for the Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Demonstration Act at the request of the Parliamentary Commissioner on Human Rights. The Act has been subject to mass criticism. Among other stipulations, the act would require protesters to receive approval by “relevant officials” before demonstrations, as opposed to the current system wherein protesters simply notify “relevant officials”. Furthermore, protests would not be permitted past 22:00. Opponents argue that the bill unconstitutionally restricts the freedom of expression, and it also lacks a provision that would prevent security officials from “using force to break up a demonstration”.

On July 17, dozens of activists and civilians gathered in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, to protest the Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Demonstration Act.

On July 18, Member of Parliament Haidar al-Mawla identified that there were “four points of contention” in the debate over the Freedom of Expression Act, resulting in the vote’s postponement; however, the primary disagreement he discussed was on whether or not protestors will have to receive approval to protest. Opponents to the Act argue that acquisition of approval is a violation of the freedom of expression guaranteed in the constitution in Article 38. Advocates of the Act cite the caveat of Article 38 that guarantees Freedom of Expression using all means, so long as it does not violate public order and public morality.   

On July 19, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi accepted the resignations of the following Cabinet Ministers:

  • Ministry of Oil (Adel Abdul Mahdi)
  • Ministry of Transport (Baqer al-Zubaidi)
  • Ministry of Construction and Housing (Tariq Kikhany)
  • Ministry of Water Resources (Mohsen al-Shammari)
  • Ministry of Industry (Mohammed al-Darraji)
  • Ministry of the Interior (Mohammad al-Ghaban (accepted July 8))
  • Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Hussain al-Shahristani (accepted July 21))

According to al-Jazeera, the resignation of the first six Ministers, all of whom are members of the National Alliance Parliamentary Bloc, resigned due to disagreements they had with al-Abadi’s reform strategy. Former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Hussain al-Shahristani claimed that his resignation came at the pressures of “political and parliamentary bodies”, who were upset that al Shahristani “refused their illegal demands”. The Minister of Water Resources and the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research had been dismissed in the April 14 and April 26 Parliamentary sessions; however, those dismissals were declared void in a Supreme Court decision on June 28.


Aid Pledging Conference Attracts Much Needed Resources

On July 15, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finalized a loan (approved in May) of US$ 5.34 billion to the Government of Iraq in hopes of mitigating the effects of low oil prices and unpaid debt. The three-year loan will focus on four loosely defined areas: reduction of public spending, protection of social spending for vulnerable populations, avoiding accumulation of debt and restructuring state-owned banks.

On July 18, during a briefing on the upcoming Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State called for US$ 2 billion in pledges for the conference set to take place on July 20. The conference will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and Kuwait and will have 24 other countries in attendance. The top funding priorities will be immediate stabilization, expanding stabilization, demining, and humanitarian assistance. The UN estimated that US$ 4.5 billion would be needed to address the entire humanitarian crisis immediately, but that US$ 861 million would be acceptable for the current Humanitarian Response Plan set by the UN.

On July 19, the Headquarters of the Department of Education in the Anbar Province reopened in Ramadi after it was previously damaged. Director of Education in Fallujah, Yousef Shalal, that the Provincial Department will revive its education practices and provide supplies for the upcoming school year.

On July 19, the Iraqi Cabinet of Ministers agreed to allocate five billion dinars, approximately US$ 43,000 to build camps and and help restore services in the Anbar Province.

On July 19, Canada pledged US$ 158 million to the Government of Iraq where US$ 150 million will be allocated to international humanitarian response efforts, US$ 4 million to the UNDP to support IDPs returning to their homes, and US$ 4 million to aid the dismantling of IEDs in Ramadi. This is in addition to the US$ 200 million Canada plans to coordinate with other partners to provide financial and lending support. Canada will co-host the Pledge Conference in Washington, DC on July 20 where the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephane Dion, will announce these pledges.

On July 20, the European Union pledged US$ 215.5 million at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq in Washington, DC. Germany committed to US$ 549 million to aid in the reconstruction of areas destroyed in the operation to clear ISIS militants from major cities. Switzerland also announced they will allot an additional US$ 1 million to support civilians displaced from Fallujah and Mosul. This is in addition to the funds Switzerland had already provided for increased protection and access to safe drinking water.

On July 20, 26 countries convened in Washington, DC for the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq where they will pledge financial support for humanitarian needs and stabilization efforts. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that over US$ 450 million of the total pledges from the conference will be directed to humanitarian assistance for the UN Humanitarian Appeal. So far, pledges made public include:

  • United States, US$ 316 million
  • European Union, US$ 215.5 million
  • Switzerland, US$ 1 million
  • Canada, US$ 358 million (US$ 158 million to humanitarian response and demining, US$ 200 million for other financial support)
  • Germany, US$ 549 million for reconstruction

Secretary Kerry called the conference a success after receiving over the initial target of US$ 2.1 billion. Organizers have yet to release official figures and commitments from the conference.

On July 20, Secretary of State, John Kerry, opened the Pledging Conference in Support Iraq discussing the plight of displaced civilians and other vulnerable populations in Iraq, as well as the importance of rapid reconstruction in areas previously held by ISIS militants. Kerry called on all attending parties to pledge funds to the humanitarian and reconstruction needs, but explained that in order to deliver funds Iraq, “has to be viewed as being responsive to its people.”

On July 20, at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, contended that the displacement disaster and humanitarian crisis in Iraq is the worst in the world and should be treated as such. Al-Jaafari said that the consequences of war and falling oil prices have been the main causes of the deteriorating environment in the country. Al-Jaafari thanked the donors for their military and financial support in helping to clear Iraq of ISIS militants and aid its vulnerable populations.

On July 20, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called for US$ 284 million in funding to assist the 1.2 to 1.5 million people who will be affected by the expected operation to clear Mosul of ISIS militants. Funding will mainly be used for shelter and non-food items (US$ 110 million), as well as for food, healthcare, water, sanitation, protection, camp coordination, education, logistics, rapid response mechanisms (emergency health for at-risk individuals), and telecommunications, in that order.

On July 20, Save the Children’s Country Director in Iraq urged leaders at the Pledging Conference to prioritize protection and humanitarian relief especially for children displaced in Iraq. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also released a statement calling on pledgers to “put people first” when discussing allocation of funding and to prioritize the most vulnerable people affected.

On July 20, the International Red Cross released drone footage of a displacement camp housing IDPs from Fallujah and reported that 1.5 million children are displaced in Iraq, which is one out of ten children in the country. The Red Cross detailed that these internally displaced children need urgently need water and health care.


Slow Humanitarian Progress as Mosul Operations Loom

On July 15, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported the displacement of 21,500 people from the Shirqat District since the beginning of the official Iraqi operation to remove Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants from the northern region in June. The Ministry of Migration and Displacement recorded a lower number, approximately 16,000.

On July 15, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that last week, the Baiji District in the Salah ad-Din Province was declared a disaster area after experiencing high levels of destruction. Although the area has been a key site of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and ISIS fighting during June and July, internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue to be evacuated to the district due to a lack of relocation options in the north.

On July 15, 2,700 IDPs arrived in Debaga campsites from regions west of the Tigris River. Although the Debaga camp population far exceeds capacity, the new influx pushed the UNHCR to working rapidly on expansions and has hastened the opening of a new Debaga 2 Camp.

On July 15, the UNHCR accommodated IDPs arriving in Debaga 2 Camp in two newly constructed Rub Halls (large tent like structures commonly used in humanitarian relief). The organization expected more new arrivals in the following days and prepared new latrines and a 10,000 liter water tank.

On July 15, the UNHCR reported that 1,000 people displaced from al-Qayyarah and Hatra cities, 73 kilometers south and 113 kilometres southeast of Mosul, relocated to Tulul al-Baq, 12 kilometers east of al-Shirqat in the Salah ad-Din Province, due to the recent clearing of Tulul al-Baq by the ISF.

On July 15, Iraqi Security Forces continued to conduct security screenings of male IDPs suspected of ISIS allegiances in the recently cleared city of Tulul al-Baq, 141 kilometers south of Mosul. Those passing screenings were released to the Ministry of Migration and Displacement in al-Hajaj, a small town in the Baiji District.

On July 17, Special Representative to the UN Secretary General in Iraq, Jan Kubis, commended the Iraqi army and explained that humanitarian lessons from Fallujah should be taken into account when thinking about the aftermath of the Mosul Operation. Issues like local governance, law and order, and political management must be discussed and dealt with accordingly, he said. Kubis also referred to the human rights violations in Fallujah and called on keeping security forces accountable now and in the future.

On July 18, Governor of the Salah ad-Din Province, Ahmed al-Jubouri, warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in the Sharqat District, as trapped citizens lack water, food, and medicine. Al-Jubouri reflected on the increase in cases of skin diseases and acute dehydration in the district.

On July 18, the UNHCR expressed concern over displaced people from the Sharqat District being relocated in the Baiji District, as basic services and infrastructure are non-existent there.

On July 18, the UNHCR reported that the Governorate of Salah ad-Din has asked the UN to open two new camps in the province, each with 2,000 tents, to ease the congestion of displacement in the area. This comes after 5,000 IDPs from the Sharqat District in the Salah ad-Din province took shelter in a fertilizer plant 20 kilometers north of the already overcrowded Baiji District and 325 families arrived in the small town of al-Hajjaj in the Baiji District.

On July 19, the Department of Education in the Diyala Province announced the reopening of 13 schools in the town of Julawla, 150 northwest kilometers of Baghdad, adding to the final tally of 26 reopened schools. The spokesperson for the Department of Education in Diyala explained that the department has devised a strategic plan to secure furniture, books, and develop curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year.

On July 19, at a joint conference between the Government of Kirkuk and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), the two entities called on each other to support ongoing efforts to aid displaced people and clear areas of ISIS. Governor of Kirkuk, Najm al-Din Karim called on UNAMI to devise a strategic plan for IDPs in tandem with the federal government. Karim also highlighted the lack of financial, institutional, and service support for the 650,000 displaced people that have arrived in the province so far.

On July 19, a representative from the Salah ad-Din Province, Badr al-Fahl, called on the Ministry of Transportation to provide vehicles to evacuate displaced people from Sharqat District to Tikrit and Baiji and warned of an impending humanitarian disaster in the province.

On July 19, the United Nations warned that the Iraqi operation to clear Mosul of ISIS will lead to a humanitarian disaster that will include large numbers of civilian casualties and displaced people. Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, said that “once the final battle begins, it is too late to start mobilizing relief. We failed the Iraqi people when they fled from Fallujah – it’s inexcusable to make the same mistake again.”

On July 19, the Provincial Council of Karbala voted to allow internally displaced persons from the province to return to their homes in the next month. President of the Council, Ali al-Maliki, explained that this vote was taken to help restore security, avoid demographic changes, and revive the province now that it has been cleared of ISIS militants.

On July 19, Head of the Provincial Council of Anbar Province, Sabah Kirhot, pleaded with the Karbala Provincial Council to postpone any decision about returning IDPs to the Karbala Province until after the restoration of water and electricity.

On July 21, the UNHCR reported that civilians are trapped in al-Sharqat city in the Salah ad-Din Province without access to water, food, or services. Seven people, including four children,  reportedly have died of hunger.

On July 21, Mayor of Baiji, Mohammad Mahmoud, reported on the arrival of 6,000 displaced families from northern areas in the Salah ad-Din Province like the Sharqat District. Mahmoud warned that the Baiji District is unable to meet the needs of the large number of displaced people and are severely lacking access to water and transportation.

On July 21, Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, ordered the Civilian Crisis Committee to manage the needs of displaced people in the Sharqat District and other areas in the Salah ad-Din and Ninewah Provinces.


Airstrikes and Infrastructure Aid Military Plans for Mosul

On July 15, a U.S-led international coalition airstrike targeted an Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) organizational center in al-Riyadh, a village 35 kilometers west of Kirkuk. Five militants were killed and nine were injured in the strike.

On July 15, the Iraqi Army Engineer corps built a temporary bridge, titled al-Aa’im Bridge, across the Tigris river 50 kilometers south of Mosul. According to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), the bridge will allow for forces to move between Mahkmour and al-Qayyarah, both key areas south of Mosul.

On July 16, the U.S-led international coalition and the Iraqi Air Force launched 10 airstrikes against ISIS targets in al-Hawijah, 80 kilometers southwest of Kirkuk, and al-Sharqat, 60 kilometers south of Mosul. According to the ISF, one of the strikes killed two senior ISIS leaders in al-Hawijah, the Wali (ISIS-styled governor) of Kirkuk, Mohammad Khalaf Mohammad Saleh, and the Wali of al-Hawijah, Talib Hamid Alou.

On July 16, a U.S-led international coalition airstrike destroyed two boats attempting to target the newly constructed al-Aa’im Bridge connecting al-Qayyarah with Makhmour. According to the ISF, the bridge’s security will be “constantly” monitored to facilitate the movement of troops across the Tigris river south of Mosul.

On July 18, the Iraqi Air Force dropped thousands of leaflets across al-Hawijah, 80 kilometers southwest of Kirkuk, warning residents to stay away from ISIS operational centers. According to a media statement, the action was to warn Iraqi citizens ahead of escalating ground and air operations.

On July 18, the ISF cleared ISIS militants from al-Aouseja, a village 65 kilometers south of Mosul. According to the ISF, the 37th Armored Battalion and the 72nd Division of the Iraqi Army took part in a “quick military operation” to clear the village from “pockets of ISIS resistance.”

On July 19, Iraqi Air Force airstrikes targeted operational centers, IED factories, and ISIS gatherings in al-Sharqat, a town 60 kilometers south of Mosul. According to an anonymous source, the strikes were able to destroy two ISIS centers including an “important” communications tower and an IED factory, killing 23 and wounding 10 ISIS militants in the process.

On July 20, French warplanes, as a part of the U.S-led international coalition, targeted Hisba (Religious Police) centers in Tal Afar, 70 kilometers west of Mosul. According to an anonymous source, multiple strikes destroyed three separate Hisba facilities around Tal Afar, killing at least 45 ISIS militants.


ISF and Coalition Operations in Anbar Complement Strategy

On July 15, a U.S- led international coalition airstrike targeted a gathering of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants in al-Qa’im, a key ISIS town on the Iraqi/Syrian border 250 kilometers northwest of Ramadi. According to commander of al-Jazeera operations Major General Qassim al-Mohammadi, seven ISIS militants were killed and two armed vehicles were destroyed in the strike.

On July 15, over 1000 Iraqi Army soldiers arrived at Ain al-Asad military base, located in al-Baghdadi, 100 kilometers northwest of Ramadi. According to Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) leadership, the soldiers will participate in ground operations to clear al-Qa’im and Warawa, towns 250 kilometers northwest of Ramadi at the Syrian/Iraqi border.

On July 15, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that they built eight new camps and plan to open eight more to house 24,000 IPDs from Fallujah. After the Iraqi Operation to clear Fallujah of ISIS militants, 90,000 people were displaced from their homes and fled to surrounding areas.

On July 16 and 17, 477 families returned to the Anbar Province after being stranded in Baghdad due to the closure of the Bzeibiz Bridge.

On July 17, an Iraqi Air Force strike targeted  a convoy of ISIS militants west of Ramadi. According to the ISF, “dozens” of ISIS militants were killed and three vehicles were destroyed while they were driving towards the direction of Hit, 50 kilometers northwest of Ramadi.

On July 17, sources within the ISF and Iraqi government outlined a nationwide military strategy against ISIS, one that centers around securing Iraqi borders and pushing back ISIS. According to the plans, ISF will engage ISIS militants on three fronts: along the Euphrates river in al-Anbar, in Ninewa province towards Mosul from al-Qayyarah and al-Sharqat, and in Kirkuk province towards Mosul from al-Howeija. ISF will also concentrate on securing both the Jordanian and Syrian borders, although that goal requires the clearing of major ISIS strongholds such as Tal Afar in the north and al-Qai’m in the west.

On July 17, administrative representative from the Municipal Council of Amiriyah al-Fallujah, Khudair Rashed, called on international organizations, the Iraqi government to further support them in providing relief, mainly in the form of water, food, and health services, to the 27,000 displaced families from Fallujah in their displacement camps.

On July 18, 11 members of the 30 member Anbar Provincial Council submitted a request to the federal government to dissolve the Anbar Provincial Council. Council member Farhan Mohammed al-Obeidi claimed that the time had come to to take action against the inability of the governor Suhaib al-Rawi and his bloc and the council to achieve reform. Furthermore, a majority of the council members operate from outside of Anbar, many based in the “Kurdistan, Oman, and the Turkey” regions.

On July 18, joint ISF/Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) cleared ISIS militants from al-Doulab, a town 80 kilometers west of Ramadi. According to an anonymous source, the Seventh Division of the Iraqi Army, the 16th Regiment of Anbar Provincial Police, Counter Terrorism Services, and assorted PMUs took part in the operation, killing 69 militants in the process.

On July 18, the Baghdad Police equipped two checkpoints with bomb-detecting sonar equipment in Abu Ghraib, 20 kilometers west of Baghdad. According to Baghdad Police Major General Ali al-Ghariri, the checkpoints are designed to detect explosive materials in buses or large trucks, but other sonar equipment is needed to inspect smaller vehicles.

On July 18, the UNHCR called for 3,000 more shelter units for those displaced from Fallujah and announced they will be building three new camps in Habbaniyah Tourist City, 21 kilometers west of Fallujah.

On July 18, following the deaths of children due to lack of food and increasing temperature, Head of the Provincial Council of Anbar Province, Sabah Kirhot looked to the Ministry of Migration and Displacement to aid the displaced people of the Anbar Province as humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate.

On July 19, the al-Doulab Police resumed regular patrols and service calls in al-Doulab, a town 80 kilometers northwest of Ramadi. According to PMU leadership in western Anbar, most of the civilians had not evacuated their houses in al-Doulab and the al-Doulab Police forces will protect those civilians “with support” from PMUs.

On July 20, 600 border guards completed their training at Ain al-Asad Military Base, located 95 kilometers west of Ramadi. According to an anonymous source, the division completed two months of training under Iraqi and U.S-led coalition officers and will patrol the Jordanian-Iraqi border.

On July 20, a U.S-led international coalition airstrike targeted an ISIS bunker in al-Tarabisha, 15 kilometers north of Ramadi. According to an anonymous source, five ISIS militants were killed in the strike.

On July 20, the Provincial Council of Anbar stated that they do not have adequate financial support to reconstruct Ramadi, Fallujah, Hit, and other cities affected by military operations.

On July 21, Iraqi Army and Federal Police reinforcements arrived in al-Khalidiyah, 10 kilometers east of Ramadi. According to al-Khalidiyah Council President Ali Dawid, the reinforcements were requested to bolster existing ISF in the peninsula and prevent ISIS infiltration.

On July 21, the Head of the Security Committee in the Khalidiyah District, Ibrahim Fahdawi, reported that 800 families have been evacuated from Khalidiyah after increased fighting between Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and ISIS. Fahdawi continued that these families were then relocated to the Kilo 18 camp, 45 kilometers west of al-Khalidiyah.


Iraqi Government Supports Turkish President During Coup Attempt

On July 16, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called an emergency meeting with the Council of Ministers to discuss national security in response to the coup attempt in Turkey. The coup attempt took place on Friday July 15 when factions within the Turkish military attempted to seize control of the government and impose martial law. The coup attempt was thwarted when crowds took to the streets and expressed their support for the government.

On July 16, Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri condemned the coup effort in Turkey, calling for respect for the law and the preservation of democracy. Al-Jabouri stated that he hopes the government will prevail in restoring security so that Turkey can continue to play its “role in the region.” It is important to note that Turkey has approximately 150 soldiers and 25 tanks stationed in the Ninewa Province of northern Iraq, all of which were ordered to withdraw following the coup attempt.  

On July 16, President of Iraq Fuad Masum expressed confidence that “peace, rule of law, and the function of democratic institutions” would be restored in Turkey following the put-down of the coup attempt.

On July 19 at a public event in Washington, DC, Minister of the Interior Ibrahim al-Jaafari stated that a “strategic” and “friendly relationship” will continue between Turkey and Iraq despite the past presence of unwanted military units.  

On July 20, the Turkish Ambassador to Iraq thanked Iraqi politicians, including Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, for encouraging support of the Turkish government during the coup attempt.


 

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
07/21/16al-Sha'ab, Northeastern Baghdad16
07/21/16al-Tarmiyah, North of Baghdad14
07/20/16Hay al-Jihad, West of Baghdad12
07/20/16al-Za'afraniyah, Southeast of Baghdad29
07/20/16Saba'a al-Bour, North of Baghdad29
07/20/16al-Mada'in, South of Baghdad28
07/19/16al-Ghazalia, West of Baghdad10
07/19/16Jisr Diyala, Southeast of Baghdad28
07/19/16al-Doura, Southern Baghdad24
07/19/16Hay Our, East of Baghdad16
07/19/16Abu Ghraib, West of Baghdad13
07/18/16al-Sadr, East of Baghdad27
07/18/16Hay al-Firat, Western Baghdad27
07/18/16al-Amiriyah, West of Baghdad11
07/18/16al-Doura, Southern Baghdad15
07/18/16al-Rotba, West of Ramadi35
07/18/16Soweib, Southwest of Baghdad15
07/18/16al-Tarmiyah, North of Baghdad38
07/17/16al-Biya'a, Southwest of Baghdad27
07/17/16al-Mada'in, South of Baghdad17
07/17/16al-Amin, East of Baghdad16
07/17/16al-Karma, East of Fallujah14
07/17/16al-Yousifiya, South of Baghdad14
07/17/16Hay al-A'mal, Southwest of Baghdad18
07/16/16al-Dibs, West of Kirkuk10
07/16/16al-Jazeera, Northeast of Ba'aqouba10
07/16/16al-Taji, North of Baghdad36
07/16/16al-Doura, South of Baghdad16
07/15/16al-Sidiyah, Western Baghdad25
07/15/16al-Nairiya, East of Baghdad17
07/15/16al-Zarkoush, Northeast of Ba'aqouba02
07/15/16Dijla, South of Tikrit16
07/15/16al-Doura, Southern Baghdad19
07/15/16al-Za'afraniyah, Southeast of Baghdad18

Please note: some geographic locations represented are approximations.


Derived from firsthand accounts and Iraq-based Arabic and Kurdish news sources, the Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor is a free publication of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center. ISHM’s research methodology was developed by EPIC’s Senior Visiting Fellow Ahmed Ali. 


Subscribe to our weekly ISHM and have the latest developments in Iraq sent straight to your inbox every Thursday.