The most powerful groups within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) existed long before ISIS seized Mosul in June 2014, and will continue to build influence in the future now that operations to liberate the city have concluded.
In March 2017, EPIC Program Assistant Matthew Schweitzer traveled to the recently-liberated neighborhoods in eastern Mosul. During this trip, he accompanied Layla Salih, Director of Antiquities for Ninewa Province, into tunnels dug by ISIS underneath the now-destroyed shrine and tomb of Jonah (known in Arabic as Nabi Younis). There, ISIS excavations revealed a 2,600-year-old Assyrian … Continue reading Underneath a Liberated Mosul→
Stigma, insufficient training in mental healthcare for physicians, and subsequent lack of treatment capacity have handicapped efforts to build Iraqi mental healthcare capacity or deliver much-needed psychosocial services.
Following a recent day trip to eastern Mosul to visit the clinics receiving support from Soccer Salam, EPIC’s Matthew Schweitzer describes the sheer destruction facing the lifelong residents struggling to repair their war-torn city. Just across the Tigris, ISIS violence continues unabated.
The dissolution of Iraq’s once-prestigious healthcare system represents the tragic culmination to a longer trajectory of decline marked by war, sanctions, funding shortfalls, and neglect over three decades.
Today, the status of Iraqi armed groups remains ambiguous despite Baghdad’s attempts to integrate them into the military command structure — a situation that highlights the complex, multifaceted, and poorly-understood roles they will play in Iraq’s political, social, and military development after ISIS.
For Iraqi youth, opportunities to attend school have diminished. Without renewed investment in the country’s education system, the next 30 years will witness the maturation of a generation lacking its predecessor’s skills and training — reshaping its socio-economic environment.
Political rivalries and proxy conflict threaten to engulf Sinjar’s vulnerable Yazidi population in renewed violence. How local and regional actors manage this region can offer lessons for other disputed territories post-ISIS.
Policymakers in Erbil today confront severe governmental and fiscal emergencies that threatens the region’s stability and prosperity. To meet these challenges, they will need to couple stringent economic reforms with reconciliation between political parties.
After burning for three months, fires in Qayyarah leave northern Iraq with a twin humanitarian and environmental crisis that will impact thousands of refugees and reshape the region’s political economy.
Government policymakers and humanitarian agencies have not adequately prepared for a scenario in which a significant portion of Mosul’s remaining 1.2 million residents stay in the city as it is liberated.
In northern Iraq, Turkey and Iran are playing their proxies against each other. This rivalry will shape the region’s post-ISIS landscape, and could spark future conflict. To learn more, we spoke with Joost Hiltermann, program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group and an expert on Iraqi Kurdistan.