EASO COI Report Iraq Security Situation provides information about relevant security trends at national and governorate levels for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 July 2020. It covers the recent conflicts in Iraq, including a short overview of existing political tensions, as well as the international context that the political and security situation has unfolded in. It also includes the presence and capacity of the armed forces and the role they play in the security situation. Recent security trends are described, including the number of casualties and security incidents, examples of representative security incidents, and the impact of the security situation on the civilian population including remaining explosives in former conflict areas, and road security. An account is given of IDP and returnee movements in the period, as well as the state of mobility within the country.
This report is an update of the EASO COI report on Iraq, Security situation, published in March 2019.
This report is the last of a series of Iraq reports produced in 2020, covering – besides the security situation – also key socio-economic indicators and the targeting of individuals of different profiles. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Iraqi applicants and will be used to update the EASO Country Guidance on Iraq 2020.
EASO would like to acknowledge the following national asylum department as co-drafter of this report, together with EASO:
- Belgium, Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, Cedoca (Centre for Documentation and Research)
EASO would also like to acknowledge ARC, the Asylum Research Centre, as co-drafter of this report.
The following departments and organisations have reviewed respective parts of this report:
- Denmark, Ministry of Immigration and Integration, The Danish Immigration Service;
- Finland, Finnish Immigration Service;
- France, Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA), Information, Documentation and Research Division;
- ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation;
- ARC, the Asylum Research Centre.
All parts of this report have been reviewed by at least one reviewer. ARC, who acted as co-drafter and as reviewer, reviewed parts drafted by other co-drafters.
The drafting of this report was finalised on 31 July 2020. Some additional information was added during the finalisation of this report in response to feedback received during the quality control process, until 14 September 2020.
This report was written according to the EASO COI Report Methodology (2019).
Since 2013, the security situation in Iraq has largely been determined by the rise of and the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). On 9 December 2017, then Prime Minister al-Abadi announced that the last piece of ISIS territory on Iraqi soil was recaptured and that this put an end to the ground war against the terror organization. The repulsion of ISIS and the recapture of territories occupied by the organization has had a clearly visible, positive impact on the security situation in Iraq. However, ISIS cells remain active in several Iraqi provinces and the Iraqi security forces, the Shia militias and the Kurdish Peshmerga still carry out actions against the organization. This displays itself in strong regional differences regarding the level of violence, the scale of random violence and the impact of the conflict. Additionally, as part of the conflict with the PKK, the Turkish army carries out air strikes and ground operations against PKK targets in the northern border regions of Iraq.