La situation sécuritaire dans le sud de l'Irak

English

The nine southern provinces of Iraq were not directly affected by the ISIS offensive of June 2014 in central Iraq, with the exception of the northern part of the province of Babil, where ISIS tried to force its way to Baghdad via the roads to the west and south-west of the capital. This led to numerous bomb attacks and heavy fighting in several towns in Babil. However, ISIS eventually failed to get hold of the northern part of the province, and the number of civilian casualties has clearly been decreasing in the whole of the province since the beginning of 2015. In 2016, ISIS committed a  number of deadly bomb attacks in South Iraq, with two attacks in Babil claiming the highest death-toll, but there were also attacks in Basra, Thi Qar, Al-Muthanna and Kerbala. The violence in South Iraq decreased in 2017: during the first six months, the violence dropped to a level not seen since three years, with only a small number of deadly bomb attacks, while the violence was mainly concentrated in Babil and Basra provinces.

No substantial return of internally displaced persons has been reported in Babil and most places recaptured from ISIS are now controlled by Shia militias.

In the mainly Shia provinces of Najaf, Kerbala, Basra, Wassit, Qadisiya, Thi-Qar, Missan and Al-Muthanna, there were no direct confrontations between the Iraqi army and ISIS. Violence in these southern provinces is limited to sporadic terrorist attacks and fighting between rival tribes.

Policy

As a result of an increase in violence and terrorist acts, the security and human rights situation in Iraq has deteriorated since 2013 and further escalated with the ground offensive that IS launched in June 2014. This has led to a bloody internal armed conflict. Citizens are being targeted by the conflicting parties for ethnic, religious or political reasons. In 2015, the military pressure on IS increased and the Iraqi Security Forces, backed by Shia militias and the Peshmerga, recaptured some areas from it. In 2016, IS lost more ground to government forces. The recapture of IS-controlled areas has clearly led to an improvement in the general security situation in Iraq. In 2017, violence continued to decrease in Baghdad.

The available information shows that there are still significant differences in the level of violence and the impact of the IS ground offensive according to the region considered. These strong regional variations characterise the security and human rights situation in Iraq. This means concretely that the situation in Central Iraq is different from the situation in South Iraq and the Kurdish Autonomous Region.

Land: 
Iraq