The lives of thousands of civilians are at critical risk in the assault on Mosul, a new survey of recent practice by Iraqi and international coalition forces finds.
Civilian protection in the battle for Mosul: Critical priorities finds that recent precedents from military operations to retake Iraqi cities from ISIS control, including Tikrit, Ramadi, Fallujah and Sinjar, demonstrate a pattern of repeated failures to implement sufficient measures for civilian protection, both in the conduct of hostilities and in planning for the humanitarian consequences. Unless those failures are addressed, thousands of civilians are at risk of being killed in Mosul.
SianThousands of civilians now at risk in Mosul assault – new report
Over 4,000 civilians have been killed in the anti-ISIS bombing campaigns in Iraq and Syria during 2014 – 2015, according to available monitoring information based on credible local sources. The majority of these deaths, over 2,800, resulted from often indiscriminate bombardment by the Iraqi Security Forces. Hundreds of other civilians have been killed in anti-ISIS airstrikes carried out by members of the US-led international coalition, by the Syrian Air Force, and more recently by Russian forces, among others.
Civilian populations in Fallujah and other cities in western and northern Iraq, and in Raqqa, Aleppo and other areas of eastern and northern Syria, have been subjected to an unremitting and often indiscriminate bombardment, including the use of barrel bombs, that has left residential areas destroyed and caused extensive damage to schools, hospitals and mosques.
SianCivilian deaths in the anti-ISIS bombing campaigns 2014 – 2015
Drawing on comprehensive legal analysis, the joint report by the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights and the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) evaluates the potential avenues towards securing accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, including massacres of civilians, indiscriminate aerial bombardment, enforced disappearances, systematic torture, rape, and the use of children in hostilities.
SianAs atrocities continue to mount in Syria, new report reveals potential options for securing justice during the conflict
No Way Home: Iraq’s minorities on the verge of disappearance seeks to document the situation of Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities most affected by the violence that escalated after the fall of Mosul in June 2014. It is published by the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights, jointly with Minority Rights Group International, the International Institute for Law and Human Rights, No Peace Without Justice and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).
Since June 2014, many thousands of persons belonging to minorities have been murdered, maimed or abducted, including unknown numbers of women and girls forced into marriage or sexual enslavement. ISIS forces and commanders have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide, including summary executions, killing, mutilation, rape, sexual violence, torture, cruel treatment, the use and recruitment of children, outrages on personal dignity, and the use of chemical weapons.
SianNo Way Home: Iraq’s minorities on the verge of disappearance
Since the present displacement crisis began in January 2014 with the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS), the humanitarian emergency in Iraq has become more severe. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq now stands at 3.2 million, while more than 8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. With the UN lacking funding and the Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) under both military and economic strain, the protection of human rights and provision of humanitarian assistance have been gravely compromised.
SianIraq’s Displacement Crisis: Security and protection
Women have paid a heavy price for the breakdown of law and order in Iraq. Decades of conflict, the revival of tribal customs, the eruption of sectarianism and the strengthening of patriarchal religious attitudes have meant that Iraq has seen an increase in forms of family-based violence that are otherwise generally on the decline in the Middle East. Violence inside the home has increased along with violence in the street.
SianThe Lost Women of Iraq: Family-based violence during armed conflict
The armed conflict in Iraq has led to the violent deaths of approximately 14,000 women since 2003. Whether driven by political, ‘moral’ or sectarian motives, attacks on women have become a tactic of war used by parties on both sides of the conflict.
In addition to the women killed in bombings, shelling and air attacks on civilian areas in Iraq, women have been deliberately targeted for assassination by both pro-and anti-government militias across the country. Shi’a and Sunni militias have also perpetrated mass extra-judicial executions of women for perceived transgression of moral codes.
SianNo Place to Turn: Violence against women in the Iraq conflict