OCHA Flash Update Iraq Crisis - Amirli, Salah al-Din, No. 1 (17 August 2014)
Please see latest information on the humanitarian situation in Amirli, Salah al-Din.
- The sub-district of Amirli, in Tooz district of Salah al-Din Governorate, has been completely inaccessible by road since the beginning of July, surrounded by ISIS forces occupying a radius 25 km deep. Amirli is situated 175 km north of Baghdad and 200 km south of Erbil.
- Over the last four weeks it has been reported that while Amirli has been attacked several times by ISIS, armed local forces inside have managed to withstand these attacks. The support of the Iraqi Air Force has been a critical factor in the defense of the sub-district.
- An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people reportedly remain inside Amirli, primarily Turkoman Shiites. Although some have been airlifted out by the Iraqi Air Force, people inside Amirli are unable to leave on their own. In the beginning of August there was an attempt by Amirli leaders to move children, women and the elderly to Suleymaniyah, following negotiations with ISIS. However, shortly after these negotiations ISIS attacked the area and some 30 people were reportedly killed while attempting to leave.
- The humanitarian situation in Amirli is said to be deteriorating quickly. Sources inside the area have reported severe food shortages, and the lack of fuel and power has impacted the availability of water. Medical facilities are lacking basic items and there is no access to a hospital. Two women have reportedly died in childbirth, as they couldn’t be transported to a hospital.
- The Iraqi Minister of Transport sent a letter to the SRSG on 14 August requesting the assistance of the UN to lift the siege on Amirli and provide humanitarian relief to the area.
- The Iraqi Air Force has been providing limited humanitarian assistance to Amirli through airdrops. However, the last food items received through these government airdrops were reportedly nearly one month ago (flour, pulses, oil and milk for children). Deliveries also included limited medical supplies for a health center run by a medical assistant. It is understood that further government airdrops are planned.
- The UN has been seeking a way to get food to Amirli for several weeks. Due to the presence of ISIS, the UN does not have road access to the area either to conduct a full assessment of the situation first hand or to deliver humanitarian supplies. Delivery of humanitarian assistance under current circumstances can only be conducted through an Iraqi or international military air operation.
- The information in this note was compiled by OCHA Iraq based on a variety of sources, including the Government of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, UN Agencies, International Non-Government Organizations, and media reports.
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