The current crisis in Iraq began in June 2014, when militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) seized control of over one third of Iraq’s territory within a few weeks. Iraqi Security Forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga and various armed groups engaged in the fight against ISIS, and finally recaptured Ramadi in February 2016, Hīt in April 2016, Fallujah in June 2016, Mosul in July 2017, Tal Afar in August 2017 and Hawija in October 2017. The Government of Iraq announced the defeat of ISIS and regained full territorial control on 9 December.
With the major military operations coming to end, many people are now able to return to their homes, and previously experienced large-scale displacements are likely to be over by 2018. However, smaller scale movements are still expected resulting from the tension between the government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government, triggered by the referendum on Kurdish independence on 25 September 2017.
According to UN estimations, 8.7 million people will require some form of humanitarian assistance in 2018. In December 2017, the number of displaced persons is 2.8 million; the number of returnees is above 2.8 million. The humanitarian crisis in Iraq remains one of the largest and most volatile in the world, with a complex reality and rapidly changing vulnerabilities and serious economic problems.
However, with the defeat of ISIS there is now a high chance of a protracted crisis with decreasing attention, while there is still great need for help in order to break the cycle that lead to the current events.