Iraq: iMMAP Humanitarian Access Response - Explosive Hazard Incidents Situation Report (July 2019 - July 2020)

Situation Report
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During the first seven months of 2020, 2750 explosive hazard incidents have been recorded across different governorates such as Al-Anbar, Baghdad, Diyala, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din. The majority of incidents took place in Diyala, followed by Ninewa, Baghdad, Anbar, Salah Al-Din, Kirkuk, Erbil governorate, respectively. At the beginning of 2020, the U.S Air Force targeted and killed Major General Qasem Soleimani and Deputy Head of the Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad, which led to constant bombardments of the U.S Embassy and Airbases by the Iranian Forces.

Unknown armed groups were responsible for the majority of the recorded explosions as opposed to ISIS, which, according to the recorded incidents, was the least damage-inflicting actor. However, ISIS was responsible for the majority of armed clash incidents in Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, and Anbar, followed by Iraqi Security Forces and militia armed groups. As the anti-terrorism forces work to abolish the remnants of insurgents bands throughout Iraq and attain a stable security situation, in the middle of April, the Iraqi Security Forces, with the help of coalition forces, were able to kill 23 insurgents in the Kirkuk governorate. Moreover, at the end of June, they were able to kill 12 ISIS insurgents hiding in the caves of Qara Gogh mountains.

Consequently, from the end of April till the end of May, the activity of the ISIS group was increased, especially in the Diyala governorate, as they took advantage of the quarantine time during this COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Iraqi authorities discovered a mass grave containing the remains of 600 corpses in the Al-Kesk area of Mosul, Ninewa governorate.

This situation report entails very crucial and exhaustive data on explosive hazard incidents and week to week data coverage necessary for the humanitarian actors to prioritize their prompt humanitarian response to the affected areas and communities.