Military operations to retake Hawiga and east Shirqat from under control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began on 21 September. Security forces retook several villages in quick succession, displacing remaining residents. It is not yet clear whether operations will be limited to the east Shirqat area only, or if it will continue into Hawiga district.
Expected humanitarian impact:
The initial humanitarian impact is not expected to be large as villages close to the front lines are very sparsely populated. The number of people fleeing the fighting is likely to remain low until the front lines reach Hawiga. This initial military movement is anticipated to displace approximately 6,000 people.
The estimated number of people fleeing military operations stand at over 350 so far, according to military and humanitarian partners. The majority of people fled into Salah al-Din, but a smaller number have also managed to reach Dibis checkpoint in Kirkuk. According to reports, people arrive at the mustering points under-nourished and in need of urgent assistance, including health care. No civilian casualties have yet been reported. An estimated 85,000 people are in Hawiga and east Shirqat.
Humanitarian response and coordination:
Humanitarian partners mobilized rapid response teams at mustering points in Salah al-Din and Kirkuk in support of the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD). Humanitarian partners provide emergency food, water, hygiene items and health care to people at the mustering points, and MoMD provide food and water. Some 5,920 family-sized plots are available at four nearby camps: enough to provide shelter for up to 35,520 displaced people. After screening, people arriving in Salah al-Din are being taken to Hajj Ali camp where 1,000 plots are immediately available. Those arriving to Kirkuk are transported to Laylan 3 camp.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.