In Mosul, civilians are arising from ruins
On July 9th, 2017, the Iraqi state took back the city of Mosul, which was under the control of the Islamic state, changing by this way, the face of the war after five months of chaos. A victory achieved thanks to the mobilization of the Iraqi, Kurdish peshmergas soldiers and catholic militias, without forgetting the air strikes, artillery fires and special forces of the international coalition. A victory that comes with a heavy cost. Thousands of victims lay under the rubble, districts of the west of Mosul have been laminated, the old city ruined, its houses collapsed and its streets full of rubble.
Lâm Duc Hiên was in the district of Siraj Khana. On spot, civilians subsist in the middle of the ruins and try to pass on Iraqi army side under the bomb shots. The army continues to control and proceed on arrests All the suspects have to prove a white handed: their hands should not have any smell of powder at the risk of proving an affiliation to the Islamic state.
The escape of civilians from Daesh
On October 4th, 2017, the city of Hawija, one of the last sanctuaries of the Islamic state in Northern Iraq, was taken back from the terrorists’ hands after have been the theater of an assault from Iraqi government forces, helped by American commandos, Shiites and Peshmergas Kurds’ fighters. The fight only lasted two weeks.
Hawija victory now places Iraqi soldiers at the edge of Kirkuk, one of the areas disputed between the Kurdistan autonomous region and the power of Bagdad. Under the threat of renewed fighting and fear of persecution by the Shiite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi, the Sunni inhabitants of the region are fleeing towards the Kurd autonomous region, sometimes walking for days under the heat of desert to find rescue in the refugee camps. But while some of them are suspected of having been affiliated with the EI, they all have to face the controls and the mistrust of Peshmergas. Lâm Duc Hiên went to follow the escape of civilians.
Refugees of Qayyarah’s camps
After the Iraqi forces took back the control of Mosul, the city of Qayyarah, 70 kilometers south of the former Islamic State stronghold, became the epicenter of the refugees. Iraqi’s intern displaced, young child, widows and wives of EI’s combatants, there are thousands of hundreds of refugees mingle in the middle of poor settlements of the six camps set up in the area.
From the camp of Jeddah to the one of Hammam Al-Alil, Lâm Duc Hiên went on the spot in November alongside members of the Norwegian Council Refugees (NRC), which intervene to help and register refugees. Some of them are worried about their future, without news of their relatives, and sometimes, without any proof of their identity.