Ongoing conflict in Iraq continues to affect millions of Iraqis. Interventions by the international coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), including military and logistical support to the Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga, have resulted in the retreat of ISIS in many areas of Iraq. But it has also contributed to civilian casualties and unprecedented levels of displacement. Furthermore, the military campaign against ISIS has resulted in irreversible realities on the ground. This report on Sinjar provides an important understanding of new dynamics in areas where ISIS has retreated. In post-ISIS Sinjar, new security and political stakeholders have taken root, and local communities, affected by rounds of violence and frustrated by a lack of state protection, increasingly mobilize by joining non-state armed groups.
This case study of Sinjar also shows that Iraq after ISIS contains potential for new conflict, stimulated by both real and perceived threats to the human security of the different Iraqi communities vis-à-vis each other. This reality demands a pro-active and comprehensive conflict management strategy oriented to Iraq as a whole rather than “ISIS only”, while taking into account root drivers of conflict, such as the Disputed Internal Boundaries. It was precisely this lack of a political and security agreement, inclusive of all Iraqi communities, where ISIS was able to generate support and eventually control many parts of Iraq. Only an inclusive and long-term peacebuilding plan, critically assessing Iraq’s political and security disputes and developed in consultation with all local communities, can break the cycle of violence and contribute to sustainable peace and stability in Iraq.
Please find the complete report attached below.