The security situation of Iraq is in turmoil. The extremist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been constantly committing mass atrocities and attacks against ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq. They operate on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border and do not discriminate which country they will attack.
They are fighting with Iraq Security Forces (ISF) along with targeting minority groups and displacing vulnerable civilian populations. 2014 was the deadliest year in Iraq since 2008, according to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq with a minimum of 12,280 civilians killed. According to the UN high Commissioner for Refugees as of June 2015, there were 3, 962, 142 Internally Displaced People at the time.
In response to terrorist attacks and the rise of ISIL, Shia militias are carrying out retaliation attacks towards Sunni civilians. They are armed and backed by the Iraqi government as well. These response attacks as well as ISIL’s ongoing attacks are both contributing to unstable, crumbling security situation in Iraq and the overall stability of the government. Lives of hundreds of thousands of millions of civilians are at risk of facing more mass atrocities within their country.
The Iraqi government is unable to protect its civilians on its own. It needs the international community’s help. Many countries have decided to help Iraq and condemn ISIL. United States has deployed troops to Iraq as well as nine EU members have committed to providing military assistance.
The international community needs to continue to provide military assistance in supporting the Iraqi government in combatting ISIL. The Iraqi government, however, also needs to protect their civilians and ensure the ISF follows its obligations under international human rights law.
The Iraq security situation is in dire need of help from the international community. Despite your opinions or ideas of Iraq, innocent civilians are being targeted, persecuted and killed because of their ethnicity and religion.