Middle East

In August 2014, the United States coordinated its airpower with Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi Army ground forces to retake the highly fragile Mosul Dam in Iraq from the Islamic State, thereby respecting the heightened protections afforded to critical infrastructure under IHL and avoiding a potential humanitarian disaster.
During the invasion of the US-led coalition in Iraq in 2003, legal advisers reviewed operational decisions and targeting procedures with the purpose of ensuring compliance with IHL.
Soldiers and commanders of different Kurdish armed groups received training on IHL from different actors. Subsequently, Kurdish authorities issued a new Decree and amended the existing normative framework in order to enforce the compliance with IHL and the protection of civilians.
Following the signature of three Deeds of Commitment, members of organized armed groups, law-enforcement actors and representatives of the civil society attended a series of training sessions and dissemination programs on the enforcement of the obligations contained in these documents and more generally international humanitarian norms.
In 2014, immediately after the commencement of liberating ISIS controlled areas, a Presidential Decree was issued in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which instructed Peshmerga armed forces to comply with IHL. This was followed by consultations between IHL experts and the commanders, capacity building activities for 40 individuals to conduct IHL trainings within the armed forces, as well as the distribution of manuals on IHL for Peshmerga armed forces. In 2018, Peshmerga forces adopted their first code of conduct.
In 2008 the governments of Iraq and Iran signed with the ICRC a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a clear framework for collecting and sharing information about missing persons and the returning of mortal remains. Accordingly, a series of measures aimed at improving searches, protect mass graves and establish a proper treatment of the dead in the armed conflict were launched.
An agreement facilitated by the humanitarian organisation “Community of Sant’Egidio” and concluded in Rome on 18 June 2016 by leaders of different ethnic and political groups from the southern part of the country led to the distribution of medicines and other humanitarian aid in the Fezzan area, South Libya.