Skip to main content

2.8. Members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), Peshmerga and local police

Last updated: June 2019

This profile refers to members and former members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), the Peshmerga and local police.

COI summary

[Targeting, 2.1, 2.3.1, 2.3.2; Security situation 2019,]

When ISIL took control over large parts of Iraq in 2014, it immediately started targeting a broad array of opponents to their rule, including members of security personnel, who risked being assassinated or abducted by ISIL.

Members of the ISF, the PMU, the Peshmerga and the Iraqi police continue to be primary targets for ISIL and to be targeted by the organisation. During 2018, ISIL continued to carry out asymmetric attacks against Iraqi security forces in northern and north-central Iraq (Ninewa, Salah al-Din and Kirkuk) and in the central region (Diyala, Anbar and Baghdad). For additional information, see The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Instances of targeting of former members of the aforementioned forces were also reported.

Risk analysis

The acts to which individuals under this profile could be exposed are of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution (e.g. killing and abduction).

Members of the ISF, PMU, Peshmerga and local police continue to be primary targets for ISIL. However, since ISIL’s operational capabilities have diminished significantly, the threat posed by ISIL to individuals under this profile has decreased compared to previous years.

Accordingly, not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. The individual assessment of whether or not there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-impacting circumstances, such as: area of work and origin (proximity to areas where ISIL continues to operate), visibility of the applicant, position within the organisation, period since leaving the forces, personal enmities, etc.

Nexus to a reason for persecution

Available information indicates that the persecution of this profile is for reasons of (imputed) political opinion.

Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile (see the chapter on Exclusion).