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Last updated: January 2021

Basrah has internal borders with Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Missan governorates. Basrah has international borders with Iran to the east and Kuwait to the south. The capital of the governorate is Basrah City. The governorate is divided into seven districts: Abu Al-Khaseeb, Al-Midaina, Al-Qurna, Al-Zubair, Basrah, Fao, and Shatt Al-Arab. The governorate has an estimated population of 2 985 073, with the majority being Shia Arabs.

Basrah governorate is under the control of Basrah Operations Command, however, they have not been able to assert command over the governorate due to lack of manpower. Presence of PMU was also confirmed. In 2019 and 2020, mass protests erupted in Iraq’s southern governorates, during which excessive use of force by ISF and PMU was reported, leading to casualties. Security incidents in Iraq’s southern governorates resulted mainly from (intra-)tribal disputes and/or criminal activity, including trafficking and drug smuggling. Local sources suggest that intra-Shia violence predominantly affects those who are actively involved in a militia or tribal group. However, one source indicated that the worst violence was normally due to tribal feuding, which could turn to armed street battles with civilian injuries and fatalities. It is not easy for the ISF to intervene in clan disputes. Eruption of explosive devices was also reported.

ACLED reported a total of 156 security incidents (average of 1.9 security incidents per week) in Basrah governorate in the reference period, the majority of which coded as riots. Battles, explosions/remote violence and violence against civilians were also reported in this period. Security incidents occurred in all districts of the governorate, with the largest overall number being recorded in the district of Basrah. UNAMI recorded 19 armed conflict related incidents, 17 taking place in 2019, and 2 from 1st January until 31st July 2020 (average of 0.2 security incidents per week for the full reference period).

In the reference period, UNAMI recorded a total of 12 civilian casualties (9 deaths and 3 injured) in the aforementioned armed conflict related incidents. More specifically, 9 casualties were reported in 2019 and 3 casualties were reported from 1st January until 31st July 2020. Compared to the official figures for the population in the governorate, this represents less than 1 civilian casualty per 100 000 inhabitants for the full reference period.

As of 15 June 2020, 6 528 IDPs were registered in Basrah, the largest group of whom originated from Salah al-Din. No IDPs originating from Basrah were registered elsewhere in the country. Basrah was not listed among the governorates with a presence of returnees.

In 2019, it was reported that Basrah was among those southern governorates most affected by remnants of cluster munitions dating back to the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion.


Looking at the indicators, it can be concluded that indiscriminate violence is taking place in the governorate of Basrah at such a low level that in general there is no real risk for a civilian to be personally affected by reason of indiscriminate violence within the meaning of Article 15(c) QD. However, individual elements always need to be taken into account as they could put the applicant in risk-enhancing situations.

Main COI reference: Security situation 2020, 4.1