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Last updated: January 2021

[Security situation 2019, 1; Security situation 2020, 1.1., 1.2.3, 1.2.5]

In Iraq, a wide range of different groups and individuals can be considered as actors of persecution or serious harm. Moreover, agents and motivations are not always clear-cut and may change given the changing security context.

The following subsections highlight the main actors of persecution and serious harm in Iraq in a non-exhaustive manner. Their areas of control/activity are outlined below.

The Iraqi Security Forces control most of Iraq, excluding the KRI. In some areas, ISF only holds nominal control, whereas in practice control is exercised by Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), e.g. areas in Salah al-Din.
In certain areas in north/central Iraq PMU are dominant (e.g. areas in Salah al-Din). Southern governorates are considered areas of shared control between ISF and PMU.
KRG upholds the sole responsibility for the protection of the KRI, however, gaps in KRG control have been reported. Peshmerga forces are the KRG armed forces.
ISIL no longer holds territory in Iraq however, ISIL has been seeking to establish itself in places where conventional military operations have been challenging, such as valleys, mountains and deserts across northern and central Iraq. Active ISIL attack cells were still located in Anbar, Ninewa, Erbil, Baghdad Belts, Diyala, Kirkuk and Salah al-Din.