CISR

In Iraq, the Bitter Legacy of War Still Lies Hidden Underground


 

This headline is brought to you by the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) which works to support resilience and recovery in global communities affected by war and conflict.


(Foreign Policy)

BAIJI, Iraq—Like the neck of a giraffe, a minesweeping vehicle extends a serrated bucket forward and dips its teeth into the blighted earth. It drags the dry soil backward, sifting, before harvesting a jerrycan and gently placing it on the edge of a field.

This is no harmless piece of trash; the container holds 20 liters (or around 5 gallons) of explosives—enough firepower to kill multiple people and wreck an armored vehicle. Nor is it a rarity. All around, a vast field is filled with dozens of fluttering ribbons attached to small yellow posts, each one placed where another bomb once lay.

In total, a staggering 700 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been pulled out of this arid field by the Halo Trust, a humanitarian organization that clears land mines and other explosive debris. Those weapons are just a fraction of the tens if not hundreds of thousands of IEDs laid across Iraq by the Islamic State during its reign of terror.

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Published: Monday, February 14, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, February 14, 2022

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