Fire at northern Iraq displacement camp destroys 17 caravans

Fire at northern Iraq displacement camp destroys 17 caravans
More than a dozen families have been made homeless after another blaze ripped through a displacement camp in Iraq's northenmost province.
2 min read
28 July, 2023
Many Iraqis have been unable to return to their areas years after IS destroyed their homes [Getty/archive]

A fire ripped through a camp for internally displaced people in northern Iraq on Friday, destroying more than a dozen caravans, local sources said.

"The fire resulted in the burning of 17 caravans completely, without causing any loss of life," director of migration and displacement in the Duhok governorate, Bir Dian Bir Jafar, told local Kurdish media, adding that the cause of the fire at Dawdia camp was as yet unclear.

"The fire left 17 families homeless. We are looking to secure tents for them as soon as possible," Bir Jafar said.

The camp is home to hundreds of Yazidi families who were displaced after the Islamic State group swept through northern and western Iraq in 2014 and committed genocide against the religious minority.

Two other fires were recorded this month in displacement camps in Iraq’s northern autonomous Kurdish region, destroying several tents and caravans but not without recorded casualties.

But in the past year, fires and explosions have hit camps for displaced people in northern Iraq on several occasions, leading to deaths and injuries.

Human rights activist Youssef al-Wandi held the Iraqi government responsible.

"The conditions of the camps are very miserable, and they are unfit for habitation in light of the difficult humanitarian conditions and the high temperatures," he told The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"In addition to the miserable life, the people live in a state of panic due to the recurring fires, as the caravans and tents in which they live in are made of highly flammable materials," he added.

The Iraqi government has failed to completely resolve the issue of internally displaced people in the war-ravaged country and help them return to their areas, largely destroyed by IS extremists.