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Case 2 “On Civilian Harm”: Oil fires

In 2016, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) set oil wells on fire near the town of Qayyarah, Iraq. Spilled oil polluted the water and the ground; black smoke filled the sky for months. Thousands of local people and over 35,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in nearby camps lived in the soot and smoke. Daily life in those conditions was difficult. Attacking oil installations was frequently reported as a war tactic during the conflict in Iraq.

In ‘On Civilian Harm,’ we explore the ways in which civilians are negatively affected by violent conflict, offer tools and language to discuss the phenomenon, make practical recommendations for civilian harm mitigation and raise questions for further debate. The book contains in-depth analysises of 13 particular events in which harm to civilians occurred as a consequence of use of armed violence. Taken together, they contribute to an increased understanding of the variety and complexity of civilian harm at a conceptual level, bringing out common traits and patterns on civilian harm in violent conflict.

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Date of publication:

Jun 10, 2021


Wilbert van der Zeijden (PAX)


PAX Protection of Civilians

More about the book 'On Civilian Harm'
Case 2 “On Civilian Harm”: Oil fires

Jun 10, 2021, Wilbert van der Zeijden (PAX)

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