Salah al Din governorate profile, May 2015
Situated north of Baghdad, with a total population of 1,191,403, Salah al-Din is one of the most rural governorates in Iraq.
Tikrit city, the governorate’s capital was the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq. Additionally, this governorate is the site of the Baiji oil refinery, the biggest refinery in Iraq. Over the past decade, Salah al-Din saw multiple waves of displacement - the biggest occurred in 2006 and was followed by the one we observe currently. The February 2006 bombing of Al-Askari Shia mosque in Samarra city triggered a wave of sectarian conflict, causing the displacement of 1,6 million people
between 2006 and 2008.
The conflict that broke out in December 2013 has displaced 443,580 IDP individuals from Salah al-Din, over 128,000 of whom displaced within the governorate.
The security situation in Salah al-Din remains tense as heavy clashes between Armed Groups (AGs) and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are ongoing and pushing more IDPs to flee from generalized violence, as well as persecution, public executions and laws imposed by AGs in areas under their control. Reportedly, the fiercest battles occur near the Baji refinery,as control over this facility involves great economic advantages. Also troubling is that AG have reportedly been destroying ancient religious sites in Salah al-Din, along with sites in other governorates, leading to a loss of historical heritage in the region.