Anbar governorate profile, August 2015
Situated in western Iraq and with a total population of 1,485,985 (excluding Syrian refugees and IDPs), Anbar is the largest governorate in the country. Over the past decade, it has experienced repeated waves of displacement, including IDPs fleeing the aftermath of the February 2006 bombing of Al-Askari Shia mosque in Samarra city and the two outbreaks of violence in Ramadi district over the past two years.
The spread of violence in December 2013, followed by the April 2015 crisis, forced over 1,280,000 Anbar residents to move, mostly within the governorate, particularly to Falluja and Ramadi districts, the sites of the fiercest battles between armed groups and Iraqi Security Forces, or to neighbouring Baghdad. Additionally, as of August, Anbar held over 584,000 IDP individuals.
In result of USA-led Operation Inherent Resolve, launched after the Sinjar offensive, areas in Falluja, Ramadi and Haditha districts are being targeted by numerous coalition airstrikes, forcing more IDPs out of their dwellings.
Reportedly, the areas under armed group control suffer severe food shortages, interruption of basic services, poor living conditions and direct threats. Many houses have been damaged during the continuing clashes. As a result, IOM staff reported that the number of families hosted in public buildings has been increasing.