Babylon governorate profile, August 2015
Babylon, the cradle of the ancient Babylonian civilization, is today a city bordering Baghdad in central Iraq; it has a population of 1,651,565 individuals, excluding IDPs.
Babylon has seen several waves of displacement over the last decade. The February 2006 bombing of the Al-Askari Shia mosque in Samarra city triggered a wave of sectarian conflict that displaced 65,000 persons to Babylon, the majority of whom from neighboring Baghdad.
Since 2013, the governorate has received a constant flow of IDPs driven away from their homes due to the armed groups’ (AG) insurgency: 58,000 IDPs have arrived to Babylon in the last years, increasing the total IDP population to 123.000. In addition, after the AGs attacked the northern parts of the governorate and seized control of Jurf Al-Sakhar and parts of Al-Musayab district, more than 34,000 persons from the host community had to leave Babylon. Between May and September, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) carried out military operations to reclaim the territories under AG control in the Al-Askandriya sub-district. The ISF, supported by the International Coalition, did not manage to regain control over these areas, and as a result Babylon did not report any return movement.
The size of the displaced population remained constant between June and September because local authorities denied new IDPs access to the governorate as of 6 May.
IDPs have faced many challenges, as deteriorating living conditions have led to the spread of cholera cases across the governorate.