Sulaymaniyah governorate profile, August 2015
Situated in north-eastern Iraq and bordering Iran, Sulaymaniah governorate has a total population of 1,893,617 (excluding Syrian refugees and IDPs). Together with Erbil and Dahuk, it comprises the area administrated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Since the onset of violence in December 2013, Sulaymaniah received further IDPs in the aftermath of three security incidents: the January Anbar Crisis, the June Mosul Crisis and the August Sinjar offensive. Currently, the governorate is a safe haven for over 163,000 IDPs.
Sulaymaniyah has relatively stable security, this being the main attraction for those who moved there; however, the growing population has strained the local economy, services and infrastructure. As a result, basic services are impaired and the economic capacity of KRG stretched to its limit. This in turn led in August to host community demonstrations in Darabandikhan.
Additionally, IOM staff reported that disagreement between KRG and the central Iraqi Government concerning the central budget allocation impeded trade, business projects and increased unemployment.
Exacerbated tensions between Turkey and PKK led to the July and August Turkish airstrikes that targeted PKK posts in Pshdar district. Reportedly, there were no casualties.