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The Burning Oil Fields Of Mosul

A village rescued from ISIS faces a new struggle, Oxfam says.

22/12/2016 11:33 AM AEDT | Updated 28/12/2016 11:47 AM AEDT
Joey L/ Oxfam
Zaer Ibrahim*, 8 plays by the burning oil fields in Qayyarah. *Name changed to protect identity

Aid Group Oxfam has been helping Mosul residents fleeing fighting in the ISIS held Iraqi city.

Oxfam is carrying out assessment in Imam Gharbi and other villages nearby that were recently re-taken by the Iraq Army and has distributed emergency supplies including blankets and hygiene items to families from the area that are still displaced.

They are also working distributing blankets and other aid to all 2,080 families (10,800 people) in Hassansham camp, around 50km east of Mosul.

The photos, taken in late November and early December, show the daily struggles of the people living near the once vibrant city of Mosul, which was taken by ISIS in 2014.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces are fighting to win it back.

Ahmad Mohammed / Oxfam
Oxfam staff organise the distribution of supplies to IDPs in Hassansham Camp, about 50km East of Mosul

Oxfam/Sam Tarling
Children watch military vehicles pass by in the village of Imam Gharbi, some 70km south of Mosul, Iraq, on October 13, 2016. Islamic State had been in control of the village since 2014. The army re-took the village in August. A Military operations along the Mosul Corridor have already displaced almost 150,000 people since March 2016. In recent days, fighting in Hawija has forced families to flee to several areas including Dibaga camp where Oxfam is providing clean water. Fighting will intensify soon as the Iraqi government suggested there will be a strong push towards the city of Mosul from the middle of October.

Oxfam/Sam Tarling
Children watch military vehicles pass by in the village of Imam Gharbi, some 70km south of Mosul, Iraq, on October 13, 2016.

Sam Tarling.Oxfam
Mokhtar (village head) Nisr Amr, 35, sits with his son in the ruins of his father's house in the village of Imam Gharbi, some 70km south of Mosul, Iraq, on October 13, 2016. The house was destroyed by Islamic State, when they took control of the village in 2014. Fighters came to arrest his father, who was a police officer. He resisted, killing four of them, but was eventually killed. His house was destroyed in retribution. The army re-took the village in August.

Sam Tarling/Oxfam
A dust storm engulfs a camp for displaced people in the village of Tinah some 70km south of Mosul, Iraq, on October 14, 2016.

Sam Tarling/Oxfam
*Jasm, 2, plays on a trike in a camp for displaced people in the village of Tinah some 70km south of Mosul, Iraq, on October 14, 2016. Jasm's family lived a few kilometres away in the village of Imam Gharbi, which had been controlled by ISIS since 2014. After the army re-took the village in August and Jasm's family fled the fighting, during which their house was destroyed by shelling.

Oxfam
In August 2016 as ISIS were retreating from Qayyarah town (80km from Mosul) they rigged 15 oil well heads with explosives and set them off by shooting at them from nearby buildings. Families watched as the wells exploded sending gallons of oil into the air, landing in their homes. Locals estimate that up to sixty homes were completely burned and many more are inhabitable due to the oil now bubbling in and around them.

Oxfam
Families watched as the wells exploded sending gallons of oil into the air, landing in their homes. Locals estimate that up to sixty homes were completely burned and many more are inhabitable due to the oil now bubbling in and around them. The burning oil fields near Qayyarah town, and subsequent air pollution, is everyone's number one concern when talking to communities throughout Qayyarah sub district. From as far as Al Tinah (30km away) to very close by in Qayyarah town everyone complains of health issues due to the air pollution. On some days in Qayyarah the air is so thick with black smoke that it completely blocks out the sun.

Joey L/ Oxfam
In August 2016 as ISIS were retreating from Qayyarah town (60km from Mosul) they rigged 15 oil well heads with explosives and set them off by shooting at them from nearby buildings. Families watched as the wells exploded sending gallons of oil into the air, landing in their homes. Locals estimate that up to sixty homes were completely burned and many more are inhabitable due to the oil now bubbling in and around them.

Joey L/ Oxfam
From as far as Al Tinah (30km away) to very close by in Qayyarah town everyone complains of health issues due to the air pollution.

Joey L/Oxfam
The burning oil fields near Qayyarah town, and subsequent air pollution, is everyone's number one concern when talking to communities throughout Qayyarah sub district.

Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos
Ibrahim Mohammed with wife Soma Selwan stand on the roof of their home with their children Luma 11, Aws 6, and Mutasm 5. They live next to a burning oil well in Qayarrah. Soma says she is always cleaning and it just keeps coming.

Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos
Convoys of vehicles packed with famillies fleeing the fighting in eastern Mosul arrive at Hasan Sham Camp. Over 2000 people have arrived at the camp in the last 24 hours. Oxfam is providing water and basic necessities here.

Tegid Cartwright/Oxfam
Children wash their faces in Hassansham camp around 50km east of Mosul. Hundreds of families have been arriving every day after fleeing the fighting in Mosul and surrounding areas. Oxfam has installed tanks for clean water in the camp and is maintaining toilets.

Tegid Cartwright/ Oxfam
When ISIS (Daesh) set fire to the oil well by his home it caused catastrophic damage. Salid and his family have moved back home but his house is saturated with thick black soot and oil.

Sam Tarling/Oxfam
*Mariam, 8, and her brother *Mahmoud, 2 keep warm thanks to a blanket provided by Oxfam, at a camp for people who've fled their homes because of fighting against Islamic State in northern Iraq, near the town of Hassan Sham, Kurdistan, Iraq, on December 1, 2016. Her family's town was captured by Islamic State in 2014, who then forced them to live in Mosul, where Mariam's grandmother said she'd seen IS stoning women in public executions. The family had been visiting relatives when the neighbourhood they were in was taken by Iraqi Security Forces. Now the five of them share a tent in this camp.

Sam Tarling/Oxfam
Residents of Hassan Sham camp for people displaced by the war with ISIS play football on a rocky pitch next to on the camp's main thoroughfare, near the town of Khazer, Iraq.

Sam Tarling
Hajja Muhammad Majid, 65,walks home after collecting a blanket and a pack containing nappies, sanitary towels, a solar powered lamp, women's underwearand a mosquito net, which Oxfam is distributing to 400 families in West Owsija, a small village near Qayyarah that was occupied by ISIS from August 2014 to September 2016. Many families who were cleared out when Iraqi forces retook the town three months ago have returned, but there is little infrastructure to support them and conditions are tough, especially in the cold of northern Iraq's brief but bracing winter months. Thick smoke from burning oil wells that set on fire by ISIS in Qayyarah have plagued the village for the last four months and many residents complained of health problems caused by the constant pollution.

Sam Tarling/Oxfam
*Rasha, 7, holds a blanket given to her family by Oxfam as part of a distribution of blankets, nappies, sanitary towels, a solar powered lamp, women's underwear and mosquito nets to 400 families in West Owsija, a small village near Qayyarah that was occupied by ISIS from August 2014 to September 2016. Many families who were cleared out when Iraqi forces retook the town three months ago have returned, but there is little infrastructure to support them and conditions are tough, especially in the cold of northern Iraq's brief but bracing winter months. Thick smoke from burning oil wells that set on fire by ISIS in Qayyarah have plagued the village for the last four months and many residents complained of health problems caused by the constant pollution.

Sam Tarling
Men warm themselves by burning a tyre outside a house where Oxfam are distributing blankets and packs containing nappies, sanitary towels, a solar powered lamp, women's underwear and mosquito nets to 400 families in West Owsija, a small village near Qayyarah that was occupied by ISIS from August 2014 to September 2016. Many families who were cleared out when Iraqi forces retook the town three months ago have returned, but there is little infrastructure to support them and conditions are tough, especially in the cold of northern Iraq's brief but bracing winter months. Thick smoke from burning oil wells that set on fire by ISIS in Qayyarah have plagued the village for the last four months and many residents complained of health problems caused by the constant pollution.





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