The Kurds are the largest stateless people group on the earth, with population across Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. In Northern Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has established a self-governing territory within Iraq proper. Surrounded by mountains and hostility, it is a tumultuous haven where many have fled to for refuge from war and persecution. The Kurdish Division of FAI Relief serves various communities with critical casualty care, frontline critical care, community initiatives, clinic assistance, and aid distribution.
THE CAMPAIGN TO LIBERATE MOSUL
IN SEPTEMBER 2016, FAI Relief began working in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan to provide humanitarian aid and crisis response as tens of thousands fled Mosul to rebuild their lives after liberation from ISIS sovereignty.
OCTOBER 2016 // THE ADVANCED CASUALTY COLLECTION POINT
When the campaign to liberate Mosul kicked off, FAI Relief shadowed the Kurdish Peshmerga and immediately established an advanced casualty collection point on the front line of the offensive. The Peshmerga have faithfully held the line against ISIS since their borders were breached in June 2014, and have suffered tremendous casualties as a result of insufficient medical care. We ran ambulances and provided critical care during the heaviest and bloodiest days of fighting. Thankfully, we were able to preserve lives in the midst of so much carnage, death, and brutality.
NOVEMBER 2016 // ESTABLISHING A CIVILIAN CLINIC IN BASHIQA
Some weeks later, we took over a house ISIS had used as a base of operations in Bashiqa, just outside east Mosul, and scrubbed the tiles free of blood. Within days, it was a functioning clinic and became our own base of operations to organize aid distributions to the crowds fleeing Mosul by foot every day. Our work and presence enabled us to rapidly respond to immediate needs, like when several families got stranded without food or water during a cold winter night.
From our Bashiqa clinic, we were able to meet families as they crossed the border into Iraqi Kurdistan.
It was like watching a modern-day version of Ellis Island in real time. Every man, woman, and child was starting over the moment they crossed the berm. We provided family medical care, distributed food, aid, and brought hot tea to those who had to spend the night across the berm before they could be screened by Kurdish security.
Many of you will remember when thousands of Yazidis were trapped on Sinjar Mountain when ISIS ran their blitzkrieg campaign in August 2014. We are deeply committed to the longterm vitality of this community as it rebuilds itself and finds a new "normal." FAI Relief assists and augments clinical care, a women's hospital, distributes aid, and serves emerging community initiatives as they get off the ground.
COMBAT MEDICAL TRAINING
We moved to Kurdistan to meet incredible medical and humanitarian needs, because we cherish life and want to nurture it, and quickly realized our neighbors were dying at war against ISIS simply because they lacked basic casualty care and medical training. We began working with the Peshmerga during the Mosul offensive, and launched a Combat Medic Training Course (CMTC) afterwards to equip them to keep themselves and their comrades alive in future firefights.
If you have a burden for lowering casualty rates among the Peshmerga, consider adopting a soldier per class term.