Stories

Iraq's marshes are disappearing again

Basrah, Iraq Current Affairs March 29 @ 4:30am

The restoration of Iraq's marshlands, which were almost entirely razed by Saddam in the 80s and 90s as he extinguished a rebel movement there, was one of the few unarguable bright spots in post-Saddam Iraq. But the marshes are shrinking again as the Iraqi government is diverted by the fight against the Islamic State and Iran and Turkey go online with upstream dam projects. We travel to southern Iraq to speak with the fisher families and cattle herders who largely populate this area.

The re-displacement of people from the marshes also helps fuel cycles of violence -- many of the young men who have abandoned their traditional lives there have been subsequently drafted into the militias forces fighting the Islamic State on behalf of the Iraqi government.
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