Guest Post by Erik Zouave: The Weaponization of the Falluja Dam and the River Euphrates: A Non-State Test for International Environmental Humanitarian Law

Armed Groups and International Law

Erik Tristan Zouave (LLM, University of York) is a trainee at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) Iraq Unit and a former research-assistant at the Swedish National Defense College’s International Law Center. He recently contributed to the book Regional Organizations and Peacekeeping: Challengers to the UN?  (available here). Erik thanks Hayder Al-Shakeri (National Program Officer to Sida in Bagdad) for his help with media surveillance.


On the 9th of April 2014 and throughout the days leading up to the national elections of the 30th of April, the Iraq Army deployed troops, in a series of battles, to secure a dam from insurgent control near Falluja. The armed group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had taken positions and fortified the area of Nuaimiyya, surrounding the dam, since February 2014. The ISIL’s control of the dam, controlling the water flow of the…

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