Following decades of civil war and political instability, Iraq’s health care establishment faces attacks from state and non-state actors. In some areas, more than 45% of health professionals have fled since 2014.

In Fallujah, the State Hospital was targeted by government missiles and artillery on at least 16 separate occasions in 2014. Furthermore, the Islamic State took control of the second floor of the hospital to exclusively treat their fighters, denying access to health care for injured civilians.

On 7 December, the US-led coalition targeted the Al Salem hospital complex in Mosul, Iraq. According to the statement, Islamic State fighters were using the facility to fire heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the Iraqi Security Forces. The statement makes no mention of whether the coalition issued an effective warning prior to targeting the hospital.

On 2 January 2017, a car bomb, claimed by ISIS, exploded in the eastern district of Sadr City, killing at least 39 people and wounding 61 others. The bombing was followed by another car bomb set off in the parking lot of the nearby al-Kindi Teaching hospital. Three civilians died in the second attack.