Peshmerga Units Clear Explosives Laid by ISIS

22 more in collection Peshmerga Units Clear Explosives Laid by ISIS , 11 more in collection ISIS IEDs remain deadly threat to Kurds despite Peshmerga advances

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The amount of IEDs left by the Islamic State is staggering. 'Not normal', says the mayor of Makhmour. According to Kurdish government and Peshmerga officials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines planted by Islamic State militants are the biggest cause of casualties for Peshmerga forces. ISIS has adopted the tactic of heavily seeding all of the territory it withdraws from with the deadly devices, with the intent of slowing down Peshmerga advances. Some IEDs are also intentionally left in fields and homes to target civilians according to Kurdish officials. We go to the frontlines with a Peshmerga engineer team specialized in dismantling the devices, and speak to a farmer who is affected by Islamic State IEDs. The mayor of the city of Makhmour, whose community is still dealing with getting rid of massive amounts of IEDs ISIS left in August, also weighs in on the subject.


  1. 0’00’’ - 0’02’’ WS, 4 Peshmerga of Mine Disposal Unit stand on dirt road.
  2. 0’03’’ – 0’09’’ MS, masked member of Mine Disposal Unit looks into camera, tilt down to bottle of TNT in hand.
  3. 0’10’’ – 0’15’’ MS, member of Mine Disposal Unit with wires in hand, tilt up to his face with helmet looking into distance.
  4. 0’16’’ – 0’22’’ CU, bottle of TNT is being taped and prepared.
  5. 0’23’’ – 0’30’’ CU, bottles of TNT in a box, tilt to face of Peshmerga.
  6. 0’30’’ – 0’32’’ MS, member of Mine Disposal Unit bent over a plastic bottle on dirt road.
  7. 0’33’’ – 0’44’’ MS, member of Mine Disposal Unit bent over a plastic bottle on dirt road. Tilt down to plastic bottle.
  8. 0’45’’ – 0’51’’ VWS, MRAP truck accelerating towards camera, big explosion behind it.
  9. 1’52’’ – 1’03’’ MS, Peshmerga bent over car battery, big explosion, Peshmerga shields head from falling debris.
  10. 1’04’’ – 1’17’’ VWS, big explosion with Peshmerga running in front of it.
  11. 1’18’’ – 1’38’’ MS, interview with mayor of Makhmour
  12. 1’39’’ – 2’13’’ CU, interview with mayor.
  13. 2´14’’ – 2’40’’ WS to MS, interview with mayor.
  14. 2’40’’ – 3’11’’ CU, interview with mayor.
  15. 3’12’’ – 3’19’’ WS, mayor shows phone with photos.
  16. 3’20’’ -3’32’’ CU, phone with images of fields and mines, finger swipes it.
  17. 3’32’’ – 3’38’’ MS, mayor talks to security expert.
  18. 3’39’’ – 3’48’’ Cut-in, hands of mayor.
  19. 3’49’’ – 4’14’’ MS, mayor talking.
  20. 4’15’’ – 4’38’’ Cut-in. Hands of mayor whilst talking.
  21. 4’39’’ - 4’45’’ WS, pan over unexploded mines.
  22. 4’45’’ – 4’48’’ CU, unexploded mines.
  23. 4’49’’ – 4’56’’ Wide, pan over mines.
  24. 4’57’’ – 5’00’’ MS, trigger connected to unexploded mine.
  25. 5’00’’ – 5’04’’ CU, unexploded oil barrel with explosives
  26. 5’05’’ – 5’10’’ WS, unexploded mines on road with Peshmerga besides out.
  27. 5’10’’ – 5’15’’ WS, unexploded mines on road.
  28. 5’15’’ – 5’22’’ CU, unexploded mine opened up.
  29. 5’23’’ – 5’36’’ WS, farmer loading pick-up truck with manure.
  30. 5´37´´- 5’42’’ CU, shovel being stuck into manure.
  31. 5’43’’ – 5’47’’ CU, farmer looking into distance.
  32. 5’48’’ – 6’44’’ MS + Two shot, Interview with farmer.
  33. 6’45’’ – 7’13’’ MCU, Interview farmer.
  34. 7’14’’ – 7’22’’ Cut in. Shovel and feet of farmer couple.
  35. 7’22’’ – 7’25’’ Cut in. CU of farmer´s wife.
  36. 7’26’’ – 7’31’’ MS, farmer walking through field.
  37. 7’32’’ – 7’40’’ CU, feet of Peshmerga walking through field.
  38. 7’41’’ – 8’01’’ EWS to CU, unexploded mine in field.
  39. 8’02’’ – 8’04’’ CU, shrapnel stuck in the field.
  40. 8’05’’ – 8’08’’ EWS of road with mine crater in foreground.
  41. 8’09’’ – 8’15’’ CU to EWS of crater with shrapnel.
  42. 8’15’’ – 8’17’’ VWS of field with destroyed car in it.
  43. 8’18’’ – 8’24’’ CU, broken glass in window reflecting trees and field with curtain blowing in the wind.
  44. 8’25’’ – 8’36’’ MS. Book on floor of destroyed school with pages turning in the wind.
  45. 8’37’’ – 8’45’’ CU, school book with types of mines depicted on page.
  46. 8’46’’ – 9’00’’ WS, destroyed Kurdish flag on school, tilt down to destroyed school. Sign reads: Haji Hussain School.
  47. 9’01’’ – 9’17’’ Truck left, destroyed school with IS graffiti. Graffiti reads: Our Numbers Will Remain, We Will Return.


  1. soundbite (English)
    Ibrahim Sheikhallah Ibrahim, Mayor of Makhmour : 1’19’’ 1’38’’ Everyday we take back a new place, a new village, a new area, and they will check the area and try to clean the fields and the houses and the buildings that may have some bombs planted on there. 1’39’’ – 1’56’’ So now they are dealing with a different kind of bomb, the terrorists are using fertilizer now, the fertilizer that used to be distributed to farmers. 1’57’’ – 2’12’’ Now they are putting the mines in the houses, in the fields and the roads and maybe even off the roads, in fields where you would not expect to be mines. Now it´s different. 2’13’’ - 2’40’’ Before, they used to find two or three bombs in a field, but now there are fields that have 200 mines, 200 bombs in it, and they have roads that the terrorists put more than 200 (mines), it´s not normal. 2’41’’ – 2’53’’ I think it´s not important to them, they put them everywhere to injure militants or civilians. It does not make a difference to them. 2’54’’ 3’12’’ I think it´s one of the main goals of the terrorists to bring the war to the west. If they allow them all to go back to France and Germany and different countries you can only imagine what would happen. 3’15’’ -3’19’’ This is uh, some of… 3’48’’ – 4’15’’ I think it´s one of the main goals of the terrorists to bring the war to the west. If they allow, they will go back to France and Germany and wherever they come from in (order) to attack the western countries and…´ 4’15’’ – 4’38’’ (b-roll of 2’13’’ – 2’40’’, hands talking )to find two or three bombs in a field, but now there are fields that have 200 mines, 200 bombs in it, and they have roads that the terrorists put more than 200 (mines), it´s not normal.
  2. soundbite (Kurdish )
    Muhamed Husein, Farmer: 5’49’’ – 5’55’’ It´s less than 1 kilometre away. Peshmergas are here. Did you see the trench? IS is moving in and out, in and out. 5’56’’ - 6’10’’ Our lives right now are bad. They (IS and Peshmerga) are moving back and forward. After IS arrived here they took Makhmour and step by step they got pushed back. 14 days ago Peshmerga took Dugertkan village and no one returned yet. 6’11’’ - 6’24’’ This is my village. There are no mines here. But down from the village there are mines, like in Dugertkan, Jadida, Gobeyba and down there. But my village is close and when they took Makhmour the Peshmergas were here. 6’26’’ - 6’45’’ We don´t know when this war will finish. We planted seeds, our livelihood is farming, we plant so we can harvest, but we don´t know when this war will stop. One month, two months or one year, we don´t know. IS might shoot mortars or burn our wheat, we don´t know. 6’46’’ - 7’07’’ Yes, My brother in the village. We had a normal life without any problems. My brother left 13 bags of powdered fertilizer. When we ran away they (IS) took three bags. 7’08’’ They never touched it (my fertilizer), maybe they never saw it. I had twenty bags of fertilizer.
  3. soundbite (Kurdish)
    Anonymous, Peshmerga IED Disposal Unit : 17’’-20’’ Bring the German fuse, it´s better than this one.