In June 2014 Islamist fighters, spearheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), took control of Mosul. Iraqi security forces fled to the south and west and authorities declared a nationwide state of emergency; placing all security forces on maximum alert.

Due to this insurgence a client was understandably concerned for their employees’ safety and requested assistance from Drum Cussac to evacuate 34 multinational oil workers in and around Erbil, working in 10 different locations at various rig installations.

The Threat

It was assessed by Drum Cussac intelligence that the threat would eventually migrate to Kurdistan, but not within a matter of days. Based on the available threat analysis, Drum Cussac advised an immediate evacuation was not necessary but that contingency planning and an evacuation ‘trigger’ process should be put in place.

The following triggers for evacuation were advised and then monitored:

  • a significant attack on Kirkuk (approximately 70 insurgents)

and/or

  • any significant attack in Kurdistan or the border region

In-Country

The oil workers were able to continue business as usual for a further nine weeks before Kirkuk was attacked and a trigger reached. This timeline saved our client a considerable amount of money and helped them to wind-down operations ahead of departure.

On the trigger occurring, Drum Cussac coordinated a staff move from the 10 locations in secure vehicles, with permits obtained for landing / take-off out of Erbil.

Successful Evacuation

Drum Cussac was able to successfully evacuate the original 34 staff from Erbil.

With the client’s approval we were also able to evacuate an additional 31 staff from four other companies who had found themselves unable to get out by other means.