UNITAD: Camp Speicher Video

CW: The following video depicts acts of extreme violence including torture, murder and other atrocities. Viewers may find this content disturbing and extra care should be taken when viewing this material.

A new multimedia video analysis of crimes committed by Da’esh/ISIL at the Tikrit Air Academy / Camp Speicher is used to support accountability efforts at The United Nations.




NR Productions


Tikrit, Iraq



Since 2017, UNITAD (the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL) has focused its efforts on investigating the serious, frequent, and protracted violence committed by ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) against the people of Iraq.

As part of their accountability efforts, UNITAD commissioned SITU Research to create a new video reconstruction of the particular events that unfolded in June 2014: a massacre near the Tikrit Air Academy, a former American base in Tikrit, Iraq, also known as Camp Speicher. Here, some 1700 unarmed cadets and military personnel were killed by ISIL fighters.

Using open source footage, satellite imagery, witness testimony, and forensic evidence of mass graves unearthed by UNITAD’s investigative units and Iraqi officials, our team constructed a comprehensive narrative illustrating the sequence of events that began at the base and ended with the capture and killing of cadets at numerous predetermined locations within the region.

Read the joint press release here.

Following the release of an extensive report and a Member State Security Council briefing led by Special Adviser Christian Ritscher, the video was presented on Friday, June 10, 2022 at a United Nations special event to address “The Pattern of Mass Killing: ISIL Crimes against Tikrit Air Academy Personnel.” Co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the UN and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, UNITAD’s Special Adviser and other vested collaborators briefed the UN’s Member States with the goal of holding ISIL perpetrators to account, and ensuring that justice continues to be sought for both the survivors and the victims’ families. This 12-minute video, while graphic in content and disturbing to witness, foregrounds the results of UNITAD’s extensive investigation to-date and serves as a vital pathway for the wider public to learn about the depth and scale of these atrocities outside of a judicial setting.

The forensic evidence collection and casework were performed by UNITAD with the cooperation of various Iraq-based organizations, such as the Medico-Legal Directorate of the Ministry of Health, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Al Rusafa Court, Baghdad, and the Mass Graves Directorate of the Martyrs Foundation.

Distinct from other videos our team has worked on, this analysis combined propaganda footage taken by ISIL fighters, georeferenced spatial data, eyewitness testimony from survivors, and historical documentation. Due to the nature of the crimes committed and the footage captured by the perpetrators themselves, the project faced significant representational challenges, including the careful redaction of graphic imagery of the massacre, as well as the inclusion of survey data that recorded the positions of the bodies of victims in mass graves. While difficult to process, this material was vital to the casework. Our approach to representing this content was to render the actions and evidence clear without providing more visual information than necessary in order to respect the victims as well as the viewer.

Following the screening of the video analysis at the special event, panelists and representatives of member states were given space to voice their perspectives on the value of reconciliation work related to the massacre, and the importance of handling patterns of violence committed by Da’esh/ISIL through the United Nations. International recognition of these events is critically important in the eyes of tribal leaders from both Tikrit and the greater Salah al-Din region, as well as the tribal, religious and secular leaders of the communities from which the victims originated.

This collaboration with UNITAD follows a previous video reconstruction and evidence platform that focused on the violent crimes committed by ISIL against the Yazidi community in the Sinjar region of Iraq in 2014. Taken together, both video investigations exist as vital counterparts to the UN’s wider justice and accountability efforts related to ISIL’s crimes.

To watch the video in Arabic, visit UNITAD’s site here.