Displaced families on their way home in Iraq
Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Fear of revenge from tribes is holding back hundreds of displaced Iraqi families of Islamic State fighters from returning home in Anbar, a local official was quoted saying.
Almaalomah website quoted Ragea al-Essawi, a member of anbar Province Council, saying that tribal feuds are preventing 500 families from returning to areas Iraqi forces had recaptured from the militants.
“There have been attempts (for reconciliation) by some tribal leaders, but victims’ families insisted not to let the militants’ relatives back, and threatened to kill them in revenge,” Essawi stated.
He said those families, scattered across refugee camps in the province, will “disrupt the security situation at liberated areas” should they return home”.
Iraq declared victory over Islamic State militants in December, ending months of military operations to retake areas occupied by the group since 2014. Anbar’s Rawa was the last IS bastion recaptured by Iraqi forces.
But many officials and observers have voiced concern over a wave of unrest as the families of civilians slain by the extremist group could seek revenge from others that had some of their members drafted by the group.
Iraqi local authorities had reportedly isolated IS fighters’ families at some provinces and prepared for their social and psychological rehabilitation before returning to their home regions.
On Tuesday, Baghdad Today quoted Naeem al-Kaoud, chairman of Anbar’s security committee, saying that “any decision to return Daesh (Islamic State) families could be catastrophic”.
According to al-Kaoud, “the rule at tribal areas is that anybody who commits a killing, his family is expelled until a reconciliation is reached”.
He added that, “until present, there is no framework for tribal reconciliation, and the government is required to sponsor that issue”.