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Iraq returns 1250 refugees from Syrian camp: ministry

Iraqi refugees (representational photo).


Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq has returned 1250 refugees displaced by the war against Islamic State militants from Syria, the Ministry of Migration and Displacement said in a statement on Wednesday quoted by news websites.

Those were sheltered at al-Houl refugee camp in Syria’s Hassaka region, according to Jassem al-Attiya, an undersecretary of the ministry.

Al-Houl contains 130 housing units that can admit 200 families, and was established during the United States invasion of Iraq under a United Nations supervision.

According to al-Attiya, migration departments in Nineveh provided buses to transfer the refugees from a border crossing with Syria to ministry camps in Qayyara, south of Mosul.

The statement did not specify the number of Iraqis remaining in the Syrian camp.

In a statement issued on Monday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, said “More than 5.4 million civilians have been displaced in Iraq since 2014.”

Iraqi authorities had unveiled plans to repatriate all refugees before this year’s end. The government will soon launch an offensive to retake Islamic State’s last holdouts in Iraq at western Anbar. A campaign backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops had managed to retake major group bastions, most notably Mosul, the group’s former capital.


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