Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) More than 8000 Iraqi refugees have been repatriated across Nineveh over the past three days after they had been displaced by battles between the Islamic State and Iraqi forces in Mosul, according to the Iraqi government.
Migration and Displacement Minister, Jassem al-Jaff, said Thursday that nearly 8562 Iraqis had been repatriated over three days at Mosul and other areas in Nineveh province.
The minister said repatriation of civilians to their hometowns that had been recaptured by security forces remained a top priority for the ministry. He said more batches could be repatriated over the coming few days.
Authorities said earlier this month that more than 670.000 people had been displaced since U.S.-backed operations launched in October to retake Mosul. The United Nations had predicted, back then, that the conflict could produce at least 1.5 million internally displaced civilians.
There are at least 200.000 more estimated to be stranded at areas still under IS control in western Mosul, while the total of civilians who returned to liberated areas stood at nearly 120.000, Yan Kubis, U.N. special representative to Iraq, said earlier this week.
The Iraqi government says Islamic State’s emergence in 2014 had displaced more than four million Iraqis.
Refugees are regularly reported to suffer a shortage of food and medical supplies both at refugee camps and at IS-held areas.