Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Fifty-seven thousand families have been repatriated to their hometowns in three Iraqi provinces, according to the Iraqi Migration and Displacement Ministry.
Repatriation affairs official, Hammoudi Mahgoub, said in a statement on Thursday that 41.624 families returned to Anbar, 11.093 to Salahuddin and 5168 to Diyala.
The emergence of Islamic State militants in 2014 to proclaim a self-styled “caliphate” has forced more than four million Iraqis to flee their areas to other regions inside and outside the country, according to the Iraqi government.
The United Nations said earlier this week that over 403,000 were displaced from western Mosul city since operations launched in February to retake that region, while some 31,000 people have been able to return to retaken parts of the city.
Refugees in camps and civilians at Islamic State-controlled areas have been suffering of medical and foodstuff shortages, and have been targeted by the militants upon trying to escape IS-held regions, according to the U.N and the Iraqi government. The U.N. had specifically warned that the situation in Mosul could turn into the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the war against the militants started.
Aid groups and officials in Iraq have accused IS of using civilians as human shields during battles with U.S.-backed Iraqi forces.