According to the International Organization for Migration, more than half of the Iraqi refugees displaced by war within Iraq have returned home. The UN migration agency said that by the end of December 2017, more than 3.2 million displaced Iraqis had returned home while another 2.6 million remain displaced. 

More than one million Iraqis have returned home to Anbar: a western province with a Sunni majority. More than a third of the internally displaced are in the northern province of Nineveh, after tens of thousands fled Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul during the months-long military campaign to retake the city.

The Islamic State (ISIS), since launching its brutal campaign in 2014, seized huge swathes of Iraq, sending hundreds of thousands to flight within Iraq, neighboring countries, and Europe. However, Iraqi forces regained most of the real estate in the country and declared victory over ISIS in December. In December, Baghdad declared victory over ISIS after a three-year war. "The retaking of areas by the Iraqi forces is significant, as is the improvement of security," said IOM communications officer Sandra Black.

Nearly one-third of the returnees have returned to homes that have been significantly or completely damaged, she said. Around 60 per cent went back to housing that was only moderately damaged.

Infrastructure in much of Iraq was also been affected in the fighting, with residents in some areas reporting no potable water or power supply.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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