More than half of Iraq’s displaced have returned home: IOM

The cost to rebuild after driving out Daesh will be enormous, according to Iraqi officials. Baghdad estimates $100 billion is needed nationwide. (AP)
Updated 04 January 2018
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More than half of Iraq’s displaced have returned home: IOM

BAGHDAD: More than half of Iraqis displaced by recent conflicts to other parts of the country have now returned to their homes, the UN’s International Organization for Migration said on Thursday.
At the end of December, more than 3.2 million displaced Iraqis had gone home while 2.6 million still lived away from home, the IOM said.
Iraqi forces have regained large swathes of the country from Daesh since the terrorists seized them in 2014, sending tens of thousands running for their lives.
In December, Baghdad declared victory over Daesh after a three-year war against the group that caused tens of thousands more to flee.
“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 are reported to have returned to houses that have been significantly or completely damaged, she said. Around 60 percent went back to housing that was only moderately damaged.
Other infrastructure has also been affected in the fighting, with residents in some areas reporting no water or power supply.
More than one million Iraqis have returned home to the Sunni-majority western province of Anbar, from which Iraqi forces expelled the last Daesh fighters late last year.
More than a third of those internally displaced are in the northern province of Nineveh, after tens of thousands fled second city Mosul during the months-long military campaign to retake the city.


Turkey orders arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected Gulen links

Updated 12 min 48 sec ago
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Turkey orders arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected Gulen links

  • Arrested military personnel are suspected of being supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen
  • Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the scope of the crackdown

ANKARA: Turkey has ordered the arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected links to the network accused by Ankara of orchestrating an attempted coup in 2016, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.
Police were looking for just over half of the suspects in the western coastal province of Izmir and the rest across 30 other provinces, Anadolu said.
They were suspected of being supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding the failed putsch three years ago. Gulen has denied any role.
More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial, while about 150,000 people from the civil service, military, and elsewhere have been sacked or suspended from their jobs under crackdowns since the attempted coup.
Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the scope of the crackdown, saying Erdogan has used the abortive coup as a pretext to quash dissent.
The government has said the security measures are necessary due to the gravity of the threat Turkey faces, and has vowed to eradicate Gulen’s network in the country.