Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Home Politics Iraqi Refugees Visit Homes they Fled 2 Years ago when Islamic State...

Iraqi Refugees Visit Homes they Fled 2 Years ago when Islamic State (IS) Militants stormed Villages in Iraq

As families drove in with their permission slips, the Iraqi and Peshmerga forces both announced gains in the battle with IS

“Of course we are afraid there are bombs planted in our homes,” said Badirkhan Moussa, one of the Iraqi refugees, who fled his home on foot two years ago when Islamic State militants stormed his village. “But we won’t be happy again until we go home, and go inside.”

In a dirt parking lot between a fallen bridge blown up by IS a year ago and a Peshmerga military checkpoint, Moussa and his neighbours waited for two hours to get permission to travel into the war zone surrounding Mosul to visit their homes after IS fighters were driven out in recent days.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

One man holds up a paper issued to him by peshmerga forces, allowing him to enter into the area, still generally off limits to civilians, in Kazir province of Kurdistan in Iraq, Oct. 22, 2016. VOA
One man holds up a paper issued to him by peshmerga forces, allowing him to enter into the area, still generally off limits to civilians, in Kazir province of Kurdistan in Iraq, Oct. 22, 2016. VOA

As families drove in with their permission slips, the Iraqi and Peshmerga forces both announced gains in the battle with IS. The army said it was advancing in Bakhdida, about 20 kilometers from Mosul, and Qayyara, nearly 75 kilometres to the south. Peshmerga forces tweeted that they were beginning a “major advance from three fronts.”

But IS militants were continuing to wreak havoc in Iraq, as fighting in Kirkuk continued for a second day and nearly 1,000 people reportedly were treated for inhaling toxic fumes near Mosul. The U.S. military said IS fighters set a sulfur plant on fire as they fled.

Stream of visitors

With several villages cleared of IS fighters, a steady stream of people were visiting their homes and streets despite the fear — and expectation — that IS left explosive booby traps in their wake.

“Of course we are nervous,” said Ali Mohammad, an off-duty soldier with the Iraqi army. “But we are all going at our own risk.” Hours before, mortar fire had hit a nearby formerly IS-controlled village.

The peshmerga army is granting permission to travel into military zones, but not guaranteeing security to residents visiting villages directly behind their fighting line. Mohammad said he was going to his home, but that they would all return before nightfall, taking with them anything that was left.

In villages like this one, besides being looted and booby-trapped, many homes and businesses, like this former bank of shops, have been destroyed, in Kazir province of Kurdistan in Iraq, Oct. 22, 2016. VOA
In villages like this one, besides being looted and booby-trapped, many homes and businesses, like this former bank of shops, have been destroyed, in Kazir province of Kurdistan in Iraq, Oct. 22, 2016. VOA

But a few hours later, Mohammad said there was nothing to take. All the valuables were gone and many homes had been bombed out.

“There were three or four blankets and a water container left in my house,” he said. “The whole village is like this.”

Despite the destruction, added neighbor Abbass, a day laborer, it was a relief to finally see their homes. “It’s been 2½ years,” he said. “We miss our village.”

The Mosul offensive. VOA
The Mosul offensive. VOA

Chaos

The relative calm in the area surrounding the front lines of the battle toward Mosul may be short lived, said Azat Umar Moloud, the manager of Hajj Idrees Seudin Surchi, a local aid organization. And the calm is merely relative, as an explosion interrupted him.

At an unoccupied camp about 30 kilometers outside Mosul, Moloud said the thousands of already dusty tents set up were expected to fill quickly as military forces moved toward the city.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

“This camp will not be enough for the refugees,” he said. “But we are trying our best to help them.”

Locals say that despite the dangers and the fact that they are finding little left of use, they feel the need to see their homes again, in Kazir province of Kurdistan in Iraq, Oct. 22, 2016. VOA
Locals say that despite the dangers and the fact that they are finding little left of use, they feel the need to see their homes again, in Kazir province of Kurdistan in Iraq, Oct. 22, 2016. VOA

Roughly a million people are expected to flee their homes if or when Iraqi and Peshmerga forces fight their way into Mosul. Aid organizations were scrambling to erect 12,000 tents in the desert surrounding the war zone.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

In a village near one of the camps, a few soldiers occupied a mosque, using it as a station to fix mechanical parts for peshmerga vehicles. Soldiers warned that other homes in the village, abandoned when IS took over the area, were still not safe to enter despite having been under security forces’ control since last year.

“A homeowner came by,” one soldier joked, sadly, “and asked if they could charge us rent.” (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,782FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Air Pollution Causes Food Delivery Leading to Plastic Waste

When the air quality outside is bad, office workers are more likely to order food than go out for lunch, which in turn increases...

Virus Can Reinfect COVID Patients When Antibodies Start Depleting

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can again get infected by the virus once the antibodies of the viral disease start depleting, the Indian...

International Chef Day a Low-Key Event Due to Pandemic

The International Chef Day is observed on October 20, but this year, the celebrations here were muted as chefs are facing a torrid time...

Coffee Before Breakfast May Increase Diabetes Risk

If you're taking coffee before breakfast, read this carefully. Researchers have found that drinking coffee first thing can have a negative effect on blood...

India’s Nutrition Experts on Supporting Public Health Delivery

Indias public health and nutrition efforts are differentiated by an enterprising early start going as far back as 1975 with the beginning of Anganwadi...

‘Fashion Reboot’- A Collection Focusing Gen Z

The final day of the digital edition of Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2021 on Sunday opened a film presentation that showcased a...

Disorder in Sleep Cycle Due to Excessive Use of Cellphones

Cell phones have become integral to function for nearly everyone. While it has brought a lot of tasks to our fingertips, cell phones also...

Higher Mortality Risk for COVID Patients with Kidney Diseases

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that there is a much higher risk of mortality faced by COVID-19 patients in intensive care, who...

Recent Comments