[Rudaw] More than 1,200 Arab families displaced by the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling
Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not
(ISIS) onslaught are being prevented from returning to home to five villages in Nineveh province by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) authorities, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released on Sunday.
"Kurdish authorities are preventing thousands of Arab villagers from returning home without any lawful reason," said Belkis Wille, the organization’s senior crisis and conflict researcher.
HRW is accusing the KRG of only allowing Kurds to go back to villages in Rabia sub-district, west of Dohuk province.
"The fact that the KRG has permitted neighboring Kurdish villagers to go back suggests that the Arabs are being blocked as punishment," Wille said.
The affected villagers come from the villages of Jidria, Mahmoudia, Qahira, Suadia, and Sufiya, lying just within territory controlled by the KRG.
The five Arab villages were controlled by ISIS on August 3, 2014, but were all retaken by Kurdish Peshmerga forces within days, the report added.
HRW said they have conducted interviews with five residents from each village, all of whom confirmed that Peshmerga forces continue to control the area, and have prevented them from returning.
"They estimated that 1,200 families have been prevented from returning to the five villages," the report read.
The organization contacted the KRG coordinator for international advocacy, Dindar Zebari, on Thursday, who said that the areas are not suitable for the residents to return due to security concerns.
According to Zebari, local community leaders have said villagers cannot return to the villages for several reasons, including the presence of gangs.
"Zebari said local community leaders said they could not return to the area because of concerns of the presence of unnamed "gangs" and ISIS sleeper cells,
Ottoman Turkish Arclight airstrike
s, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) presence, and Covid-19 movement restriction," the report added.
by candlelight every wench is handsome...
HRW confirmed that all the residents that have been interviewed in the report are "desperate to return to their homes."
The organization published a report in 2019 which confirmed that more than 4,000 Sunni Arabs had been prevented from returning home to 12 villages in eastern djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
by KRG authorities.
The KRG accused the watchdog of relying on "unconfirmed" sources.
When ISIS swept through northern Iraq in summer 2014, it took control of large swathes of territory in the country, especially in Sunni-populated areas like the Nineveh province. Millions of people fled to the Kurdistan Region and Syria as a result.
Iraq recaptured Mosul and its surrounding areas in the Nineveh province from ISIS in June 2017 after a lengthy campaign involving Iraqi security forces, Peshmerga and the US-led anti-ISIS international coalition.
There are still more than 780,000 internally displaced Iraqis in the Kurdistan region, mostly from Nineveh, Saladin and Anbar provinces, according to the KRG’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC).