ERBIL, Iraq – Some 5,000 displaced Iraqis have returned to their homes in recent days in areas liberated from the Islamic State terror organization across the northern and western parts of the country, a military source said Tuesday.
Gen. Mahmoud al-Falahi, head of al-Anbar’s Joint Operations Command, said in a statement that the displaced people have returned to the western province of al-Anbar and the northern provinces of Saladin, Diyala and Nineveh after stability was restored in these areas.
Al-Falahi also stressed that his troops continued to work so that more displaced people can move back to their homes and out of refugee camps.
Nearly 2.9 million people in Iraq have been displaced since 2014 by IS attacks and the subsequent government offensive against the terror organization, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration.
Another 2.6 million Iraqis have managed to return home since 2015, according to IOM data released on Nov. 15.
Also on Tuesday, the Popular Mobilization Forces, which are loyal to the Iraqi government, said in a statement that they are fortifying areas near the Syrian border with sand berms to prevent the infiltration of radicals from the neighboring country.
On Nov. 23, Iraqi forces launched the second phase of their offensive to put an end to the presence of IS in the Iraqi desert areas bordering Syria.