’17,000 Iraqis return to Nineveh in 2 months’

Iraq says up to 17,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their homes in Nineveh Plains in the country over the past two month following the liberation of the region from the Daesh terrorist group.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement said that the IDPs had returned to the district of al-Hamdaniya as well as the city of Nimrud and the towns of Bartella and Bashiqa, all situated in Nineveh Plains, a region in Nineveh Province to the north and east of the city of Mosul.

The ministry admitted that the number of the returnees was still far less than the number of the people who had left due to the Daesh atrocities.

But Iraqi Minister of Migration and Displacement Jassim Mohammed al-Jaaf said it was a “good start.”

Additionally, Hussam al-Din al-Abar, a Nineveh council member, told the Spanish international news agency EFE that the majority of services had been restored to Mosul’s east.

“Most of the basic services have been restored in the eastern part of Mosul, where 90 percent of the neighborhoods already have electricity, compared with only 30 to 40 percent of areas in the western part,” he added.

Daesh unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in Iraq in 2014, seizing Mosul and declaring it as its so-called “capital” in the Middle Eastern country.

Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters have been leading a major operation to rid the country of the Takfiri elements. The Iraqi forces fully liberated Mosul last month.

On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the commencement of a major offensive to retake the city of Tal Afar, near Mosul.