Half of Refugees Back Home in Iraq’s Tikrit

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – More than 19,000 Iraqi families have returned to their homes in the northern city of Tikrit, Salahuddin province, after the Arab country’s forces managed to clear the city from the ISIL terrorist group, the governor of the province said.

Half of Refugees Back Home in Iraq’s Tikrit

“So far, over 19,000 households, that is about 50 percent of the residents of Tikrit, have returned to their homes,” said Raed al-Jabouri, who was accompanying Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi in a visit to military units in Salahuddin province on Monday.

More than 3,000 households in the city of Al-Dour, over 200 families in Albu-Ajil and about 100 percent of residents of the al-Alam have returned to their houses, Jabouri added.

He also emphasized that storekeepers have reopened their shops in the cities.

Earlier on March 31, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that units of government forces, backed by Shiite and Sunni volunteer forces, had managed to retake control of Tikrit from the ISIL terrorists.

Abadi said Iraqi forces had raised the country’s national flag over the Salahuddin provincial government headquarters.

Iraq has been facing the growing threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the ISIL terrorist group.

The ISIL militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the last summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.

However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, have blunted the edge of the ISIL offensive.

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