ISIS shadow follows families as Iraq closes camps

(Reuters) – Tuqqa Abdullah and her Iraqi family have wandered from one displaced people’s camp to the next in the past three years, buying time and hoping they will one day be able to go home.

Just 14 when her father took the family to the then ISIS stronghold of Mosul, she has inherited a legacy that might take generations to overcome. In the meantime, her options are running out.

When Iraqi forces captured Mosul in the dying days of the three-year-old IS caliphate in 2017, Abdullah’s father and older sons were killed.

The surviving family members were among many thousands of relatives of suspected IS members moved into temporary camps.

Last month, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi launched the closure of the remaining camps, arguing that the families belong at home.

But many of their occupants remain barred from returning by their local communities, who associate them with the group that imposed its brutal rule over large swathes of northern Iraq.

When the al-Jadaa 1 camp where Abdullah and her family were living shut down, they did not head back to their village near the northern town of Al-Qayyarah but went instead to al-Jadaa 5.

“We have nowhere to go if this camp closes,” said Abdullah, who shares a tent with her mother, grandmother and younger siblings.

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