Syria Kurds announce deal for return of 31,000 displaced Iraqis

QAMISHLI, Syria- Syrian Kurds on Thursday announced a deal with Baghdad for 31,000 displaced Iraqis, mostly women and children, to return from camps in northeastern Syria to Iraq. Tens of thousands of people live in the camps, which swelled during the months-long battle by a Kurdish-led force against the last vestige of the Islamic State group’s “caliphate”.

A delegation from the Iraqi cabinet visited the autonomous administration to discuss the return to Iraq of displaced Iraqis, estimated to number 31,000, and an agreement was reached,” Kurdish official Mahmud Kero told AFP.

“So far 4,000 people have signed up and we are waiting for the Iraqi government to open up the Iraqi border” to begin the returns, he said. Kero said many of the displaced, including children born on Syrian soil, did not have Iraqi identity papers.Iraq has already put on trial several hundred IS foreign jihadists and handed down death sentences to around 100. None of those sentences has yet been carried out.

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