Iraq conflict displaces 2.8 million

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Displaced Iraqi children sit inside a UNHCR tent in northern Iraq, June 17, 2014. (AFP/File)
The number of the internally displaced people in conflict-stricken Iraq over the past year has exceeded 2.8 million, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

The IOM said on Tuesday that its new Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report published this week recorded 2,834,676 internally displaced Iraqis from January 2014 through 25 April this year.

Expressing deep concern over “the new and continuing displacement in Iraq,” IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said, “IOM Iraq has provided over 115,000 non-food item kits since the beginning of the current crisis, and tens of thousands of displaced people have benefitted from our shelter, livelihoods, and health program assistance. But the quantity of life-saving humanitarian aid available is insufficient.”

The recent surge in displacement reportedly occurred due to conflict in the city of Ramadi in the western Anbar province. At the beginning of 2014, there were only around 300,000 displaced people in the Arab nation, according to reports.

According to the DTM report, 133,104 people fled the violence perpetrated by ISIL terrorists in the wake of the outbreak of the Ramadi crisis, which occurred on 8 April.

The ISIL group launched a huge nationwide offensive in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of the country’s northern city of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s heartland.

The terrorists have committed heinous crimes and threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians in the areas under their control.

Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia fighters and Sunni tribesmen have been engaged in joint operations to drive the terrorists out of the areas they have seized.