Camp closures force Iraqi families back to shattered homes | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Camp closures force Iraqi families back to shattered homes

After living in a camp for three years, 70-year-old Merhi Hamed Abdullah returned to his village west of the city of Mosul to find it in ruins — his first glimpse of home since Iraq defeated the Islamic State group.

To shelter his family of seven, Abdullah resurrected the tent he had hurriedly packed as the government closed Hamam Alil camp last month, forcing him and 8,500 others to return to devastated hometowns and an uncertain future.

All around Abdullah, 200 other returnee families in the remote village of Debaja followed suit. The sweeping plains are dotted with burned-out shells of broken homes and, next to them, the tents they have erected, emblazoned with the unmistakable logo of the U.N. refugee agency. Without running water or electricity, Debaja is pitch black at night. Few have steady work.

“If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have left,” Abdullah said. “It wasn’t.”

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