An Iraqi mother together with her three children who fled Daesh terrorist organization to neighboring Syria returned to Iraq as part of a humanitarian diplomacy work by an Istanbul-based NGO.
The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) helped the family return to their home in Iraq in a joint effort with the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Iraqi Embassy.
The father of the children was killed in an airstrike in Syria after they fled from the Daesh-held Mosul in northern Iraq.
After their father’s death, the family was forced to move to the Adbulhamid refugee camp in Idlib in northwestern Syria, where the mother remarried.
As the children suffered violence by their stepfather, the IHH intervened to provide help.
The Turkish NGO quickly got in touch with Iraqi authorities to help the family return to Iraq as part of their humanitarian diplomacy work.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Abdullah Altay, coordinator of the IHH's humanitarian diplomacy unit, said the family’s return was “an urgent step which was successfully taken by the joint humanitarian diplomatic efforts of the Turkish, Iraqi government officials together with IHH”.
Altay said that this reunion will “give these children their future back as they will reunite with their beloved ones”.
Msbah Alqaysi, representative of the Iraqi Embassy’s immigration department, said the family will be received with open arms by Iraq.
"As we learned that the children were tortured by their stepfather, we demanded that they return to their country," Alqaysi said.
"I would like to thank the Turkish government and IHH for their support with the voluntary repatriation of Iraqi citizens,” Alqaysi added.
Speaking also to Anadolu Agency, the mother Um Muhammad said she was grateful for the support she received for reuniting with her family in Iraq.
“When my children faced violence by their stepfather, I broke up with him. IHH officials reached out to us. With their help, we will reunite with our family and home in Iraq,” she said.
The mother also thanked the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Iraqi government for their support.
After Daesh terrorists took over one-third of Iraqi territory in 2014, millions were forced to flee mass destruction in regions such as Mosul, Anbar, and Saladin.
Damage and destruction were seen in thousands of settlements as well as at Mosul Airport, Mosul University, most railway stations, and bridges and hospitals in the old city of Mosul.
To date, humanitarian diplomatic efforts by Turkey, Iraq, and the IHH have facilitated the return of 7,000 Iraqis from Syria.
The three parties are also in negotiations to continue these efforts to facilitate the return of other Iraqis.