NINEVEH/IRBIL/BOGOTA: Since the collapse of Daesh’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, many Western nations have been reluctant to allow the families of fighters to return for legal, political and security reasons. But the issue is equally complicated in the two war-weary Arab countries that the “caliphate” straddled while it lasted.
More than three years after the territorial defeat of Daesh in Iraq, more than a million Iraqis remain trapped in a precarious state of displacement. Those with perceived association with the terrorist group face added barriers to obtaining documentation or returning to their homes.
If their status is not resolved soon, aid agencies fear that those left stranded in Iraq’s sprawling camps risk forever being tarred as “Daesh families,” becoming a permanent underclass vulnerable to indoctrination and recruitment by organized crime or violent extremist groups.
“I did not agree with Daesh’s ideas. Since the beginning I used to fight…