Hundreds of Iraqis leave Syria's Al-Hol camp for home country
Hundreds of Iraqis, mostly women and children, left Al-Hol camp in Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria on Wednesday for Iraq.
Some 690 people from more than 150 families left the camp, local media reported, citing officials.
They will be sent to the Jadaa camp in Nineveh, northwestern Iraq, sources from Iraq's Joint Operations Command told The New Arab's sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
Al-Hol camp is home to around 56,000 people, mostly women and children related to Islamic State group (IS) fighters or refugees fleeing the atrocities the extremist group committed when it controlled parts of Iraq and Syria.
Iraqis make up the biggest contingent of residents at the camp by nationality, numbering almost 30,000.
The Kurdish-led authorities of northeast Syria have urged countries to take their citizens back, warning that they are incapable of preventing IS remnants from radicalising residents of camps and inmates at prisons under its control. Murders are common at Al-Hol, and human rights groups have condemned conditions at the camp as inhumane.
Iraq was regularly repatriating its national in waves since May 2021 - until IS militants stormed a northeast Syria prison holding inmates from the group in January, sparking almost two weeks of heavy fighting with the US-backed local forces that killed hundreds.
After the jailbreak, Iraq tightened border security fearing jailbreakers might cross over the country's border with Syria, and paused repatriations.
Northeast Syria's Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also handed 50 IS militants over to the Iraqi security forces on Wednesday, the media channel for Iraq's military said.