Hundreds of thousands have fled fighting in Anbar Province

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Azzaman, May 7, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are reported to have fled fighting between Iraq-based Jihadist group ISIS and government troops in the western province of Anbar.

Most of the refugees have escaped to nearby towns and villages but some have made it to northern Iraq as well as Baghdad and some southern provinces.

With fighting subsiding and ISIS – the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant – losing its grip on the provincial center Ramadi and other areas, the provincial authorities have asked the government for support to resettle those who have already opted to return.

“We urge the central government to move immediately and offer assistance to more than 900,000 people who have been displaced due to military operations,” said Sabah Karkhout, the head of Anbar’s provincial council.

He said the government needed to compensate for damage inflicted on the province as a result of fighting.

“The province is in need of 20 billion dinars (approx. $200 million)” to resettle the displaced, he said.

The government has vowed to pay for damage and resettlement of the people of have been displaced as a result of fighting.

Parts of Anbar’s provincial capital as well as the whole of the strategic town of Fallujah are still under ISIS control.