Around 20,000 Iraqis in Syria, including women and children who fled the last enclave of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), are expected to be sent home in weeks, according to a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Most have gone to al-Hol in northeast Syria where some 65,000 people now live in an overflowing camp. Many are Iraqis who fled after IS lost territory in the neighboring country, fearing retribution from Shiite militias. 

“Probably we are talking about 20,000 people, including women and children,” Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC regional director for the Middle East, told Reuters in Geneva on Monday. 

“The Iraqi government has expressed its will to bring those people back, but it’s obviously a challenging situation.” 

Those people are considered as a security threat, so it means that they will have to go through a screening process.

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