“They kicked us out of our home and stole our furniture and valuables,” said Rugya Saleem, a mother of six, plucking at the carpet of the tent in a desert refugee camp.
She said her husband was forced to join Islamic State militants, and then was later killed by victims of the group. “They said our things belonged to IS. But they didn’t. It was all we had.”
Going home again, she added, is not an option. Like many other people across northern Iraq, she fled her home recently, months after Iraq’s battle with IS militants was declared victorious. And while people are returning to their homes in droves, in many camps, the population is growing.