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Facing new flight, Turkish Kurds in Iraq long for home

Kurdish women bake bread on a domed metal griddle for baking traditional flat bread, known locally in the region as the saj, at the mosque where they sought refuge in the village of Hajyawa, Iraq's Sulaimaniyah district, on August 21, 2014Families who once fled a Turkish crackdown on Kurdish rebels in the 1990s now languish in a mosque in northern Iraq after escaping from brutal jihadists, longing to return home. They lived as refugees in Makhmur, a town in northern Iraq, until the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, which spearheaded a militant offensive that has overrun large areas of Iraq, forced them to leave. Hundreds of thousands of people across northern Iraq have fled violence which has seen members of minority groups face kidnapping and death, but for these Kurdish families, it is not the first time they have been displaced. I’ve been a refugee for 20 years,” says Ramazan Mohammed Khalil, a 47-year-old father of six who lived in Makhmur alongside some 10,000 other Kurds from Turkey.

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