Iraqi children walk on December 29, 2016 in a street in the city of Fallujah, that was recaptured from the Islamic State (IS) group about six months ago, as life starts to slowly return to the city. AFP / SABAH ARAR
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More than six months after Iraqi forces retook Fallujah from Daesh (ISIS), reconstruction is slow and the government risks alienating those residents who have returned to the city.Iraqi forces retook Fallujah, an emblematic militant bastion just 50 kilometers west of Baghdad, in June 2016 with relative ease but that victory came at a hefty price. The Norwegian Refugee Council said last month that only about 10 percent of homes in Fallujah were inhabitable.Fallujah has long been known as a rebel city and over the past decade and a half been a hub of opposition, first to occupying U.S.-led forces and then to the Iraqi government.To retake Fallujah, Baghdad relied on its regular forces but also on the Popular Mobilization, a paramilitary organization dominated by Shiite militia groups with close ties to Iran.
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