Iraqi ex-patriot in Michiana breaks silence on Iraq - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Iraqi ex-patriot in Michiana breaks silence on Iraq

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A decorative accent reminds Mohammed of his roots in Iraq A decorative accent reminds Mohammed of his roots in Iraq
ELKHART - Michiana resident Mohammad spent six years working as a translator and counselor for high-ranking U.S. and Iraqi coalition forces. He asked us to call him Mohammad to protect his family in Baghdad.

"The terrorists' agenda was to destroy the American project in Iraq," said Mohammed.

After U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq in 2011, Mohammad says the landscape quickly turned hostile towards American-sympathetic government workers.The U.S. embassy gave him a Special Immigration Visa, to flee Iraq two years ago. According to Mohammed, the Iraqi military was not prepared to defend against external terrorist threats.

"The American soldier," said Mohammed. "when he fights, he has the belief that 'I am protecting my family. What I'm doing is protecting my home.' The Iraqi soldier doesn't have that belief."

During his time working alongside American troops, he watched soldiers receive letters of praise and support from family, friends, and even strangers. He didn't see that sense of national support with Iraqi soldiers.

"The [Iraqi] soldier, he knew how to use his weapon, but he didn't have the will to use his weapon." 

Terrorist groups like ISIS are nothing new to Mohammed. He says his department regularly encountered terror threats.

"I saw soldiers, they are, they being killed while they were protecting supplies to schools." Despite the anti-American hostility towards the end of the U.S. military stay in Iraq, Mohammed says he still believes the U.S. did the right thing by removing Sadam Hussein.

"I have to believe that American government will not let Baghdad goes down," said Mohammed.

He worries about his brother and sister who are still there. He recently lost a close relative to a terrorist attack.

"Put a bomb in car by a college and school," said Mohammed. "God would not love that. No matter what religion you are. I am sure God would not love that."

He's not sure if Iraq's extremist groups will ever be able to coexist. But Mohammed's family might offer a glimmer of hope for the future of Iraq.

"Me and my wife, we belong to different ethnic groups. And we decided, that would not stop our love."
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