Iraqi Interpreter Working for US Troops Says Collaborators 'Abandoned Like Toys'

CC BY 2.0 / Flickr / SGT. TIMOTHY KINGSTON / U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jerrime Bishop provides security during a joint dismounted presence patrol with Iraqi National Police at a market in Narhwan, Iraq, Nov. 1, 2007.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jerrime Bishop provides security during a joint dismounted presence patrol with Iraqi National Police at a market in Narhwan, Iraq, Nov. 1, 2007. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
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BAGHDAD (Sputnik) - An Iraqi interpreter who collaborated with US troops during their military operation in Iraq told Sputnik that he has not been offered relocation to the US despite facing a daily risk of having his past exposed and being killed in Baghdad.

"Nobody asked me, why are you staying in Iraq and not going to America when you deserve it more than anyone? The majority of those who did end up moving to the US were contractors, blacksmiths, those who cleaned up garbage... 70-80% of those who were taken by the Americans left by mistake, they [the US] chose contractors over people like me who endangered their lives", the interpreter, who wished to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said.

He said that he and others in his profession were "let down by the erroneous US policy towards interpreters."

"I ended my contract myself after receiving a transfer order to move from the base where I had worked for seven years to another base, the Balad base. I didn't know that region, the base was surrounded by militias and the area was unstable, you wouldn't know which side a person you met belonged to", the interpreter explained.

He believes he would have died had her accepted the transfer order, as "everyone who worked with the Americans at these bases was killed or kidnapped by Iranian groups, killed after receiving a ransom from the family".

"We were left behind here, they do not care about us or our families. I am in contact with the International Organisation for Migration, but at the moment there is nothing new, they have forgotten about us, neither the embassy nor the consulate asks about us, they do not contact us. We were abandoned like toys in the corner of the house, covered with dust," the interpreter said.

Moreover, the company that was hiring the interpreters during the invasion handed all their files with classified data over to the Iraqi Justice Ministry, which was later "hacked by Iranian intelligence and pro-Iranian groups", he added.

"Now it is dangerous for me to mention in Baghdad that I worked as an interpreter for the Americans, I swear I will be killed on the spot for this. I think I am considered a spy and an agent working for the Americans," the interpreter said.

© AP Photo / Jerome DelayIn this file photo taken Wednesday, April 9, 2003, an Iraqi man, bottom right, watches Cpl. Edward Chin of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment, cover the face of a statue of Saddam Hussein with an American flag before toppling the statue in downtown in Baghdad, Iraq.
In this file photo taken Wednesday, April 9, 2003, an Iraqi man, bottom right, watches Cpl. Edward Chin of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment, cover the face of a statue of Saddam Hussein with an American flag before toppling the statue in downtown in Baghdad, Iraq. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
In this file photo taken Wednesday, April 9, 2003, an Iraqi man, bottom right, watches Cpl. Edward Chin of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment, cover the face of a statue of Saddam Hussein with an American flag before toppling the statue in downtown in Baghdad, Iraq.
He noted that his only dream is to leave Iraq, as it ceased to be safe for him and his family in 2003 and remains dangerous even now.
On 30 December 2006, Hussein was executed after the US invaded Iraq on the pretext of searching for weapons of mass destruction the country was allegedly hiding. The existence of such weapons was never proved.
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