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Iraqi reporter: Baghdad '100 times worse' than a year ago
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Monday September 10, 2007


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Ayub Nuri, an Iraqi journalist residing in the United States, told CNN on Monday that even when he was last in Baghdad in 2006, "the situation was very, very dangerous," but that things are much worse now.

"When I speak to my friends and family these days on the phone, they tell me that it is 100 times worse than when I was there," Nuri stated. "Even the regular people cannot leave their own neighborhoods. ... If you go to another neighborhood, that's completely unknown to you, and you might not be able to come home alive."

When asked about General Petraeus' suggestion last week that "Iraqi soldiers and police are very much in the fight," Nuri replied, "I think that's not true at all. ... I have to be honest with you and with everyone else in the world. When I was traveling around Iraq, in Baghdad or anywhere else, I was afraid of the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police more than I was afraid of a militia or unknown men."

Nuri explained that after the Coalition Provisional Authority disbanded Saddam's army, "They were desperate to recreate another Iraqi army, and in case of desperation, of course, you accept anyone to join your army, and many of them were criminals, many of them were drug dealers, and many of them had ... affiliation only to their own areas." He said that as a result, many Iraqis these days would prefer to have their neighborhood patrolled by a US unit rather than an Iraqi unit.

"I personally do not have any faith or any hope in the Maliki government," Nuri stated, though he emphasized that the problem wasn't just with Maliki. "The Iraqi government is neither willing nor they are able to do anything," he concluded.

The following video is from CNN's Newsroom, broadcast on September 10.