President Donald Trump’s new executive order barring citizens of several majority-Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S. removes Iraq from the list of proscribed countries.
Ordinary Iraqis expressed a range of emotions, from relief to anger, in reaction to the news.
“This is another victory for Iraqis beside victories achieved by our forces in the war against terrorism,” said Mahmood Burhan, a 35-year-old works as a pharmacist in Baghdad, told NBC News.
U.S. troops are currently fighting alongside Iraqi in the battle against ISIS.
“President Trump put Iraq on a list, as if Iraqis are the cause of terrorism in this world, while we are fighting terrorism ... For the first time in my life I hear that a president stands against his allies,” Burhan added.
Other Iraqis shied away from blaming Trump for Iraq’s inclusion in the initial travel ban, instead saying that the president’s aides had failed him.
“[Trump’s advisers] should have told him that Iraq must not be dealt [with] like other countries. Iraq is an ally to the United States, and must be dealt with in a special way,” said Dr. Usama Kadhem, 38, a Baghdad dentist.
He added: “Putting Iraq among countries that support terrorism or involved in terrorist attacks is going to affect the American policy in the region and create a gap that is at the end going to be filled by either Iranians or Russians."
Some Iraqis, however, struck a more defiant tone.
“An eye for an eye, this was the message of our government,” said Ayman Sadon, 47, who works in a private tourism company in Baghdad.
“We as Iraqis, have no interest in the United States of America, but the Americans have interests in Iraq, and Trump put himself in a position that forced him to rethink again in his order — why? Because of the interests of the Americans in Iraq, oil talks,” he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “deep relief” at the country's removal from the list, describing the move as “an important step towards promoting the strategic alliance between Baghdad and Washington in many fields, especially in the war against ISIS and terrorism.”
Partisan is often put aside for a chance to see the historic building up close.