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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Iraqis look anxiously towards war
An Iraqi man stockpiles food
Some Iraqis are stocking up in case of a US attack

Most Iraqis feel they have seen it all before, as the war of words between Washington and Baghdad grows louder.

But it is slowly sinking in that an American attack might be different from past bombing campaigns.

At her family home in Baghdad, Sarar Ibrahim is going about her daily chores. Some of her friends are stockpiling food and water, but her family is not.


The Iraqis have nothing to do with terrorism, Iraq has no contacts with al-Qaeda or others who were behind the events on 11 September

Mohammed Muthafar al-Adhami, Iraqi legislator

She says they are not that worried yet, but they also think it is useless to stock food.

In the past, power plants were the first targets and stockpiled food went to waste in 1991.

Sarar, 24, remembers the Gulf War and says that during every minute of the bombing campaign she thought she was about to die.

"I am afraid that what happened in 1991 will happen again," she said.

"I am trying to forget what happened before and live in peace again. We worked hard to move on and rebuild our country.

"The Americans say they want to change everything in Iraq, but if they come, no-one will accept them. It will be a big war."

'One more excuse'

Nothing will mark 11 September in Iraq.

After the attacks on the US, there were reports of ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

Iraq has denied the reports and officials here believe this is just one more excuse the US is using to attack Iraq.

"The Iraqis have nothing to do with terrorism, Iraq has no contacts with al-Qaeda or others who were behind the events on 11 September," says Mohammed Muthafar al-Adhami, an Iraqi legislator.

An Iraqi teacher fires an AK-47 to mark the beginning of school
Iraq says it will fight back if the US attacks

"Iraq is doing its best to avoid an American attack, but at the same time it is preparing to defend itself if it is attacked."

Some Iraqis are still hoping for peace. One of them is Hanan Yehya, a political science student at the University of Baghdad.

"I wish I could go to the United States to see the American people and tell them about the Iraqi people," says Hanan Yehya.

"I want to tell them, we are like them, human beings, wishing to live our lives in peace without war."

Hanan's views are shared by many here.

After more than 10 years of life under sanctions, the Iraqis feel the last thing they need is another war. But they also realise there is little they can do to change the course of events.


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02 Aug 02 | Country profiles
10 Sep 02 | Middle East
07 Sep 02 | Middle East
06 Sep 02 | Archive
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