As millions of Muslims mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan with the Eid holiday there is little to celebrate as the various conflicts across the Middle East continue. CCTV America’s correspondent Nathan King reports.
The death toll in Gaza is soaring, the civil war in Syria grinds on and in Iraq vast swathes of territory are held by Islamic extremists who call themselves the Islamic State.
A former Iraqi officer, who now lives in the United States, talked about his country’s plight and who is to blame. Major General Najim Abed Al Jabouri, at his Virginia home, says although he’s physically in the United States, his thoughts are with his native Iraq on this Muslim holiday.
As Al Jabouri and his family prepare to break the Ramadan fast, he reflects on his service fighting Iran, then the Americans – and then helping rebuild his country. Now the same armed forces that he served with proudly have fled from Islamist militants. This gives him a heavy heart.
Al-Jouburi says there are many to blame for Iraq’s current woes, including mistakes made during the U.S. occupation and withdrawal. But he especially blames the current Iraqi security forces for its lack of discipline and, what he calls, harassment of local populations.
The holiday of Eid is often used by Muslims around the world to display unity, but in Iraq, Jabouri says, the holiday is increasingly sectarian, divided between Sunni, Shia and Kurd. Something, he says, would not have happened under former leader Saddam Hussein.
As this family unites around the table, some Iraqis thousands of miles away are not able to. For many of them there is not much to celebrate on this Eid.