Researchers and historians demanded the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war cemetery in Amarah city, 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, which was inaugurated in 1914. In the cemetery, considered a historical heritage site, lie the bodies of 5,000 British soldiers who participated in 1914 in occupying Iraq.
Sheikh Abdel Hussein Amir from Babil told Al-Monitor, “Many truths were lost amid the chaos of ideological and politicized media. The Iraqis were portrayed as ungrateful people who forgot that they were saved from a dictatorship.”
He said that he believes “the Iraqi people, on the contrary, are grateful to the countries that saved them from dictatorship and injustice. But, just like any other people, they do not want a permanent foreign presence on its territories.”
He added, “Building strong ties with the United States and benefiting from its technological and scientific development will be to Iraq’s advantage. … Many Iraqi youths still cherish memories of working with US employees and soldiers and keep photos, letters and souvenirs."
Author Fouad Nasser Ibrahim from Kut, roughly 105 miles (170 kilometers) south of Baghdad, referred to a landmark that reminds Iraqis of the British occupation: the Kut war cemetery for English soldiers, established in 1914. He said the cemeteries were “well-kept gardens filled with trees, in which flocks of birds nestled and chirped in the 1940s.” However, “due to neglect the cemetery has become a garbage dump, for the time being.”
Ibrahim said that Iraqis honor the dead and noted, “These soldiers have been lying peacefully since [World War I], and they will remain so as long as they are far from the Islamic State’s grip.”