Iraqi translators live in terror as the West withdraws

The interpreters, who worked for UK and US forces, fear they are an easy target for Iran-backed militias

02 December 2020 - 20:21 By Chloe Cornish

“Jim” has spent 17 years close to danger. An Iraqi interpreter for a rotating cast of British and American troops and security companies, his work in deadly conflicts has earned him commemorative pins, recommendation letters and distinctly English vowels.

A new threat makes the 44-year-old weep with fear for his family and ask that even the Anglicised version of his name be disguised. Jim and other Iraqi interpreters live in terror of the Iran-backed Shia militias who are baying to avenge Qassem Soleimani, the powerful Iranian general, and his Iraqi lieutenant, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were assassinated in Baghdad in January...

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.