Local Iraqis react to terrorist takeover - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Local Iraqis react to terrorist takeover

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Omar Ali works hard at Tanoor Restaurant, and he's very worried about his family in Iraq. Omar Ali works hard at Tanoor Restaurant, and he's very worried about his family in Iraq.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

There are tens of thousands of Iraqis, fleeing the areas held by militants.

Local Iraqi-Americans are worried for their friends and family members still in harms way.

Those who have made it here safely are relieved to be out of danger, but they're concerned about what's happening to their homeland, and how it's affecting the local Iraqi population.

Today, Iraqi immigrant, Omar Ali is making lunch at the Tanoor Restaurant on Lorain Avenue.  But less than two months ago, he was working for the U.S. government in Iraq.

"I think our country is going to sectarian war," said Ali.

He knew he had to get he and his family out.

"We are Sunni, the government is against us, especially our neighborhood," he said.

Ali's friend, Rabah Abdulkadhem has been here for years, but the rest of his family is still in harms way, in Baghdad.

"One week ago until now we cannot reach them, we cannot contact them and we do not know what happened to them," he said.

Down the road at Kabab Station, Hassan Alwan says this topic is dominating conversations among the local Iraqi population.  But confusion or disagreement over who is good and who is evil is also creating tension.

"Certain groups they'll tell you these guys are not terrorists, they're just defending themselves. And you'll ask other people and they say no these guys are terrorists and they're killing," said Alwan.

While some Cleveland Iraqis support the current government, and others want a change, all agree it's no place for their loved ones right now.

"I'm really trying to bring them her, a safe place. And we don't know how but we're trying," said Abdulkadhem.

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