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Trump ban blocks top Iraqi general from visiting family

Trump's Muslim ban has sparked global mass protests [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 February, 2017

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A top Iraqi general spearheading elite forces fighting against IS in Mosul has been denied entry to the United States because of Trump's recent "Muslim travel ban".

An Iraqi general who is spearheading elite forces in the fight against the Islamic State group [IS] in Mosul has been denied entry to the United States because of the recent "Muslim travel ban".

Talib al-Sheghati, who heads the US-trained elite Counter-Terrorism Service, told CBS News this week that President Donald Trump's executive order has blocked him from visiting his family, who lives in the US for their safety.

"I have been fighting terrorism for 13 years and winning… now my kids are now asking if I'm a terrorist?" Sheghati said.

"This ban needs to be reviewed," he said, adding: "We thought we were partners with our American friends, and now we realise that we’re just considered terrorists."

"There are many American troops here in Iraq… after this ban how are we supposed to deal with each other?" the Staff General added.

Trump's controversial executive order bars refugee arrivals for at least 120 days and suspends visas from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - for 90 days.

Trump's controversial executive order bars refugee arrivals for at least 120 days and suspends visas from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - for 90 days.

The ban has sparked global mass protests and was swiftly condemned by the United Nations and countries including Germany and France.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus on Wednesday told lawmakers that Sheghati has not been able to meet in person with officers from US Central Command.

The command in Tampa, Florida, oversees US military operations against IS militants in Iraq and Syria.

But Petraeus failed to dispute the need for Trump's order, arguing the long-term effects of the policy will be determined by whatever changes are made to the immigration system.

Last month, Sheghati announced that Iraq's military had taken "full control" of the entire eastern side of Mosul after routing IS militants, three months after an offensive was launched against the extremist bastion.

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