BAGHDAD, Iraq — A three-day tour with U.S. and Iraqi troops aiming to stop Baghdad’s plunge toward civil war showed one thing clearly: Iraqi forces remain unprepared to police the capital city alone. The joint operation’s neighborhood searches illuminated the growing distrust that the average Iraqi has for the security forces in the midst of sectarian warfare that’s claiming more Iraqi lives each month. Many members of the Shiite Muslim-dominated security forces are suspected of siding with death squads that target Sunni Muslims. During an operation in the Baghdad neighborhood of Amariyah, a majority Sunni area that’s been a hotbed of insurgent activity, resident after resident said they opened their doors to Iraqi forces only when they saw American troops with them. U.S. forces tried to assure them that not all Iraqi troops are bad. ‘I think the Iraqis like Americans more than each other,’ said Maj. Barney Hill, of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Division Military Transition Team, of Winnemucca, Nev. The show of might by U.S. forces quelled the violence in what’s usually one of Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods, but many Iraqis told the soldiers that they feared more killings when the […]

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