'In his place we have 1000 Saddams': Man who toppled tyrant's statue wants it back up

The man who toppled a statue of former Iraq leader Saddam Hussein in Baghdad after US-led coalition forces invaded the country in 2003 wishes the statue could be re-erected.

Kadhim al-Jabbouri used to fix Hussein's motorbikes but was jailed after he fell out of favour with the dictator.

In an interview with BBC Mr Al-Jabbouri says "more than 14 or 15" members of his family were executed under Hussein's regime.

Despite this Mr Al-Jabbouri says he feels Iraq was better off under Hussein after more than a decade of war and US occupation sparked by then US President George W Bush.

"When I heard the Americans had reached the outskirts of Baghdad I was very happy and went to get my sledgehammer and left for the square," Mr Al-Jabbouri told the BBC.

Al Gillespie gives his two cents on the 2003 Iraq invasion on the back of a damning report. Source: Breakfast

"I started to strike the statue. I wanted to tear it down."

But since that moment in 2003, beamed around the world on TV, Mr Al-Jabbouri says things have gone from bad to worse.

"Every year, things started to get worse. There was corruption, infighting, killing, looting.

"Saddam killed people, but it was nothing like this current government.

"Saddam has gone, but in his place we now have 1,000 Saddams.

"I feel like Iraq has been stolen from us.

"Now when I go past the statue, I feel pain and shame.

"I ask myself – why did I topple this statue?

"I'd like to put it back up, to rebuild it. I'd put it back but I'm afraid that I'd be killed."

Overnight a report, years in the making, into Britain's role in the invasion of Iraq was released condemning then British Prime Minister Tony Blair's role.

"Bush and Blair are definitely liars," Mr Al-Jabbouri said.

"They destroyed Iraq, and took us back to zero and took us back to the Middle Ages or earlier.

"If I was a criminal, I would kill them with my bare hands."

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