Iraqi officers and enlisted men fighting the Islamic State group on the front lines in Mosul said they interpreted the travel ban as an affront, lumping together all Iraqis as mortal threats to America.

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BAGHDAD — Capt. Ahmed Adnan al-Musawe had survived another day battling Islamic State group fighters in Mosul last weekend when he heard startling news: The new U.S. president had temporarily banned Iraqis from entering the United States and wanted tougher vetting.

Al-Musawe, who commands an infantry unit of the Iraqi army’s elite counterterrorism force, considers himself fully vetted: He has been trained by U.S. officers in Iraq and in Jordan. Backed by U.S. advisers, he has fought the Islamic State group in three Iraqi cities, including three months of brutal street combat in Mosul.

“If America doesn’t want Iraqis because we are all terrorists, then America should send its sons back to Iraq to fight the terrorists themselves,” al-Musawe said in an interview this week at his barricaded position inside Mosul.

President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order has driven a wedge between many Iraqi soldiers and their U.S. allies. Officers and enlisted men interviewed on the front lines in Mosul said they interpreted the order as an affront, to them and to fellow soldiers who have died in the battle for Mosul.

“An insult to their dignity,” said Capt. Abdul Saami al-Azzi, another officer with the counterterrorism force in Mosul. He said he was hurt and disappointed by a nation he had considered a respectful partner. “It is really embarrassing.”

The U.S. and Iraqi militaries have negotiated an often tenuous and strained relationship over the years. But few episodes have so blindsided the current generation of Iraqi soldiers, who are accustomed to viewing the United States as their partner in a shared struggle to defeat insurgents and build a viable nation.

The timing of the order was unfortunate: Iraqi forces have reached a pivotal moment, seizing half of Mosul and preparing soon to assault the remaining half — supported by U.S. advisers, Special Operations forces and airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.

Why, some soldiers asked, had Trump chosen this moment to lump together all Iraqis as mortal threats to America — soldiers, civilians and terrorists alike?

“This decision by Trump blows up our liberation efforts of cooperation and coordination with American forces,” said Brig. Gen. Mizhir Khalid al-Mashhadani, a counterterrorism force commander in Mosul.

Astounded by the announcement, al-Mashhadani, who speaks English, said he asked his U.S. counterparts about the president’s order. He said several told him they considered the decision hasty and its consequences poorly considered.

The travel ban was all the more perplexing to those Iraqi troops who had heard Trump vow as a candidate to wipe out the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. Some also heard the president promise, when issuing the order, to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the United States.

For some soldiers, those comments seemed to equate Iraqi soldiers — by virtue of their nationality and religion — with the terrorists they were fighting.

Trump was “unjust and not right,” said Maj. Sabah al-Aloosi, 37, another counterterrorism-force officer in Mosul. It is Iraqi soldiers, he said, “who are fighting terrorism on behalf of the world and sacrificing themselves.”

Col. John Dorrian, the spokesman in Baghdad for the U.S.-led operation against ISIS, emphasized that the president’s order was temporary, calling it “a pause.”

Told of critical comments by Iraqi soldiers and officers, Dorrian said: “For our part, we continue to do every single day what we’ve been doing all along in the campaign to defeat Daesh.”

Dorrian said those efforts included continuing to train and advise Iraqi security forces, and providing intelligence, artillery and airstrikes in support of Iraqi troops. “None of these things are affected,” he added.

One counterterrorism soldier, Ismail Khalid, said the president’s ban on Iraqis did not affect his will to fight ISIS — or his survival instincts.

“I’ve been fighting terrorism for months and what matters to me is to return home,” he said.

The counterterrorism force soldiers spoke before the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Thursday cleared the way to enter the United States for former interpreters and other Iraqis who had assisted U.S. troops.

The interpreters and their families had been issued Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) because of their service to the United States. The ban on SIV holders was lifted after the Pentagon recommended that the White House exempt Iraqis who have tangibly demonstrated their commitment to supporting United States forces, a Pentagon spokesman said.

But Iraqis who hold valid refugee visas, some because their association with Americans exposes them to danger in Iraq, remained barred from entry to the United States.