Iraqi youth see little hope 18 years after Saddam's fall | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Iraqi youth see little hope 18 years after Saddam's fall

Eighteen years ago Saddam Hussein's brutal rule came to an end, but the prospects for young Iraqis who never witnessed his dictatorship remain blighted by insecurity, rampant corruption and joblessness.

When American troops seized Baghdad on April 9, 2003, a different Hussein was barely three years old. Living in Nasiriyah, a cradle of revolts throughout history in the country's south, he recalls people speaking of a "bloody regime".

It was one which "embroiled Iraq in wars that wasted many lives and resources," alongside crippling sanctions from the 1990s, said the political sciences student.

But today the American promises of democracy and freedom made when Saddam was toppled ring hollow, added Hussein, who did not want to give his second name, as he deplored today's "incapable" political parties and a "rotten system".

Educated initially in a small mud-brick school, since his earliest memories he has known an Iraq beset by "hospitals in ruins and zero job prospects."