Syrian football players Nadim Sabbagh (L) and Hussein Jawid, who now play for Baghdad's Al-Zawra FC, attend a training session on October 8, 2017, in the Iraqi capital. AFP / SABAH ARAR
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A decade ago, Iraqi footballers used to take refuge in neighboring Syria to pursue their career but the tables have turned in the tumultuous world of Middle East conflicts.Nadim Sabagh remembers the Iraqis who played at Tishrin, his club in the northern metropolis of Aleppo that was to turn into a hotspot in Syria's devastating conflict.Fellow Syrian Mahmoud Khaddouj held out four years longer before joining him in exile.At the Iraqi Air Force Club's Al-Jowa al-Jawiya stadium in Baghdad, the Syrian accent of deputy coach Mohammed Aqil came through loud and clear as he instructed his players.For Hussein Jawid, 28, who played with Al-Huriya, another Aleppo club, there is no going back.
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