18 Turks Kidnapped in Baghdad’s Sadr City

Masked Gunmen Made Off With Employees at Construction Site

18 employees of a Turkish construction company, all identified as Turkish citizens, were kidnapped today in Baghdad’s Sadr City, when masked gunmen wearing military uniforms made off with them. The workers were building a sports complex in Sadr City.

Though kidnapping foreign workers and ransoming them is pretty common in Iraq, Turkish officials say they have no information yet on who the kidnappers were, nor has their been any request for ransom or any indication where the workers were taken.

ISIS is a pretty common kidnapper for Turkish citizens, but they are far from the only suspects in this case, as the Turkish war with the PKK may also have that group looking to capture Turks. That the incident took place in Shi’ite Sadr City also raised speculation a Shi’ite militia may have simply done it looking for a big payday.

The good news for those captured is that by and large such kidnappings are for ransom, and the workers usually end up getting released after their company pays off the kidnappers. Negotiating this sort of release can take awhile, but Turkish companies have been working in Iraq so long they’ve gotten pretty experienced at doing so.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.