After considerable speculation, the US Embassy in Baghdad has confirmed that “several” American contractors have been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. All indications are that there are three Americans, and one Iraqi translator, who went missing Friday on the south side of the city.
Earlier in the day the State Department had labeled the three “missing and possibly kidnapped,” but said they weren’t aware of any witnesses to the putative kidnapping at the time.
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that instead of ISIS, the Americans were kidnapped by a Shi’ite militia faction, though there has been no formal claim of responsibility, nor have any of the kidnap victims been identified beyond their nationality.
If it turns out to be a Shi’ite militia, the speculation will almost certainly be that it is in retaliation for the Saudi execution of a top Saudi cleric. While this is possible, the militias have also expressed disquiet about the US military buildup in Iraq.
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