Elisabeth Turkov, 36, who disappeared in late March, is being held in custody by the Shiite group “Katayeb Hezbollah” or “Hezbollah Brigades”.
The US government designated the powerful Iran-backed group a terrorist organization in 2009.
Netanyahu’s office said the Israeli-Russian dual citizen Turkov is still alive and “holds Iraq responsible for her safety and well-being.”
of the group Leader and Founder Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis Killed in US Airstrike With General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport in January 2020 Iran‘s elite Quds Force and planner of its Regional Military Alliance.
Turkov, who has written works focusing on the Middle East, particularly war-torn Syria, is an expert on regional affairs and has been widely cited by the international media for years, Turkov said in his last tweet. was March 21st.
Elizabeth Turkov, 36, who disappeared in late March, is still alive, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said “Iraq is responsible for her safety and well-being.”
She is a Fellow of New Lines Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
Her colleague Hassan Hassan, editor-in-chief of New Lines magazine, said they were informed of her abduction in Iraq on March 29.
Hassan said some of her colleagues had been in touch with her days before she disappeared.
“Knowing what Iraq is like for scholars and researchers these days, we couldn’t believe the news,” he said.
“But it is possible that through negotiations, she will be released.”
Hassan said he sought help from U.S. and foreign officials, including at Princeton University, where Turkov is pursuing his doctorate.
He added, “We asked the U.S. government to get involved in ensuring her release, even though she is not a U.S. citizen.”
Netanyahu said Mr Turkov was an academic who had traveled to Iraq on a Russian passport “of his own accord to pursue his PhD and academic research on behalf of Princeton University”.
Turkov could not have entered Iraq using an Israeli passport, as the two countries do not have diplomatic ties.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said Mr Turkov was being held by the Shiite group “Kataev Hezbollah” or “Hezbollah Brigades”. The organization is a powerful Iran-backed organization that was designated a terrorist organization by the US government in 2009.
Mr. Turkov, whose writings focus on the Middle East, particularly on war-torn Syria, is an expert on regional affairs and has been widely quoted by the international media for many years.
Colleagues said Turkov sought help from U.S. and foreign officials, including at Princeton University, where he is pursuing his doctorate.
A senior Kataev Hezbollah official declined to comment on the matter.
Iran emerged as a major power broker in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003which has since supported Shia groups and militias that have enjoyed widespread influence in the country.
There has been no official comment from Iraq since Mr. Turkov went missing.
Days after her disappearance, a local website reported that an Iranian national involved in her abduction had been detained by Iraqi authorities.
The newspaper said the woman had been abducted from the Karadah district in central Baghdad and that the Iranian embassy in the Iraqi capital had asked for the man’s release and deportation to Iran.
Some Iraqi activists posted copies of the Iranian man’s passport at the time, claiming he was involved in the kidnapping.
Netanyahu’s office said Mr Turkov’s case was being handled by “officials of the State of Israel who are concerned about the safety and well-being of Mrs Elizabeth Turkov”.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office said the Turkov case was being handled “by officials of the State of Israel who are concerned about the safety and well-being of Elizabeth Turkov”.
Israel sees Iran as its greatest enemy, citing hostile rhetoric, support for extremist groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and alleged nuclear development.
Iran has denied Western claims that it is developing a nuclear bomb.
Days before the murder of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Soleimani, 25 Katayeb Hezbollah members killed in US strikes in Iraq and Syria.
At the time, the United States blamed the group for the December 2019 airstrike in retaliation for a rocket attack that killed an American contractor at an Iraqi military base days earlier.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12269163/Princeton-University-doctoral-student-abducted-radical-Iran-backed-militia-group.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Princeton PhD student kidnapped by Iran-backed extremist militia