Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


Israel’s Prime Minister Says Missing Citizen in Iraq is Being Held by Iran-Backed Militia

This is a locator map for Iraq with its capital, Baghdad. (AP Photo)
This is a locator map for Iraq with its capital, Baghdad. (AP Photo)

A dual Israeli-Russian academic who has been missing in Iraq for months is being held by an Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the office of Israel’s prime minister said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Elizabeth Tsurkov, who disappeared in late March, is still alive “and we hold Iraq responsible for her safety and well-being.”

Netanyahu said Tsurkov is being held by the Shiite group Kataeb Hezbollah or Hezbollah Brigades, a powerful Iran-backed group that the U.S. government listed as a terrorist organization in 2009. The group’s leader and founder Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was killed in an American airstrike near Baghdad’s international airport in January 2020 along with Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the architect of its regional military alliances.

Tsurkov, whose work focuses on the Middle East, and specifically war-torn Syria, is an expert on regional affairs and has been widely quoted over the years by international media. Tsurkov last tweeted on March 21.

She is a fellow at the Washington-based think tank New Lines Institute. Her colleague Hassan Hassan, editor in chief of New Lines Magazine, said co-workers were notified of her kidnapping in Iraq on March 29. Hassan told The Associated Press that some of her colleagues had been in touch with her just days before she went missing.

Related Story: 5 Ways U.S. Presence in Iraq Hampers Iran and Islamic Terrorism

Read More

Related Posts