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(8,361 posts)
Fri Jul 7, 2023, 10:15 AM Jul 2023

Iraq Opens Investigation Into Kidnapping of Israeli Citizen Elizabeth Tsurkov

A dual Russian-Israeli citizen, Tsurkov went missing after traveling to Iraq for research purposes on behalf of Princeton University. Israel is holding Iraq responsible for her wellbeing, though it's unclear how much influence they have over the militia who hold her

Liza Rozovsky Amir Tibon
Jul 7, 2023 12:04 pm IDT

Excerpt: Tsurkov is an expert on Syria and the Middle East. She entered Iraq using her Russian passport – which she has done on numerous occasions to enter Iraq and other countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel – as part of her work for her doctorate and academic research at Princeton University.

Excerpt: The group that abducted Tsurkov, Kata’ib Hezbollah, is an Iraqi paramilitary organization backed by Iran with an estimated 7,000 members. According to its official page, the organization was inspired by the Lebanese militant group and has been known to receive training from them as well.

The United States is also likely to put some pressure on the Iraqi government, although it’s unclear whether Baghdad can influence the pro-Iranian militia holding Tsurkov captive. The U.S. and European states have held diplomatic talks with Iran about unofficial prisoner exchanges in recent months, and Tsurkov could become a pawn in such a deal.


( Fingers crossed and all that she gets home safe. If you have ever known young people who do this kind of research their work generally benefits all of us. )

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