First video released of abducted Turkish workers in Baghdad

First video released of abducted Turkish workers in Baghdad

First video released of abducted Turkish workers in Baghdad A Shiite militia group that abducted 18 Turkish workers on Sept. 2 has released a video of them for the first time, reading the names of the abducted workers and a list of the group’s demands, Al Jazeera Türk has reported.

The group calling itself the “Death Squads,” listed its conditions to release the workers, addressing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

The group demanded a halt to Kurdish oil exports via Turkish soil, the lifting of the sieges on Fua’a and Kafrayya by the militant group Jaish al-Fatah (The Army of Conquest), and the retreat of Turkish troops from Iraq, in a video prepared with special production for propaganda purposes.

Demands also included the blocking of armed people crossing into Iraq from Turkey and the allowance of necessary aid to reach Shiite regions of Aleppo and Idlib.

“If Erdoğan and his party do not meet these demands, the Turkish interest in Iraq and its agents will be crushed in the heaviest possible way,” the group stated. 

A total of 18 Turks - consisting of 14 workers, three engineers and an accountant - were kidnapped in the Iraqi capital Baghdad by men in military uniform early on Sept. 2, after raiding a construction site of the Turkey-based Nurol Holding in Sadr city, a suburb of Baghdad.

Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu said on Sept. 3 that the abduction of the workers was neither the work of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) nor the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), adding that they were believed to be in “good medical condition.”

“What we know is that it is not [the work of] one of the terrorist organizations we are familiar with. It is not Daesh [ISIL] or the PKK,” Sinirlioğlu said.

Earlier on Sept. 3, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered Iraqi security forces to find the kidnapped Turkish workers.