In the video, the last appearance of an Israeli-Russian researcher before her disappearance in Baghdad

A circulating video clip showed the last appearance of the Israeli-Russian researcher Elizabeth Tsurkov before her disappearance in Baghdad.

The Iraqi government had opened an investigation related to the kidnapping of an Israeli-Russian researcher in the country, according to government spokesman Basem Al-Awadi, after Israel accused an armed Iraqi faction loyal to Iran of being responsible for her disappearance.

For his part, the advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister, Hussein Allawi, said in an interview with “Al-Hadath” that the Iraqi government is conducting investigations in this regard, indicating that the government is committed to transparency.

tacit negation

In its first comment on the matter, the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades vaguely addressed this accusation in a statement by its spokesman, Abu Ali al-Askari, on Thursday night, implicitly denying its responsibility for the kidnapping.

The statement, which was published via the Telegram application, stated that “the recognition by the Prime Minister of the Zionist entity of the presence of an Israeli security element in Iraq is a very dangerous indicator, which must be considered and dealt with accurately and firmly.”

Accusation of the Iraqi Hezbollah

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office had uploaded, on Wednesday, in Statement, Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades Responsibility for this case, saying that “Elizabeth Tsurkov, the Israeli-Russian citizen who disappeared a few months ago in Iraq, is being held by the Shiite militia Kata’ib Hezbollah.”

And the Israeli Prime Minister’s office added in its statement, Wednesday, that “Elizabeth Tsurkov is alive, and we hold Iraq responsible for her safety.”

Russian passport

It is noteworthy that Tsurkov arrived in Baghdad “in early January 2022” with a Russian passport, according to what a Western diplomat in Iraq said, on condition of anonymity.

In Baghdad, Tsurkov focused her research on pro-Iranian factions and the Sadrist movement led by Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, according to several journalists who interviewed her.

On her personal website, Tsurkov says she speaks English, Hebrew, Russian and Arabic. Her website adds that she is a fellow at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, and a research fellow at the Forum for Regional Thinking, an Israeli-Palestinian think tank based in Jerusalem.

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