The Iraqi government opened an investigation related to the kidnapping Israeli-Russian researcher In the country, according to what the government spokesman on behalf of Al-Awadi announced, after Israel accused an armed Iraqi faction loyal to Iran of being responsible for her disappearance.
Speaking on Thursday night to an Iraqi TV channel, and in response to a question about the Israeli-Russian researcher Elizabeth Tsurkov, Al-Awadi said, “The Iraqi government is actually conducting an official investigation.”
Al-Awadi added, “Since this issue is at this level… and overlapping, therefore, there is no official statement in this regard until the Iraqi government completes its official investigations and reaches results.”
And he continued in the interview, “After that, God willing, there will be statements or official positions by the Iraqi government.”
Netanyahu’s office holds Hezbollah responsible
On Wednesday, the Israeli Prime Minister’s office held the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades responsible for this case, saying, “Elizabeth Tsurkov, the Israeli-Russian citizen who disappeared a few months ago in Iraq, is being held by the Shiite Hezbollah Brigades militia.”
“Elizabeth Tsurkov is alive, and we hold Iraq responsible for her safety,” the Israeli prime minister’s office added in its statement on Wednesday.
Members of the Iraqi Hezbollah militia
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 factions loyal to Iran and the Sadrist movement led by Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, according to several journalists who met her.
A researcher who speaks several languages
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.
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.
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.”
Without mentioning Tsurkov’s name, the statement continued, “In our role in the Hezbollah Brigades … we will make a double effort to find out the fate of (the captive or prisoners) the Zionists in Iraq, to serve the public interest and to learn more about the intentions of that criminal gang and who facilitates their movements in a country that prohibits It is criminal to deal with them.”
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