By Robert Tollast.
A militia group calling itself “Firqat al Mawt” or “Death Division” has released a video (still shown above) of 18 Turkish construction workers who were kidnapped from their living quarters near Sadr City. The men were in Iraq working on the construction of a football stadium, in an area with high unemployment and a widespread local sentiment that Turkey supports ISIS.
Some analysts have speculated this is a splinter of a radical Shi’a group such as Kata’ib Hezbollah. In the video, the captives seem unharmed, and a couple even seem unconcerned.
However, the terrorists make several demands, some of which will be difficult, if not impossible to meet. They demand that Turkey releases more water from the Attaturk and Ilisu dams–projects known to be depleting Iraq’s available freshwater.
They also accuse Turkey of “stealing” Iraqi oil–a reference to energy deals between the Kurdish region and Turkey.
They also claim that Turkey is assisting ISIS and threaten “severe violence” against Turkish interests in Iraq if their demands are not met.