Sunday, September 05, 2004


Another Turkish trucker taken hostage

According to al-Arabiyah via Reuters, yesterday
... an Islamist group kidnapped a Turkish driver and threatened to kill him unless his employer stops working with U.S. forces in Iraq.

The Dubai-based channel showed images from a videotape it had received featuring a grey-bearded man sitting in front of a banner stating "the Islamic Resistance Movement, Nu'man Brigades." The channel gave no more details.

As Newsweek noted almost three weeks ago, only 4% of Jordanian independent truckers are now operating. And a month ago 11%-18% of all Turkish truckers had ceased operations in Iraq. This latest kidnapping will almost certainly result in more withdrawals of Turkish trucking firms.

The population of Baghdad is dependent upon these overland deliveries for practically everything. The situation calls to mind the 10-month Berlin airlift of 1949, in which the U.S. kept the city of Berlin alive by air when the Soviet Union forbade overland passage through East Germany. I have to wonder when the "Baghdad airlift" will begin—if it hasn't already.

Related posts:
Will kidnappings alter the Iraqi employment situation? (updated)
Turkish hostage executed
More Turkish companies vamoosing from Iraq
Where's the ice cream truck?
Iraqi insurgents now extending their targets

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