Four French nationals from the SOS Chretiens d'Orient (Christians of the Middle East) group have been reported missing as of Friday, January 24, from the vicinity of the French Embassy in Baghdad. Authorities indicate that no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, nor have they received a ransom request. They have also stated that the group was in Baghdad to renew visas, register the group's activities, oversee activities in the city carried out by the association. French and Iraqi authorities are collaborating to locate the missing.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to remain vigilant and refrain from sharing personal information with unknown persons to limit the risk of being targeted by potential kidnappers. If attacked, remain calm, do not offer any resistance, and obey all demands issued by your assailant(s). Do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible (accept offered food, engage in conversation initiated by your captors, avoid all political or potentially inflammatory topics, do not do anything that would spook your captors, etc.).
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.