By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
Coalition and Iraqi forces are continuing operations to search for a U.S. servicemember reported missing Oct. 23, a U.S. military spokesman in Iraq said today. The servicemember, who is an American of Iraqi descent working as a linguist for a provincial reconstruction team in Baghdad, was last seen Oct. 23 at about 2:30 p.m. in the International Zone, said Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. The servicemember reportedly left the International Zone to visit relatives in Baghdad, where masked men in three vehicles reportedly kidnapped him, Caldwell said.
As soon as the servicemember was reported as "duty status whereabouts unknown," Multinational Division Baghdad launched intensive operations, including targeted raids on locations in Baghdad, Caldwell said. Coalition forces and Iraqi security forces used checkpoints to close down roads and bridges in central Baghdad and are searching vehicles in the area. Security forces are continuing to conduct searches through homes and buildings in an effort to locate the missing servicemember, he said.
"We're using all assets in our arsenal to find this American soldier, and the government of Iraq is doing everything it can also at every level," Caldwell said. "Make no mistake, we will not stop looking for our servicemember."
The servicemember is still considered as "duty status whereabouts unknown," but the name of the servicemember is being withheld for the safety of family members who are still in Baghdad, Caldwell said. No group has come forward claiming responsibility for the servicemember's disappearance, he said.