Jordanian firm halts work in Iraq

The chief executive of a Jordanian firm working for the US-led forces in Iraq says he is withdrawing from the country to secure the release of two employees who have been seized by Iraqi fighters.

    The drivers were caught taking supplies to the US army in Iraq

    "I am ceasing operations and pulling out from the company's premises in Iraq for humanitarian reasons, and out of my concern for the safety and the lives of my two employees who were kidnapped in Iraq," Rami al-Uwais told said on Tuesday. 

    Fayiz Saad al-Udwan and Muhammad Ahmad Salama Almanaya, who work as drivers for the private company Daud and Partners, were captured on Monday by an Iraqi group calling itself the Mujahidin Corps in Iraq.

    "I am ceasing operations and pulling out from the company's premises in Iraq for the safety and the lives of my two employees"

    Rami al-Uwais,
    Daud and Partners chief executive

    The group warned they would be killed within 72 hours unless their employer withdrew from Iraq and stopped cooperating with US forces there.

    "Like other Jordanians, I have always been supportive of our brothers in Iraq and in all circumstances," chief executive al-Uwais said in his withdrawal statement.

    He declined to say when the firm would leave Iraq, but indicated it was in the process of doing so.

    The wife of al-Udwan, Umm Muhammad, promptly thanked al-Uwais for his "wise decision".

    "We hope it will lead to my husband's release and safe return home," she said.

    Death threat

    Earlier on Tuesday, relatives of the captives had threatened to behead al-Uwais and kill all the company's staff unless the firm did not immediately comply with the captors' demand to cease operations in Iraq.

    "We told the firm's executive director, Rami al-Uwaiss, that if he does not comply with the kidnappers' demands today, his company and the lives of his employees will not be spared," said al-Udwan's brother, Umar.

    Al-Manaya's father, Ahmad Salama, said: "We will chop off the head of the firm's director if he doesn't heed our demands to completely cease his operation in Iraq."

    Both men spoke to reporters at a gathering of relatives of the two men outside the Amman offices of Daud and Partners in Jordan.

    Representatives of both their families held a 40-minute meeting with senior company staff on Tuesday.

    The company provides construction and catering services to the US military in Iraq.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months