Flexing muscle, Iraq detains US contractors in Baghdad

Staff Sgt. Matthew Craig, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, escorts a contractor to the Iraqi army side of Contingency Operating Base Taji, Iraq, Oct. 1, 2011. Soldiers with HHC were providing security for civilian contractors working with Iraqi army personnel as U.S. forces continue to transition out of Iraq.

MIKE NORRIS/U.S. ARMY

By Published: January 16, 2012

Iraqi authorities have detained a few hundred foreign contractors in recent weeks, The New York Times reports, citing industry officials. Many of those detained include Americans who work for the United States Embassy.
 
Most of those detained were held at the international airport in Baghdad, or at checkpoints around the capital, the Times reports. Iraqi authorities held them to question contractors about documents, including visas, weapons permits and authorizations to drive certain routes, the Times reports.

The crackdown is among other actions taken recently by the Iraqi government after the withdrawl in December of U.S. combat forces.

Iraqi officials have stopped issuing and renewing weapons licenses, for example, and imposing restrictions on contractors, The New York Times reports.