A U.S. military contractor in Iraq has abruptly laid off the majority of the U.S.-led coalition’s Iraqi interpreters. The move has left many fearing retaliation from ISIS and Iran-backed militias hostile to U.S. forces, and forced some into hiding.
The sudden layoffs — and lack of safeguards or responses to the interpreters’ concerns — appear to be the latest examples of how the U.S. has left in harm’s way Iraqi citizens who risked their lives with U.S. forces.
Virginia-based Valiant Integrated Systems last month informed more than 200 locally hired Iraqis interpreting for U.S. and coalition forces that they were being laid off immediately, according to several former contract workers. They asked to remain anonymous because they were worried about their safety and prospects for future employment.