Baghdad (Iraq), Jan.31 (ANI): Iraqi translators could soon be exposed to greater security risk when their personal information is handed over to the Iraqi government.
According to Fox News, these translators who serve U.S. forces are worried that their lives will be in jeopardy if their names and personal information are turned over to the Iraqi government, as required by the recently-enacted Status of Forces Agreement.
Keeping translators safe has been an important concern since the start of the Iraq War, as many have been attacked or killed for "collaborating" with the United States.
Until last year, translators wore masks during missions to hide their identities.
Now, a February 1 deadline looms for the translators' names and personal information to be handed over to the Iraqi Ministry of Finance, for tax collection purposes.
Translators interviewed by Fox News said this could be a "death sentence," because their identities could easily fall into the hands of terrorists angered by the support they have given to the U.S. military.
Global Linguist Solutions, which employs between 6,000 and 7,000 local Iraqi translators, says it hasn't turned over any information to the Iraqi government, and it doesn't intend to.
The company's goal is to ensure that the Iraq government receives all income and Social Security taxes owed to it without handing over the translators' personal information.
Translators aren't the only ones who are upset. Several soldiers expressed outrage that this issue wasn't addressed in the Status of Forces Agreement.
The translators are worried that they will face an unbearable choice if GLS is unsuccessful in its negotiations with the Iraqi government: quit working with U.S. forces and possibly lose out on obtaining a special visa for Iraqi translators, or continue to work despite the greater likelihood of being identified and killed. (ANI)