BAGHDAD – Wearing a U.S. Army uniform and flanked by Iraqi lawmakers, an American citizen announced Saturday that he was being released from more than nine months of imprisonment by a Shiite militia that for years targeted U.S. troops.

The man did not identify himself. But at a bizarre news conference outside the Green Zone in Baghdad, lawmakers showed U.S.-issued military and contractor ID cards that identified him as Randy Michael Hultz.

Speaking calmly and tripping over Arabic names in a monotone voice, Hultz said he was grateful for his release.

“It was explained to me that this is a gift to me, my family and to the American people who oppose the war,” he said at the news conference held for Iraqi media.

He gave scant details of what he described as a “kidnapping,” or how he was treated while captured.

“I was taken inside Baghdad and kept in and around different locations within the city,” Hultz said. The kidnappers, he said, were from the Promised Day Brigade, a branch of the Mahdi Army, which is a militia that is controlled by the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Shiite cleric’s political wing has 40 lawmakers in parliament, two of whom appeared with Hultz late Saturday.

Hultz said he deployed to Iraq in 2003 as an active-duty soldier but left the military after 15 months. At that point, he said, he worked in a “civilian capacity” until his kidnapping on June 18, 2011.

Sadrist officials said Hultz was taken into the Green Zone immediately after the news conference and turned over to the United Nations mission in Iraq. He was transferred to the U.S. Embassy late Saturday.