In Rudaw

Explosion targets convoy transporting US-led coalition equipment in northern Baghdad: US official

An IED attack targeted a convoy transporting US-led coalition equipment in Taji, northern Baghdad on Tuesday morning, according to a US official.

The official told Rudaw English that the convoy targeted was an Iraqi contractor company.

The Iraqi Security Media Cell released a statement on Tuesday confirming the attack, which burned a container part of the convoy.

The US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) have troops at the nearby Camp Taji military base.

Iraqi contractor companies transporting US-led coalition equipment inside Iraq have been targeted multiple times in recent months. Most of the attacks are claimed by armed groups formed after the January killing of Iranian commander Qasem Solaimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, former commander of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) in a US drone attack in Baghdad.

Groups such as Asahab al-Kahaf, Usbat al-Thaireen, and Liwa’a Thaier al-Muhandis were formed after the US drone attack to avenge the deaths of Soleimani and Muhandis.

However, no group has so far claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack in Taji.

Coalition spokesperson Colonel Myles B. Caggins III on denied reports that another convoy had been targeted near the Kuwait border on Monday evening.

Reuters previously reported that an explosion targeted as Iraqi contractor near the Jraischan border crossing between Iraq and Kuwait, citing unnamed security sources.

Another IED attack against a convoy transporting coalition equipment was reported on Sunday near Dhi Qar province. One vehicle suffered “minor damages”, according to the media cell.

Washington and Baghdad have had a rocky relationship in recent years, made worse by mounting tensions between the US and Iran in recent months.

Iraqi military bases hosting US troops have come under repeated rocket attacks in recent months. US officials suspect the attacks were launched by pro-Iran militias.

A deadly rocket attack on the K-1 base in Kirkuk last December led to an escalation in US-Iran hostilities, culminating in the US assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis in Baghdad on January 3.

Tehran retaliated on January 8 with a barrage of missiles targeting Iraqi bases hosting US troops.

In response to the assassinations on Iraqi soil, pro-Iran factions in the Iraqi parliament held a non-binding vote to expel foreign forces from the country.

The US has deployed Patriot air defense batteries to Ain al-Assad military base in Anbar province, and another to Erbil.

The US-led global coalition against ISIS is drawing down in Iraq. US-led coalition troops have withdrawn from seven bases in Iraq, with British forces withdrawing from Taji last month. Source