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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Jordan medevacs four Iraqi soldiers wounded in explosion near border 

The servicemen underwent treatment in Jordan, including amputating "lower extremities"

Members of the Jordanian Armed Forces participate in a ceremony held to rename the Rapid Intervention/ High Readiness Brigade as the HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's Rapid Intervention Brigade, at Al Husseiniya Palace. Ministry of Presidential Affairs
Members of the Jordanian Armed Forces participate in a ceremony held to rename the Rapid Intervention/ High Readiness Brigade as the HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's Rapid Intervention Brigade, at Al Husseiniya Palace. Ministry of Presidential Affairs

The Jordanian air force carried out a medical evacuation of four Iraqi soldiers wounded on Friday when an explosive device detonated near the border between the two countries.

The state-run Petra news agency reported that the four servicemen were wounded when the device exploded near the Al Karamah crossing between the two countries.

The men were transported to the Al Hussein Medical City hospital by Jordanian helicopter where they underwent treatment. The report indicated that the servicemen were rushed to surgery for that included “amputation of the lower extremities”. The men are now stable, the report said.

The Iraqi military attaché in Amman and a number of members of the Iraqi Embassy attended the hospital.

The Al Karamah border crossing between Jordanian town of Ruwaished and the Iraqi town of Turaibil was closed for over two years after the blitzkrieg assault by ISIS saw large parts of Iraq fall to the militant group.

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ISIS fighters poured over the border in the summer of 2014, taking control of the Iraqi towns of Mosul, Fallujah and Tikrit as well militants as large parts of surrounding desert. The launched offensives to try and capture the Al Karamah border post but were held back by the Iraqi army.

Government forces, backed by the US led coalition against ISIS, beat back the extremists, retaking Mosul in 2017 after eight bloody months of fighting.

After the defeat of ISIS in Iraq was declared the Al Karamah border post was reopened last year after talks about ensuring security. It was done “after securing the international road from criminal gang attacks” a joint statement by the Iraqi and Jordanian governments said on August 30, 2017 – the day after the border reopened.

Jordanian security forces stand guard at the Al Karameh border point with Iraq on August 30, 2017. AFP
Jordanian security forces stand guard at the Al Karameh border point with Iraq on August 30, 2017. AFP

“The two governments pledge to make every effort through their joint cooperation to achieve the smooth flow of citizens and trucks in both directions,” the statement said.

On November 7, the Jordanian cabinet agreed a $7.3 million (Dh 27 million) plan funded by the EU to modernize the crossing. The project would improve border crossing buildings, buy needed equipment and open a training centre for tackling drug smuggling and cross border crime.