Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 27 September 2020

US investigating alleged militia attack on American convoy on Iraq-Kuwait border

Baghdad and Kuwait deny the attack and confirm borders are secure

There have been several attacks on US military convoys in Iraq in recent months. US Army handout via Reuters
There have been several attacks on US military convoys in Iraq in recent months. US Army handout via Reuters

The US said on Tuesday it will investigate claims of an explosion on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border that was aimed at a convoy carrying equipment for American forces.

It was not clear if there were any US troops in the convoy or if anyone had been injured in the blast on the Jraischan border crossing south of the Iraqi city of Basra, which occurred just before 9pm Baghdad time on Monday.

A Shiite armed group, Ashab Al Kahf, claimed it destroyed “equipment and vehicles belonging to the American enemy”.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors armed militias, said a video was released that showed what appeared to be an explosion and lights in the distance, with a man speaking in Arabic.

But the video could not be verified.

A spokesman for the Central Command, Maj John Rigsbee, said the military was looking into reports of the explosion.

Iraq and Kuwait denied the incident took place.

"We confirm that what is being circulated on the media about an attack on the northern Kuwaiti border is untrue, our borders are stable and secure," the Kuwaiti news agency said.

The US State Department did not respond to a request for comment by The National.

Vehicles are regularly loaded with military equipment at the crossing, Iraqi security sources said, and the cargo is usually loaded or unloaded before entering or exiting Iraq.

US forces contract foreign companies to provide security in the area, the Iraqi security sources said.

American troops and contractors sometimes travel by road with equipment and supplies between the two countries.

Little is known about the militia group but they have allegedly emerged following the heightening of tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Ashab Al Kahf means “Friends of the Cave” in Arabic, referring to a Christian and Islamic story about youths escaping religious persecution hiding in a cave for hundreds of years.

Updated: August 11, 2020 02:17 PM

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