An explosion has rocked a convoy carrying US military gear in Iraq near the border with Kuwait, according to Iraqi security services, who say a Shiite militia group is behind the attack.
The blast reportedly targeted a convoy near the Jraischan crossing on the Iraq-Kuwait border late on Monday after a militia group smuggled an explosive device into the area, Reuters reported, citing security sources.
The Iraqi military later denied that any attack took place, while the US Embassy in Kuwait refrained from confirming the incident, saying it would investigate.
Footage purporting to show the moment of the attack circulated on social media. Local news outlets reported that the Ashab al-Kahaf militia group had claimed responsibility for the attack.
No casualties have yet been reported, and it is unknown whether any American soldiers were in the convoy.
#BREAKING: Explosion Reported at Iraqi-Kuwaiti Border Near US Military Base; Ashab al Kahf terror org claims: operation targeting equipment and machinery belonging to U.S. forces pic.twitter.com/5Wgo1mKxBH
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) August 10, 2020
Convoys are routinely loaded with military gear at the Jraischan crossing and often guarded by foreign contractors hired by the Pentagon, the security sources said, though it is unclear if any were present at the time of the attack.
The reported attack comes less than a month after another convoy bombing in late July, which saw “Iraqi trucks carrying logistical support for American forces” targeted with two explosive devices, according to the Anadolu news agency. No group claimed responsibility for that operation, which came amid a string of similar strikes on logistics convoys in the region.
The ongoing American presence near the Jraischan crossing has come under fire from some Iraqi lawmakers, with Badr Al-Ziyadi, a member of the parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, insisting US control of the border is a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
Last month, the committee said it would reevaluate the situation and consider returning the area to federal government control.
Iraqi opposition to the presence of US forces grew following Washington’s assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in the country. Since then, US forces have withdrawn from at least three major installations, leaving some 5,200 American soldiers in the country, who continue to support the Iraqi military.
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