Iraq News
Security

Proxies insult Iraq with attacks on coalition convoys

By Faris al-Omran

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Paramilitaries stand guard during a funerary procession for Wissam Alyawi, a leading commander of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl Al-Haq militia in Baghdad on October 26th, 2019. [Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP]

The most recent attacks by Iran's proxies on the international coalition in Iraq, in which two convoys were hit by roadside bombs, show Iran-backed militias undermining the Iraqi state, a tribal official said.

Two convoys of trucks operated by contractors that were transporting logistical equipment for the international coalition were on Thursday (December 10th) targeted by roadside bombs planted by pro-Iran militias.

One convoy was attacked on the highway in Iraq's southern province of al-Muthanna, and the other on the international highway in the area of al-Latifiya, south of Baghdad.

The convoys were damaged in the blasts, but there were no casualties.

A previously unknown group calling itself "Qassem al-Jabareen Brigade" claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by pro-Iran media outlets, including Sabreen News on Telegram.

A video clip purporting to show the convoy carrying military Humvees in the town of al-Latifiya before it was hit also was circulated with the statement.

The same media outlets carried fresh threats from Zulfiqar Brigade and Ashab al-Kahf, which have claimed responsibility for previous attacks in Iraq.

'Defiance of order and authority'

The latest attacks are part of a fresh attempt by Iran and its proxies to destabilise Iraq and disrupt its security, said Sheikh Muzahim al-Huweit, a spokesman for the Arab tribes in Ninawa.

Iran-aligned factions that claim they are operating under the banner of "the Islamic resistance" and which appear under different names are all working for Iran's interest and carrying out its orders, he told Diyaruna.

"The fact that these militias have resumed their provocative attacks, which always hurt Iraqi civilians, is evidence of their defiance of order and authority," he said.

In carrying out such attacks they prove once again that they are "not part of the state, but rather are illegal groups that violate the law and spread chaos under false pretenses and slogans", al-Huweit said.

By pushing its proxies to attack international missions, Iran seeks to put pressure on the international community to relieve the pressure it is facing, he said, and to force the foreign military and diplomatic presence from Iraq.

Iran's goal is to strengthen its influence and domination in Iraq and to engulf it in divisions and strife, he added.

Kataib Hizbullah and other Iran-backed militias on October 10th announced a "conditional truce" to suspend the attacks, which they have broken a number of times, most recently with the two Thursday attacks.

Last month, on November 17th, seven rockets landed in the Green Zone and surrounding area, killing a young girl, in an attack claimed by Ashab al-Kahf.

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