Roadside bomb kills five Iraqi officers near Jordanian border
A bomb attack targeting a convoy of border guards near the Jordanian frontier in Iraq has killed five officers, in what may have been an act of retaliation by Takfiri group Daesh for a decision by Baghdad to shut down a main crossing in the west of the country.
Security sources said the powerful blast hit a convoy of Iraqi border guards that was heading to the border post of Trebil on Saturday.
Military sources in Baghdad said the bodies of the five guards were transferred to the Jordanian capital of Amman through Trebil as the road back to Baghdad was not safe. Walid al-Dailami, who commands an ongoing operation to retake the western province of Anbar from Daesh militants, said the bodies will immediately be flown back to Baghdad from the Jordanian capital.
He said another Iraqi military vehicle was also destroyed during the attack. There are various accounts about how the attack was conducted, with some sources saying that a bomber emerged from the roadside and hit the vehicle carrying the officers. Other sources said the attack could have been a car bomb that was remotely detonated.
No matter how it was carried out, the attack can be interpreted as Daesh retaliation for Baghdad’s Thursday decision to close down Trebil. The closure has purportedly deprived the Takfiri group from one of its major sources of income as it reportedly levied “taxes” on the trucks carrying goods between Jordan and Iraq.
Over the past months, Iraq had periodically closed down Trebil despite criticism from officials in Jordan, who say the closure seriously affects trade between Amman and Baghdad.
Elsewhere in eastern Iraq, at least 13 soldiers and officers were killed in clashes that erupted near Meqdadiyah in Diyala Province. Iraqi police sources said the clashes began after Daesh militants attacked the positions of pro-government forces in two villages near Meqdadiyah. According to reports, scores of Iraqi forces and militants were injured during the fighting, which lasted for hours.
Daesh has managed to extend the areas under its control in Iraq to as far as Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. Iraqi military and volunteer forces have been engaged in a massive operation to push the militants back from Anbar, while a plan is also on the agenda to attack Daesh in Mosul, north of the country.