According to local media reports, Iraqi security forces reported that a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a convoy of trucks carrying supplies for the US-led coalition on the Hawalli Highway in Babil Governorate, Iraq, Dec. 23. Some material damage was reported; however, as of yet, there are no reports of casualties. No group has formally claimed responsibility for the attack.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions between the US, Iran, and Tehran-backed regional proxies. Tensions have been high since Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and several prominent Iraqi Shi'a militia leaders, including Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, were killed in a US drone attack near Baghdad International Airport (BGW) in January. Shi'a militia leaders have regularly threatened to avenge Soleimani's and al-Mohandes' deaths; IEDs against convoys carrying supplies for US-led coalition forces have increased. Currently, approximately 5,000 US-led coalition forces remain in Iraq to assist Iraqi security forces in fighting the Islamic State (IS), mainly in an advisory role.
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