Iran-Backed Group Claims Series Of Attacks Against U.S. Forces In Southern Iraq

May 15, 2022

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On May 15, 2022, a group which calls itself Katibat Al-Sabiqoun claimed responsibility for several attacks against a U.S. Army logistics support convoy in southern Iraq, all of which were carried out on that day.

According to the statement it posted, the group detonated an IED in Al-Muthanna Governorate at 05:30; at 06:30 and 06:45 it detonated two IEDs on a convoy near the city of Al-Diwaniyah, near the Al-Dawajin area; while another IED was detonated on a convoy near the Afaq junction in Al-Diwaniyah. It isn't clear whether the same convoy was targeted more than once, or the attacks were perpetrated on different convoys.

Katibat Al-Sabiqoun vows that its coming operations against "all the interests of the occupier will be more painful."[1]

The group, which made its first appearance on April 14, 2021, is one of numerous groups established in Iraq to be used as "fronts," following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Al-Hashd Al-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Units, PMU) on January 3, 2020. The creation of these groups was part of an Iranian tactic to distance Iran and the militias which are known to be loyal to it from operations perpetrated against U.S. forces, so as to avoid American reprisals.[2]

In a statement released by Katibat Al-Sabiqoun when it was established, it announced that its aim is to resist the "American enemy and its agents." It also states that the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the American occupier, as well as Iraqis who collaborate with them, are all in the gunsights of the members of the resistance. The group also threatens to attack the presence of "the Zionist entity" in the Kurdistan region.[3]


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