On the evening of 12 September, according to the Security Media Cell, an IED targeted a CF-contracted logistics convoy traveling on Highway 1 near Rayash village, Salah ad Din province. A vehicle was damaged and the driver injured as a result of the blast. This latest incident is the ninth recorded IED attack targeting CF-contracted convoys since the start of September with the majority of attacks concentrated in areas along Highway 1 in central and southern Iraq. A further 13 attacks were also recorded in August.
Subsequent local reporting stated that the Iranian backed group, Ahl al-Kahaf (People of the Cave), claimed responsibility for the attack. The group along with Saraya Thawrat al-Ashreen al-Thaniyah (Second 1920 Revolution Brigade), have claimed the bulk of recent IED activity targeting CF-contracted convoys. These groups are believed to act as a front for higher-profile Iranian proxies such as Kata’ib Hezbollah. While Iranian affiliations are only thinly veiled, the use of front groups poses an obstacle for specific US military and economic retaliatory responses.
As previously discussed, the GoI remains unable to disrupt such attacks despite their increasing regularity and target locations. On 7 September, the Ministry of Interior issued a document to all Iraqi and international companies contracted with the US government to provide logistical support. The statement warned that unnamed actors intended to conduct unspecified types of attacks against such companies. Threat actors were said to possess information detailing locations of company headquarters, the nationalities of employees, and the nature of the companies’ operations. The ministry called on relevant companies to take necessary precautions, also calling on companies to report attacks that occur.
Established threat considerations remain in effect for all possible forms of attacks. The most likely targets remain organizations with contractual ties to the US military or other close ties to the US and allied governments. The most regularly targeted environments remain segments of Highway 1 in environments extending from Basra towards Baghdad and northern Iraq. Attacks may affect other major interprovincial routes as noted during this latest incident.
For further discussion and analysis please see the full report.