On 5 March, according to local reporting, five Korean employees of the Daewoo Company were assaulted while driving near the Al-Faw Grand Port project site. The assailants reportedly discharged live ammunition towards the vehicle, but no serious injuries resulted. The car sustained damage but the workers were only slightly wounded, seemingly indicating the intent to intimidate rather than cause fatalities. Images released by media sources depicted a vehicle damaged by rocks or blunt objects, rather than rounds.
Social media sources speculated that the attack was conducted by individuals affiliated with Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq PMF (AAH). The links with AAH remain unconfirmed at present, with a range of employment disputes and tribal tensions recorded previously in the area in relation to commercial operations at Al Faw Port. It is likely that local threat groups involved in the current attack had connections to AAH, but there is no indication that the incident was driven by the organization. Meanwhile, pre-existing local issues related to the project afford a likely explanation against the background employment disputes as well as other forms of extortion conducted by criminal actors.
The attack was first reported somewhat belatedly, likely due to the commercial sensitivities involved. On 6 March, by Basra MP Kadhim Finjan al-Hamami stated that unidentified actors conducted a “successive series of attacks at different times” affecting South Korean citizens employed with Daewoo at Al Faw Grand Port Project, southern Basra province. No further details were provided concerning the dates and locations of other incidents, the types of assaults, and the extent of injuries or damages. Further information is required to clarify the nature of the incidents beyond harassment-style attacks resulting in property damage.
Please see our report for the full story and further analysis.