A roadside bomb exploded on Sunday near a convoy of trucks carrying equipment belonging to the U.S. troops in the north of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.
The explosion took place in the evening when the convoy was moving in al-Taji area, some 20 km north of Baghdad, leaving minor damage, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but unidentified militant groups have frequently targeted civilian convoys contracted to the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, which usually travel from neighboring Kuwait to the coalition’s bases in central and northern Iraq.
“The attack on the vehicles is unjustified as they are carrying logistical equipment instead of weapons. Besides, the withdrawing forces are advisers rather than combating forces,” said Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesman of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), said in a press release.
Earlier in the day, the U.S.-led international coalition forces, tasked with fighting the Islamic State (IS) militant group, handed over a military base in Camp Taji in the north of Baghdad to Iraqi forces, the JOC said.
The attack came as the Iraqi-U.S. relations have witnessed a tension since Jan. 3, when a U.S. drone struck a convoy at Baghdad airport, killing Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.
More than 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the IS militants, mainly providing training and advising. Enditem