Islamic State Claim 50 Iraqi Army Deaths, 2 U.S. Service Members Killed

South Front reports that on Sunday, an Iraqi security source said that Iraqi security forces foiled an Islamic State terrorist attack in Karbala, Iraq. Security forces at the cement factory checkpoint west of Karbala destroyed an Islamic State vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) before it reached the checkpoint, while another VBIED withdrew towards the desert after the attack failed. VBIEDs are more commonly known as car or truck bombs. The source confirmed that only one Iraqi soldier was wounded during the attack.

The Islamic State claimed that two suicide bombers in a VBIED attacked the cement factory checkpoint and one of them managed to storm the cement factory housing, while the other one detonated the VBIED.

The Islamic State also claimed that the attack resulted in the deaths of 50 Iraqi soldiers. Furthermore, the Islamic State claimed to target a gathering of Shiite civilians in Palestine district in the center of Baghdad city with a VBIED, killing at least 27 civilians.

Lately the Islamic State resumed terrorist attacks against civilian areas in Iraq after its major defeat in Mosul city and several other areas. The Islamic State appears to be preparing for the “post-caliphate” phase in Iraq, and its terrorist activity is expected to continue during this phase in Iraq for years as a result of internal Iraqi problems and sectarian tension.

Another report by South Front states two U.S. soldiers were killed and five others were wounded while they were conducting operations in northern Iraq. A released U.S. Military statement said, “initial reports indicate the incident was not due to enemy contact”. No details have been released so far and the incident remains under investigation.

However, the Islamic State-linked news agency Amaq said the U.S. troops were killed and injured as result of the terrorist group’s shelling near Tal Afar. According to the report, the Islamic State allegedly shelled a gathering of U.S. soldiers near al-Bwair village east of Tal-Afar town with rockets. According to Amaq, 4 U.S. soldiers were killed and 6 others were injured. Amaq also mentioned that Islamic State fighters tracked and monitored the U.S. soldiers from the air using a small drone.

The town of Tal Afar is the last major Islamic State stronghold in northern Iraq. The Iraqi Army and the U.S.-led coalition are preparing  for a large-scale operation to liberate the area. Troops of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State are actively operating in Iraq and Syria and even directly engage the terrorists at the front lines. However, the U.S. military prefers not to disclose such facts.

South Front reports found here and here.

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