Two soldiers were dead and one injured when a parked car exploded in Iraq's western province of Anbar early on December 23, told the Iraq military to the media. The area was once Islamic State's last stronghold in the country, the military said. It is unclear who launched the attack yet in recent days the Islamic State militants have carried out a string of attacks in the area since they lost control in 2017 and reverted to hit-and-run insurgency tactics. The military said that the car exploded while soldiers were inspecting it on a road leading to Anbar's Qaim district, 300 km west of Baghdad and close to the border with Syria.
The search for the terrorist elements which committed this criminal activity is ongoing said the military.
On December 11, at least one vehicle-born improvised explosive device (VBEID) attack and possibly another suicide bombing appeared to target members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias in the southern parts of Iraq’s Salahuddin province. Several were reported dead in the attacks as per the Iraqi military communications center, known as the Security Media Cell. It was not clear if there had been two separate attacks. Local media reported that there had been two separate incidents, marking yet another attack amid a significant uptick in the number of terrorist activity in recent weeks across Iraq. As the IS activity continues, multiple attacks have also occurred in the northern parts of Diyala province, in areas controlled both by Iraqi security forces and those controlled by Kurdish forces. additional Peshmerga reinforcements have been deployed in the area to bolster defences against further assaults.
The Qaim border-crossing which connects Iraq with Syria reopened after eight years of closure. The crossing borders the Syrian town of Albukamal, which was also dominated by the Islamic State. Back in 2014, the Islamic State seized land in both Iraq and Syria, declaring a caliphate across both countries. The terror group was removed from the areas by Iraq when it declared its victory over the group in 2017. The militants lost their last territory in Syria earlier in 2019.