How Iraq plans to Secure Key Border Road

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Iraq is trying to revive the Trebil border crossing between Iraq and Jordan, which was closed in 2014 after the Islamic State (IS) took control of Anbar province.

But the highway from Baghdad toward the crossing is not safe and has been the stage of terrorist attacks for a while, most recently the IS attack on an Iraqi security forces’ convoy April 22 in the Al-Sakkar area east of Rutba on the highway near the Jordanian border.

As a result, 10 security officers were killed and 20 others were injured. Following the incident, soldiers of the Eighth Brigade deployed in Rutba appealed to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for equipment and weapons to secure the international highway between Ramadi and Rutba to avoid surprise attacks by IS sleeper cells.

Due to the imminent threats to the road, which is one of Iraq’s vital economic lines as it connects Basra in the south to Jordan in the west, Iraq commissioned an American company to secure and rebuild the road. The contract also included reconstructing bridges, 36 of which are destroyed.

A government source close to Abadi told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “In his recent visit to Baghdad, Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, discussed with Iraqi officials the issue of securing the Baghdad-Terbil and the Safwan-Terbil crossings.”

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