Baghdad: An al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq on Monday claimed responsibility of carrying out an ambush that killed 48 Syrian soldiers and nine Iraq guards state employees in Iraq’s Anbar province last week.
In a statement posted on online jihadist forums, the Islamic State of Iraq said that the presence of Syrian government forces in Iraq proved collusion between the Shia-led government in Baghdad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Military detachments succeeded in annihilating an entire column of the Safavid army,” the group said referring to the dynasty that ruled Shia Iran from the 16th to 18th centuries.
“The lions of the desert and the men entrusted with difficult missions laid ambushes on the road leading to the crossing,” the group said.
Last week, gunmen attacked a convoy of Syrians who had fled Yaarabiya across the border from Iraq to escape advancing Syrian rebels.
The Syrians, some of them wounded, were being escorted back home by Iraqi guards through the western province of Anbar, Iraq’s Sunni Muslim heartland.