A statement signed by the Islamic Army in Iraq and posted today, January 11, 2005, to a popular jihadist message board, ?claims responsibility for the death of the Ukrainian soldiers and their companions in the attack that the Mujahideen carried out on Sunday, January 9, 2005 in al-Suwayrah, South of Baghdad.? The statement claims that the Ukrainians were lured to the site, which had been booby-trapped, and that ?[m]ost of the 40 soldier-troops were killed in the operation, and the 3 armored vehicles and 2 lorries were destroyed.? The statement stresses that this ?was a planned operation, unlike some reports that claimed that the soldiers were detonating weapons, and the weapons exploded amongst them.?
The Islamic Army in Iraq is a resistance group which has carried out attacks in Iraq against U.S. and Iraqi forces (including the October 24, 2004 mortar attack which killed Ed Seitz, assistant regional security officer at the US embassy in Baghdad, as well as a Summer 2004 attempt to assassinate Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi). The group recently sent a message to the American People (translated by SITE and distributed to subscribers on January 7, 2005) promising attacks against American soldiers and citizens in 2005.
A full translation of the statement is made available to our Intel Service Members.