The Islamic State terror group also known as ISIS has said a British suicide bomber killed more than two dozen Iraqi army troops in an attack last Monday, a claim swiftly rejected by the Iraqi military.

The man, whose so called war name was Abu Musa al-Britani, rammed his vehicle into a gathering of Iraqi army troops and vehicles near al-Asad air base in the province of Anbar, killing 30 soldiers, the group claimed on social media. The Britani suffix is used regularly for militants from the UK.

An Islamic State flag © Ali Hashisho

But the Iraqi military denied the report, saying the attacker had been the only victim of the explosion.

Al-Asad is also used by American marine forces stationed in Iraq. Abu Musa’s real name remains unknown, but an image circulated on social media appearing to show him before the operation, clad in Isis’s signature black garb, smiling and holding a rifle. The Guardian was not able to verify the image.

Iraqi forces are battling Isis troops entrenched throughout Anbar, after liberating the province’s capital Ramadi during the winter in a major setback for the militant group.

Isis controls large swathes of territory in northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul, after surging into the country in the summer of 2014 and conquering the plains of Nineveh, as well as much of Anbar. In Syria, the group controls much of the country’s eastern regions including its capital of Raqqa and most of Deir Ezzor.

The message added that “nearly 30” were killed.

The IS message on the app claimed the convoy left Ayn al-Assad military air base, which houses Iraqi and US troops, and was heading towards the city of Kubaysah.

The Iraqi military has disputed the claims. The Iraqi military confirmed to BCC on Monday that three Iraqi soldiers had been killed and four others wounded in an attack involving four suicide car bombs in Albu Obaid, which is northeast of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.

In a separate incident, IS militants claimed responsibility for an attack in the western part of the Anbar province that took place earlier on Monday. According to reports on social media, French, Jordanian and Turkish militants took part. IS claims the French national’s name was Abu Zubayr.

The Pentagon confirmed last week that a US marine had been killed in an IS rocket attack in northern Iraq. Two rockets landed at a small US base in Makhmour, a town controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, US officials said on Saturday.

According to CNN, the attack took place at the first American firebase, a place where heavy artillery is massed to support other military units, which had only become operational a few days prior to the incident. It’s location had reportedly not been made public.

Isis has prominently featured British foreign fighters in its propaganda, including Mohammed Emwazi, who appeared in brutal execution videos that documented the killing of several western journalists and aid workers.

He was later killed in a drone strike. Last September, prime minister David Cameron said the UK had carried out drone strikes that killed two other Britons fighting for Islamic State.


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