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Iraqi government 'hires American mercenaries to secure Baghdad-Amman highway' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Iraqi government 'hires American mercenaries to secure Baghdad-Amman highway'

Iraqi forces fighting IS in Anbar province [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 May, 2017

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"The provincial government and the central government have contracted with private security police to secure the international road and control it," said Faleh Al-Issawi, vice-president of the Anbar provincial council.
The Iraqi government has signed a contract with US mercenaries to secure a road between Baghdad and the Jordanian capital of Amman.

"The provincial government and the central government have contracted with [private] security police to secure the international road and control it," said Faleh Al-Issawi, vice-president of the Anbar provincial council.

 "The American company will begin its functions on July 15 in accordance with our contract," he added.

Al-Issawi insisted that the US contractors are only temporary, and that "all foreign forces will withdraw once the contractors complete their job and that Iraqi forces are ready to secure the border."

The Iraqi government is trying to revive the Trebil border crossing, which was closed after IS captured the Anbar province in 2014.

The crossing remains dangerous and still subject to IS attacks.

The New Arab was unable to verify which American companies the Iraqi government has hired, but the US has previously contracted contractors from controversial private security firms such as the former Blackwater Security Consulting.

In 2007, Blackwater employees were accused of being behind the Nisour Square massacre, in which they shot at unarmed Iraqi civilians, killing 17 and injuring 20.

The website of the US embassy in Baghdad lists the names of several private security and military contractors currently active in Iraq.

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