Rocket attack on Iraq-Kuwait border escalates tensions

Rocket attack on Iraq-Kuwait border escalates tensions

- in All News, Archive
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Relations between the two countries have slipped to their lowest ebb since the 1990-91 Gulf War after Kuwait began building the $1.1bn (£673m) Mubarak al-Kabir port on Bubiyan Island in May this year. Iraq argues that the new port, just 12 miles downstream from its own prestige port project, the Grand Faw, will strangle its narrow waterways and kill trade at its existing facilities.

Three Katyusha rockets hit the border area in the early hours of Friday morning last week, Al-Arabiya television reported. The rockets reportedly landed in Iraqi territory without reaching Kuwait.

While Iraqi officials have denied that the port was targeted, the Iraqi Shia militia Kata’ib Hezbollah had earlier threatened the South Korean consortium working on the project unless it stopped.

News of the port’s construction was met with anger in the Iraqi parliament, developing into a tense war of words with calls for ambassadors to be expelled from both sides.

"If the Kuwaitis want evil, it will fall on their heads," the Iraqi parliamentarian Izzat Al-Shabander told the Kuwait Times after the attack, adding that Iraq was trying to resolve the dispute "peacefully".

The Kuwait embassy in Baghdad was evacuated last month after being struck by Katyusha rockets. The spat echoes the posturing that took place before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. 

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