Israel target bases of Iraqi anti-terror forces in recent days: NYT

Israel has carried out several attacks targeting bases of Iraqi anti-terror forces “in recent days”, the New York Times reports.

American officials told that the attacks targeted Iraqi munition base, alleging that the site was being used “to transfer weapons to Syria”.

The report comes amid a series of unclaimed strikes in the past month targeting bases belonging to Iraq’s pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known as the Hashd al-Sha’abi.

On July 19, a drone was reported to have targeted a PMU base near the town of Amerli in northwestern Iraq.

The New York Times report on Friday cited an unnamed senior Middle Eastern intelligence official as saying that Israel was specifically behind the July 19 attack.

Earlier this week, another attack rocked a PMU position near a strategic air base north of the capital Baghdad.

The attack prompted second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes to announce that the group held United States fully responsible.

“We have accurate and credible information that Americans brought in four Israeli drones this year via Azerbaijan to operate within the US fleet to carry out sorties aimed at Iraqi military headquarters,” he said.

Following the strike, the PMU vowed to target any unidentified aircraft near its bases.

On Thursday, the group reported that it had shot down unidentified spy drone over capital Baghdad.

The report by the New York Times comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister hinted at possible Israeli strikes in Iraq.

“We are operating – not just if needed, we are operating in many areas against a state that wants to annihilate us. Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and instructed them to do anything necessary to thwart Iran’s plans,” said Netanyahu when asked whether Tel Aviv was considering operations in Iraq.

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