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SEPTEMBER 2020

PMU Commander Denies Responsibility For U.S. Embassy Attack, Vows Revenge Against Military Installations Only

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PMU Commander Denies Responsibility For U.S. Embassy Attack, Vows Revenge Against Military Installations Only

Kata’ib Hezbollah fighters gather ahead of the funeral of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Hashd al-Sha’abi or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), who was assasinated in a US airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 4, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

The leader of a large group in Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) has denied responsibility for the recent rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in the capital, Bagdad, vowing to expel U.S. troops from the country.

In an official statement, Qais Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), stressed that “the Iraqi resistant front” will not be targeting diplomatic missions in the country.

“We don’t target diplomatic missions, at all, and currently we are not targeting the U.S. embassy despite the military and intelligence presence in it,” the leader said, adding “our work is mainly focused on [U.S.] military presence.”

Khazali vowed that Iraqi Shia groups will soon avenge PMU Deputy-Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force. The two commanders were assassinated in Baghdad by the U.S. earlier this month.

The Iraqi commander said that Iraqi factions will be coordinating military, politically, culturally and socially to expel U.S. from the country.

A day earlier, Iraq witnessed a dangerous escalation when Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched over a dozen missiles at U.S. bases in the northern and western parts of the country in response to the assassination of Soleimani and his comrades.

Khazali’s statement indicates that Iraq may soon witness another attack on U.S. forces, this time by PMU groups which are receiving support from Iran.

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