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SEPTEMBER 2020

U.S. Officials Confirm Israel Was Behind Attacks On PMU Bases In Iraq

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U.S. Officials Confirm Israel Was Behind Attacks On PMU Bases In Iraq

Illustrative: An Israeli Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter jet takes part in a graduation ceremony for IAF pilots at the Hatzerim base in Israel’s Negev desert on December 26, 2018. (Jack Guez/AFP)

U.S. officials have confirmed that Israel was behind a series of airstrikes, which targeted bases and ammo depots of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in the last two weeks, the New York Times reported on August 22.

A senior Middle Eastern intelligence official also confirmed that the airstrikes on the PMU, including the July 19 attack, were carried out by Israel. The source said that the July 19 airstrike destroyed a shipment of precision-guided missiles which were on their way to Syria, claiming that the airstrike was carried out from “within Iraq.”

“Israel is pushing the limits with the strikes in Iraq … The airstrikes could get the United States military removed from Iraq,” the New York Times quoted a senior U.S. official as saying.

The PMU had held the U.S. and Israel responsible for the attacks on bases, claiming that Israeli drones were deployed inside Iraq with help from the U.S. The information provided by the New York Time is in line with these claims.

A few hours before the release of the New York Times’ report, the PMU’s air-defense units opened fire at an unknown drone that was flying over a base near Baghdad without authorization.

The PMU vowed to respond to any future attack on its bases with the weapons it already has and “other advanced weapons.” This means that another strike by Israel could indeed put the U.S. military presence in Iraq on the line.

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