On March 12, Iraq’s al-Ahad TV broadcasted released a report documenting aerial attacks on Iraqi government forces during the last year.
According to the report, Iraqi government forces were targeted on the following occasions:
- On April 24 of 2019, U.S.-led coalition warplanes targeted the Iraqi Federal Police (IFP) in the district of Hawija in the northern province of Kirkuk. Three IFP personnel were killed and injured as a result of the airstrikes.
- On July 19 of 2019, an unknown unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) struck the headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) 16th Brigade in the town of Amerli in the northern province of Saladin.
- On August 12 of 2019, Israeli warplanes struck ammo depots in Camp Falcon in the area of al-Dora south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
- On August 20 of 2019, unknown UCAVs struck ammo depots of the PMU in the area of Balad in the southern Saladin countryside.
- On December 29 of 2019, U.S. warplanes struck the 45th and the 46th Brigades of the PMU in al-Qa’im on Syria’s border. The airstrikes killed 27 Iraqi fighters.
- On January 3 of 2020, U.S. warplanes targeted PMU Deputy-Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Iran’s Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassam Soleimani near the Bagdad International Airport, killing them both as well as several other commanders.
These violation of Iraq’s airspace appear to be related to the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran and its regional allies.
As a result of these attacks, the PMU and several Shiite parties are now working to push the U.S.-led coalition out of Iraq via political means. Military pressure on U.S. forces in Iraqi also increased, with several rocket attacks targeting their bases over the last few months.
The tension between the PMU and the U.S.-led coalition will likely increase in the upcoming few months. This could lead to a new Shiite insurgency in the war-torn country.
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