U.S. officials confirm Israeli air strikes on Iraqi Shiite militia targets

category:Military
 U.S. officials confirm Israeli air strikes on Iraqi Shiite militia targets


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Two U.S. officials told the Associated Press that the Israeli military bombed a weapons depot in Amiri, Salahuddin province, northern Iraq, on July 19, killing two Iranian military commanders.

An Iraqi Shiite armed official told the media at the time that the site of the attack was a camp of Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon in Iraq.

The United States has designated Iran to deliver military personnel and weapons to Syria, Iraq and other countries, disrupting the regional situation. Iran denies that it sent a small number of military advisers at the request of these countries.

Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias have suffered at least three similar attacks in the past month, either in camps or in arsenals.

An explosion occurred on 12 August at the Sakhar military base in southern Baghdad, killing and injuring civilians. This base is where Iraqi Federal Police and Shiite militant Peoples Mobilization Organization store weapons.

On August 20, a loud bang was heard near Bailed Air Force Base, 80 kilometers north of Baghdad, where the Peoples Mobilization Organization exploded in a weapons depot.

The Iraqi government ordered a thorough investigation of the aforementioned incidents, but did not give any comment. Peoples Mobilization Organization second-in-command Jamal Jafar Ibrahimi denounced the United States and Israel 21, saying the United States allowed four Israeli drones to enter Iraqi airspace to launch air strikes. The Pentagon later denied it.

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Iraqi and Israeli media have long speculated that the Israeli military is inevitably involved. Israeli officials have repeatedly hinted that Irans military assets in Iraq could be used.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not deny Israels involvement in an interview with a Russian television station on the 22nd.

Asked if Israel was taking military action in Iraq, Netanyahu answered, We are taking action in many places against a country that hopes to destroy us. Of course, I give the security forces full freedom, (or) give them orders to do what they need to do to thwart Irans plans.

The New York Times reported on July 23 that Israel launched an air strike on an Iranian Arsenal in Iraq, using U.S. and Israeli officials as sources. It is unclear whether the air strikes they said were the same as those reported by the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reports that if the news is true, it will be Israels first air strike on targets in Iraq since 1981. In 1981, Israeli warplanes bombed a nuclear reactor built by Saddam Husseins regime.

This means that Israel has expanded its military operations against Iran from Syria to Iraq. Following the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Israel launched hundreds of air strikes against Iranian military targets in Syria, most of which are believed to be weapons delivered by Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Associated Press reports that air strikes on Iraq are more troublesome for Israel than air strikes on neighboring Syria. If Israeli warplanes want to enter Iraqs airspace, they need to borrow from other countries, such as Turkey or Saudi Arabia, whose relations with Israel are not good enough. (Wang Hongbin) (Special Release of Xinhua News Agency)

Source: Xinhua responsible editor: Lin Zhiheng_NY9285