Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

US officials Confirm Israeli Strike on Iranian Arms Depot in Iraq

US officials Confirm Israeli Strike on Iranian Arms Depot in Iraq

Friday, 23 August, 2019 - 08:15
FILE PHOTO: Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fighters ride in a tank near the Iraqi-Syrian border in al-Qaim, Iraq. Iraq November 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
US officials have confirmed Israel was responsible for the bombing of an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq last month.

The confirmation comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly hinted his country was behind recent airstrikes in Iraq.

"I don't give Iran immunity anywhere,” Netanyahu said in an interview Thursday.

Asked whether that means Israel is operating in Iraq, he said: "We act in many arenas against a country that desires to annihilate us. Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and the instruction to do what is needed to thwart these plans of Iran."

According to the Associated Press, two American officials said Israel carried out a July attack on a weapons depot - used by the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) - that also killed two Iranian military commanders.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter with reporters.

Early Friday, the New York Times, citing Israeli and US officials, reported Israel bombed an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq last month.

A senior Middle Eastern intelligence official said Israel bombed a base north of Baghdad last month, while two American officials said Israel carried out multiple strikes in Iraq in recent days, the Times reported.

PMF’s deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis has been unequivocal in blaming Washington for the blasts.

But Faleh al-Fayyad, the official head of the PMF, has walked back the accusations, saying investigations were ongoing.

"Preliminary investigations" found the incidents were "an external, premeditated act," he said.

"The investigations will continue until the responsible entities are accurately identified to be able to take the appropriate stances."

Editor Picks

Multimedia