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US officials confirm Israeli air raid on Iraq | News



US officials confirmed that Israel was responsible for the bombing of a suspected Iranian weapons depot in Iraq last month, The Associated Press reported .

The attack marked a significant escalation in the years of Israel – a prolonged campaign against what he sees as Iranian military assets in the region.

The confirmation comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu categorically hinted that his country was behind the latest air strikes that struck bases and ammunition belonging to Iran-backed military forces operating in Iraq.

Mysterious attacks have not been declared by any party and have left Iraqi officials fighting for an answer, amid strong speculation that Israel may be behind them.

Earlier this week, the deputy head of Iraqi Shiite militias, collectively known as the People's Mobilization Force, openly accused Israeli drones of carrying out the attacks, but ultimately blamed Washington and threatened

such attacks potentially destabilizing Iraq. his fragile government, which is struggling to remain neutral amid mounting tensions between the US and Iran.

Natasha Ghonim of Al Jazeera, reporting from Baghdad during the latest round of airstrikes, said Iran-backed armed groups have been operating in Iraq with full government support since 201

4 when they joined the fight against ISIL.

"A new law that came into force on July 31 requires all paramilitary groups to report to the Iraqi security forces or to drop their weapons," Ghoneim reports.

Iranian commanders killed

At least three explosions have taken place in Iraqi Shiite bases in recent months. US officials now confirm that Israel is responsible for at least one of them.

Two U.S. officials said that in July, Israel raided an Iranian weapons depot, killing two Iranian military commanders. US officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss the issue with the media.

The July 19 attack struck a militia base in Amirli, in the northern Iraqi province of Salahidin, causing a huge explosion and fire. [19659004] A senior Shiite militia officer at the time told the AP that the base had hit advisers from Iran and Lebanon.

He said the attack was directed at the advisers' headquarters and a weapons depot.

On August 12, a large-scale blast at an al-Saqr military base near Baghdad shook the capital, killing one civilian and injuring 28 others.

The facility housed a weapons depot for the Iraqi Federal Police and the IMF. The latest of the explosions came Tuesday night at an ammunition depot north of Baghdad.

There have been weeks of speculation in Israel that the army is attacking targets in Iraq.

"We act in many

In an interview with Russian language television on Thursday, Netanyahu indicated that the speculation was true.

"I am not giving Iran immunity anywhere," he said, accusing the Iranians of trying to set up bases "against us everywhere," including Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

Asked if this means that Israel is operating in Iraq, Netanyahu replied: "We are operating in many arenas against a country that wants to destroy us. Of course, I gave the security forces a free hand and instructions to do everything necessary. in an attempt to thwart Iran's plans. "

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

This will be Israel's first known and air raid in Iraq since 1981, when Israeli warplanes destroyed a nuclear reactor built by Saddam Hussein.

It also intensifies Israel's campaign against Iran's military involvement in the region.

Israel has previously recognized hundreds of air strikes on Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, mainly weapons shipments thought to target Iran's allies on Hezbollah.

Israel regards Iran as its greatest enemy and has sworn repeatedly that it will not allow Iranians who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces to establish a permanent military presence in Syria.

Defeating Iraq would be much more complicated than reaching neighboring Syria.

Israeli military aircraft will likely have to travel through Turkey, a former ally that now has a cool relationship with Israel or through Saudi Arabia to strike in Iraq.

Israel and the Saudis have no official diplomatic relations, but are thought to have formed a backstage alliance based on their shared hostility to Iran.


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