Posted on August 22, 2019
The deputy head of the Popular Mobilisation, which is dominated by Shia militias, alleged that US forces had brought four Israeli drones into the country to target its positions. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis said the force would use “all means at its disposal” to prevent and deter future attacks.
The US and Israel have not commented.
However, the US-led multinational coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group, which has facilities in Iraq, denied any involvement. “The mission of CJTF-OIR in Iraq is solely to enable our Iraqi security force partners in the mission of an enduring defeat of [IS],” it said. “We operate in Iraq at the invitation of the government of Iraq and comply with their laws and direction.”
On Tuesday night, a large blast hit a Popular Mobilisation arms depot near Balad airbase in Salahuddin province, about 80km (50 miles) north of Baghdad.
The exact cause is not yet known, but a Popular Mobilisation source told Reuters news agency that the depot was targeted by an aerial bombardment.
On 12 August, an even bigger explosion at a Popular Mobilisation arms depot at the al-Saqr military base near Baghdad killed one civilian and wounded 29 others.