Base of Iraqi military base struck, but by whom?

Suspected Israeli missiles have hit several targets across Iran and Iraq
Suspected Israeli missiles have hit several targets across Iran and Iraq Copyright Vahid Salemi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Vahid Salemi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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One member of the anti-American Shiite militia group was killed in the attack and eight injured. It blames the US but Washington denies carrying it out.


Iraqi authorities said on Saturday that they are investigating an explosion that struck a base belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iran-allied militias, overnight.

Militia officials had initially described the explosion at the Kalsu military base north of Babylon - a former US base that was handed over to the Iraqi military in 2011 - as an airstrike, blaming it on U.S. forces. The U.S. Central Command denied in a statement that it had carried out any airstrikes in Iraq. The PMF in a statement Saturday afternoon described the incident as an "attack" but did not blame any specific party.

Iraq's Security Media Cell said the country's air defence command had not detected any drones or fighter plane in the airspace of Babylon before or during the explosion, which killed one PMF member and injured eight other people, including an Iraqi army soldier.

The PMF is a coalition of primarily Shiite, Iran-backed armed groups designated as an “independent military formation” within the Iraqi armed forces.

In recent months, some of the PMF member groups launched attacks on U.S. forces based in Iraq and Syria, which they said was in retaliation for Washington’s support of Israel in the ongoing war in Gaza. Those attacks halted after three U.S. soldiers were killed in a strike on a base in Jordan, near the Syrian border, prompting U.S. retaliatory strikes in Iraq.

The explosion at the PMF base came a day after a suspected Israeli strike in Iran. An umbrella group of Iran-backed militias calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Iraq said Saturday that it had launched a drone attack against the Israeli Red Sea town of Eilat in response to what it described as Israel's "violation of Iraqi sovereignty in its treacherous targeting of the Popular Mobilisation Forces camps."

There were no reports in Israel of an attack on Eilat and no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

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