Israel launches a plane into an Iraqi missile that officials say Iran uses to transfer weapons to Syria, an attack that could strengthen Iraq and push it deeper into the conflict between the United States and Iran. 19659002] The attack, believed to be Israel's first bombing in Iraq in nearly four decades, represents an expansion of the Israeli-led military campaign against Iran's targets in Syria.
The attack on Israel last month was one of several recent attacks. in weapons storage facilities controlled by Iraqi militants in connection with Iran. It is unclear who carried out the other attacks, which set in Iraq as it struggled to recover from nearly 40 years of war and instability.
Responding to the attacks on Thursday, Iraq's national security adviser, Falih al-Fayadh, said that Iraq wanted to avoid sides in any struggle between Iran and other countries and "pushed back in a war. "
"The government of Iraq and especially the security agencies and armed forces will take all measures necessary to protect Iraq and its people and to prevent any attempts at destabilization," he said.
He said the government had yet to determine who was behind the attacks.
An old Middle East intelligence officer reports that Israel bombed a base north of Baghdad on July 19.
Two senior American officials, however, say that Israel has carried out several strike in recent days in municipal barns for Iran-backed groups in Iraq.
In a statement on Wednesday. Jamal Jaafar Al-Ibrahim, the deputy head of the Iraqi military known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, blamed "American and Israeli aircraft" for conducting "repeated attacks" at the local headquarters. of groups.
The Israeli military refuses to comment on the attacks but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asked about them during a visit to Kiev, Ukraine on Monday, said "Iran has no security anywhere."
"A state that says, 'We'll try to destroy you and we will build bases on fire missiles and send terrorist cells against you & # 39; – until I mentioned, there is no safety.' in pain, "he told reporters. "We are acting – and currently acting – against them, wherever necessary."
Israel brought hundreds of planes against Iranian assets to Syria during the eight-year civil war.
In Iraq, there have been four attacks on weapons depots in the last three months. Three of these belong to the Popular Mobilization Forces in or near Salahuddin Province. The fourth is a Baghdad base used by federal police and militants.
The Israeli attack on July 19 erupted on a basis that a Middle East intellectual officer said was used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to transfer weapons to Syria. The Israeli strike, launched from within Iraq, the official said, destroyed a shipment of missile guides that covered 125 miles.
An Iraqi military official confirmed that a base was injured and said three people were killed in the strike, including one Iranian.
The latest attack occurred on Monday at the periphery of the extensive Balad Airbase, an Iraqi military base previously used by the United States. Militias set up storage facilities around the base, and bombing threw explosions of Katyusha rockets, mortar shells and grenades around the area.
No deaths have been reported.
The militias, also known as Hasht al Shabi, are officially an arm of the Iraqi Security Forces but operate only semi-independently and with many strong ties to Iran. Militias began as an informal volunteer force in 2014 to help defend the country from the Islamic State and have been credited with helping defeat the group.
But since then, some of the militias with closest ties to Iran have been seen as Iranian proxies whose interests align with their sponsors in Tehran rather than the Iraqi government. Some of their leaders are on the US terrorism list.
Israeli officials say they have become a conduit for the transfer of Iranian weapons to its Syrian militias and to Lebanon-based Hezbollah. Iran has become a critical partner for the Syrian government, which has allowed it to build a large military infrastructure there, repeatedly attacked by Israel. there was no part of that fight. Iraq is a close ally of Iran but Iraqi officials are worried about the use of Tehran or Washington, trying to punish Iran for its military activities in the Middle East.
The Israeli step also holds potential risks for the United States. , whose troops remain in Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State. Because the United States is a close ally of Israel, Iraqis are quickly blamed for allowing Israelis to carry out attacks in Iraq. Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss fine diplomatic matters, the official said the planes could have the United States military removed from Iraq.
The last known Israeli attack on Iraq was in 1981, when a plane crashed into a nuclear reactor. under construction near Baghdad. Israeli officials contend that the reactor is intended to produce nuclear weapons.
Israel has long maintained a policy of silence and ambiguity over its airstrikes in Syria until January, when the outgoing chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot, was openly described. campaign in The New York Times. He said Israel had hit Iran's targets or its proxies in Syria and Lebanon "thousands" of times "without claiming responsibility or asking for credit." bombed an Iranian weapons depot at the airport in Damascus, and threatened more attacks. of which only a small part was declared "to prevent Iran's efforts to obtain a foothold in Syria.
Iran and Hezbollah, he said," are trying to move some of their bases northward. Syria. At the same time, they set up bases and factories for sophisticated weapons in Iraq and Lebanon. They mistakenly believe that we will find it difficult to get there. ”