Members of the the Popular Mobilization Forces gather in Baghdad to honor Iranian fighters who died fighting Islamic State. (Ameer Al Mohammedaw/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Reports: Israel Strikes Iran-linked Weapons Depot in Iraq

Multiple news reports claimed that Israel was responsible for a massive explosion earlier this week in an arms depot in Baghdad controlled by Iranian-backed Shiite fighters. The blast occurred Monday at the Saqr military base, which is used by state-sponsored Popular Mobilization Forces mostly loyal to Tehran. “We believe they are weapons we were holding onto for a neighboring state and they were targeted by an oppressive colonial state,” former Iraqi deputy prime minister Baha al-Araji wrote on Twitter following the alleged attack. Meanwhile, a security source on Wednesday told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat news outlet that Jerusalem was behind the strike. “All indications point to Israel, perhaps with the support of the United States, completing what it started in Syria in terms of targeting sites with Iranian forces,” the unnamed individual was quoted as saying. Indeed, the Israeli army has conducted hundreds, if not thousands, of strikes in Syria in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from establishing a permanent military presence there, as well as from transferring advanced weaponry to its Hizbullah proxy in Lebanon. According to media, Israel over the past months has conducted multiple strikes in Iraq, where Iran is reportedly setting up bases and shipping sophisticated weaponry – including ballistic missiles – to its underlings.

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