Americans need to understand the Middle East
How much do we really know?

At The Media Line, we value all points of view and aim to mend our differences through fact-based narrative-inclusive journalism Help support our bold and brave team in Afghanistan, Gaza, Israel, Palestinian Territories, the UAE, and beyond.
Help us continue our work and provide access to the news that matters to you.

Thank you and best wishes to you and yours for this Jewish New Year.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
Iranian-allied Shiite Fighters in Iraq Threaten Israel
Members of the the Popular Mobilization Forces gather in Baghdad to honor Iranian fighters who died fighting the Islamic State. (Ameer Al Mohammedaw/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Iranian-allied Shiite Fighters in Iraq Threaten Israel

Popular Mobilization Forces also charge US with green-lighting alleged Israeli strikes

The deputy chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq has accused the United States of facilitating the entry of Israeli drones into the country to target their military headquarters.

Jamal Jaafar al Ibrahimi, known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, said in a statement that the PMF has information about American involvement in helping Israeli planes fly into Baghdad.

“We have information, maps and recordings of all types of aircraft. When it took off, when it landed and the number of hours it flew in Iraq,” the statement said.

It added that “any foreign flight over our headquarters without the knowledge of the Iraqi government will be considered a hostile flight,” and the responsibility would be placed on American forces.

Al Ibrahimi accused the American military of flying reconnaissance missions over PMF headquarters, and that Washington had collected information and data about Iranian-backed fighters and their weapons.

Fadel Abu Ragheef, an Iraqi political analyst and security expert, told The Media Line that the PMF has received intelligence reports indicating that Israel is targeting its assets.

“Israel is convinced the forces have ballistic missiles from Iran,” he said. But Abu Ragheef denied the claim, saying it would be “very difficult to transfer and carry these missiles to Iraq, especially considering that the borders are highly secured and monitored by Arab coalition forces.”

He noted that Israel was concerned these arms could be transferred to and used by Iranian-allied mercenaries in Syria, which is why the PMF believes the Israeli military is behind numerous recent attacks.

Emad Awad, a Palestinian defense expert, told The Media Line that Israel has “an interest in attacking Shiite forces in Iraq, seeing them as being representatives of Iran. Israel has established understandings with Russia and the US that it would stay out of Syria, in return for which it has been guaranteed protection in cases of threat.”

Yaakov Amidror, Israel’s former National Security Adviser, told The Media Line that the issue is “why there are even Iranian proxies in Iraq, which is an independent and sovereign state. Is Baghdad trying to become the new Lebanon and be like Hizbullah?”

When asked whether Israel has attacked the PMF in Iraq, Amidror could not offer confirmation but reiterated that “an Iranian proxy shouldn’t be in Iraq. They say they are there to fight ISIS. Is the Islamic State in Baghdad now? No.”

The various units that comprise the Shiite-majority PMF have more than 140,000 fighters. They played an important role in defeating ISIS in Iraq.

Last year, the Iraqi government refused to comply with new US economic sanctions targeting Iran’s crucial energy, shipping and banking sectors. Baghdad announced its decision after Iraqi President Barham Salih visited Tehran, where he discussed with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, ways to enhance bilateral ties, as well as establishing free trade zones along their shared border.

The trip raised eyebrows in Washington, which fears growing Iranian influence over Baghdad.

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today.
Thank you!

We paved the way to be the Trusted Mid East News you can rely on!

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.