News that Israel was behind airstrikes in Iraq has reinvigorated calls to oust U.S. forces from the country.
A U.S. official confirmed Friday that Israel had struck a base for the Hashd al Shaabi, an umbrella group of Shiite-dominated militias also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, many with deep links to Iran. Two Iranian commanders were reported killed in the attack, which occurred in July.
It was unclear whether Israel was behind three other explosions that have destroyed militias’ weapons depots in Iraq.
The confirmation coincided with an edict from Grand Ayatollah Kazem Haeri, a powerful Iraqi cleric based in Iran who is thought to be a mentor to some of Iraq’s top militia leaders. He blamed both Israel and the U.S. for the attack and proscribed American troops’ presence in Iraq. [Continue reading…]