Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) advance towards the city of Al-Qaim, Iraq November 3, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
October 3, 2019 02:40
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s claim that Israel was behind recent attacks on PMF positions was a “green light to retaliate against Israel,” according to a commander of a group within the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces militia.
Iranian Press TV reported that Abu Ala al-Walai, commander of the Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada group within the PMF, tweeted the statement after Abdul-Mahdi told Al Jazeera that “investigations into the targeting of some Popular Mobilization Forces positions indicate that Israel carried it out.”
Ahmed al-Maksousi, second in command of the group, told al-Arabu al-Jadeed news that he called on the Iraqi government to go through diplomatic channels by submitting complaints to the United Nations, adding that different factions will meet in the next few days in Baghdad.
Maksousi stressed that “all options are open, especially since we reserve the right to respond – and the Zionist entity is not far from the range of fire.”
Hamid al-Jazairi, deputy secretary-general of the Khorasani Brigades, stated that they would have a position on the matter, and pointed out that the “resistance factions” aren’t just present in Iran but also in Syria and Lebanon. He added that “the response to Israel doesn’t have to be from Iraqi territory.”
Jazairi stated that there will be an “appropriate” response by the factions to the bombings “very soon,” adding that it will be announced in “a timely manner.”
During a cabinet meeting in August, Abdul-Mahdi talked about the “high readiness” of the Iraqi armed forces to defend Iraq and its citizens, stressing Iraq’s readiness to respond firmly and with all means available to any aggression.
Ahmed al-Asadi, a Popular Mobilization Forces official, said in August that the targeting of PMF headquarters at two Iraqi bases that month and the entrance of Israel into Iraqi territory is a “declaration of war against Iraq, its people and its sovereignty,” according to Al-Sumaria.
“Israel’s entry into our national sphere declares war against Iraq, its people, sovereignty and capabilities… silence on aggression is not a rational position, but rationality and political realism require the exhaustion of diplomatic options with the UN Security Council so that Iraq, its army and its people are in a situation of military deterrence against aggression and drones,” he said.
Multiple air strikes have hit bases held by Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in Iraq since the beginning of July. Recent attacks have hit positions near the Syria-Iraq border.