Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi accuses U.S. of being behind attacks on its bases

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-22 04:58:17|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces on Wednesday accused the United States of being behind attacks on its bases.

"The U.S. army controls the Iraqi airspace ... and disrupts any other flights, including the Iraqi army's flights, while allowing American and Israeli aircraft to implement repeated attacks," said Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Hashd Shaabi, in an online statement.

Such information "has been revealed by some U.S. research centers and statements by Israeli prime minister," he added.

The U.S. planes recently carried out reconnaissance on headquarters of the Hashd Shaabi to collect information about its ammunition and weapons depots, al-Muhandis noted.

He also blames Israel for the attacks on Hashd Shaabi positions in Iraq.

"We have accurate and confirmed information that this year, the Americans brought four Israeli drones via Azerbaijan to operate within the U.S. aircraft to carry out sorties that target Hashd Shaabi headquarters," al-Muhandis said.

The statement came after a series of explosions at Hashd Shaabi's arms depots in Iraq, most recent of which occured at its warehouses in the central province of Salahudin.

Last week, one person was killed and 29 others wounded when a huge explosion hit an ammunition depot at the Falcon military base in southern Baghdad, where Hashd Shaabi members are stationed alongside Iraq's federal police units.

The explosion prompted Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who is also commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, to order that all military flights including reconnaissance aircraft be prohibited from using the Iraqi airspace without his permission.

Mahdi also ordered the relocation of all ammunition depots, including those of the Hashd Shaabi units, to areas outside the cities.