Iraq's Hashd Shaabi opens fire on reconnaissance plane near Baghdad

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-23 04:49:43|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces on Thursday announced they have opened fire on an unknown reconnaissance plane while flying over one of their headquarters near the capital Baghdad.

An online statement by the Hashd Shaabi said "air-defenses of their 12th Brigade targeted a reconnaissance plane while flying over the brigade's headquarters in an area around Baghdad."

The statement said "the Hashd Shaabi's air defenses thwarted the mission of the hostile plane" without giving further details about the exact location of the brigade or whether they brought the plane down or not.

On Wednesday, the deputy commander of the Hashd Shaabi Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes blamed in a statement the United States of being behind the recent attacks on Hashd Shaabi bases in the country.

Earlier on Thursday, the Iraqi President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and the Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi held a meeting and called for an investigation into the bombings that occurred at the Hashd Shaabi ammunition depots in recent days.

The three leaders also stressed that Abdul Mahdi, as the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, is the only official to be responsible for taking any decision or comment about the targeting of Iraqi positions, referring to that the Iraqi three leaders rejected the accusations made Wednesday by al-Mohandes against the United States as the accusations came before ending the official investigations into the explosions.

Al-Mohandes made his comments after a series of explosions at Hashd Shaabi's arms depots in Iraq, most recent of which occurred at its ammunition and weapons depots 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 in southern Baghdad prompted 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.

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