Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi officially accused on Monday Israel of carrying out a string of strikes against Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) camps in his country in recent months.
“Investigations into the targeting of some Popular Mobilization Forces positions indicate that Israel carried it out,” he told Qatar’s Al Jazeera television.
This is the first time that the premier accuses Israel of being behind the attacks.
He did not provide further details.
The government had set up committees to probe the attacks that had targeted several PMF camps throughout Iraq. The PMF had repeatedly pointed blame at Israel.
The government had said that it would seek the truth before pinning blame.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military declined to comment on the Iraqi premier’s remarks, saying “these are reports from foreign media and we do not comment on them”, reported Reuters.
The series of incidents at PMF bases began in mid-July, when an Iraqi fighter was killed and two Iranians were wounded in shelling on a base in Iraq's Amerli region by "an unidentified drone," according to a statement by the Iraqi joint operations command.
In August, an attack struck a position held by Brigade 45, a PMF unit based near Iraq's desertic western border with Syria, killing one fighter and severely wounding a second.
Security expert Fadel Abu Ragheef told Asharq Al-Awsat that Abdul Mahdi’s accusations were official confirmation of previous charges against Israel.
A lot of information is available about strikes that Israel has carried out in the region. The attacks are part of an Israeli plan against the PMF that will only intensify unless the forces move their weapons to the Defense Ministry, he added.
The Fateh coalition, which includes several PMF factions, stressed that the Iraqi government now reserves the right to retaliate against Israel after Abdul Mahdi revealed the results of the probe.
Fateh MP Mohammed al-Baldawi said the premier’s declaration allows the government to pursue all possible means allowed by international law to respond to Israel.
He also urged the government to purchase the Russian S-400 missile defense system to protect Iraq from attacks.
Eradaa Movement MP Hussein Arab told Asharq Al-Awsat that Iraq must now turn to the international community, starting with the Arab League, United Nations Security Council and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to file a complaint against Israel.