Report: Unidentified Aircraft Strikes Base of Iran-backed Militia in Iraq

Two attacks reported within hours, but no casualties reported

Plumes of smoke rise after an explosion at a military base southwest of Baghdad, Iraq, August 12, 2019.
Loay Hameed / AP

An unidentified aircraft struck on Sunday a military base near an airfield west of Iraq's Anbar province, Lebanese television network Al-Mayadeen quoted Iraqi sources as saying.

The sources added that the military base serves an Iranian-backed militia. No casualties were reported in the alleged strike.

Hours later, a second attack on a base in the Fallujah area, used by Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces fighters, was reported by Al Hadath, citing Iraqi security sources.

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On Wednesday evening, drones attacked a company of Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces fighters in Syria near the border with Iraq, Iraqi sources reported.

Sky News in Arabic cited an Iraqi security source as saying that five people were killed in the attack, and nine more were wounded.

The attack targeted militias that were operating near the Syrian city of Al Bukamal, the source said.

Following the attack, the troops dispersed to avoid further assaults on them, the source added; they also moved ammunition to hidden places to make it more difficult to strike them from the air.

This is the third time in two weeks that sites run by Shi'ite militias are attacked in this area. Last Monday, there were reports in Iraq of a strike on weapon storage facilities run by militias affiliated with Iran. Iraq's Afaq TV attributed the attack to Israel, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 10 Iran-backed fighters died. 

Recently, Israel has been accused of carrying out a series of strikes in Iraq — some of them in the country's west, near the Syrian border. The strikes targeted Iran-backed, Shi'ite militias and its convoys that were smuggling weapons into the area. While Israel did not confirm it carried out the strikes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted on several occasions that he Israel will not hesitate to extend the borders of the fight against Iran.