SECURITY experts believe the United States is targeting Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) in order to resuscitate the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group that had wreaked havoc in the country since 2014 but which was defeated in late 2017.
‘Washington helped the terrorists to enter the al-Jada’a camp in (Iraq’s) Nineveh province by transferring them from the al-Hawl camp in Syria. This shows that the US wants the resumption of terrorist operations in Iraq,’ Iraqi security expert Ali al-Waeli said on Sunday, as reported by the IRNA news agency and Iraqi media.
Al-Waeli said Iraq’s security forces should closely watch the terrorists’ movements in the areas where they are operating.
Nasir al-Shamas, a Syrian security expert, also warned of the United States’ move to target the PMU (also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi) by levelling accusations at the resistance group.
‘The American forces have resorted to direct confrontation (with PMU) after they were faced with major obstacles in smuggling narcotics and weapons for the terrorist on the Syrian-Iraqi border due to Hashd al-Sha’abi and its supporting forces,’ al-Shamas said.
The PMU forces played a key role in the defeat of Daesh and other terrorist groups in Iraq, but the US government has stabbed the anti-terror group in the back on several occasions.
On May 24, a barrage of rockets landed in Iraq’s Ain al-Asad air base, which houses US forces.
Ain al-Asad has been targeted several times since Iran launched a barrage of missiles at the base on January 8th, 2020, as part of its retaliation for the US assassination of top anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani.
Anti-American sentiments have remained high in Iraq since that ill-advised US act of terrorism, which also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the PMU.
An Iraqi lawmaker says the parliament will summon Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi for explanations over the United States’ continued violation of the country’s sovereignty and plans to target the anti-terror PMU (Hashd al-Sha’abi).
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces arrested Qasim Muslih, a senior official with the PMU, in Baghdad on charges of involvement in several attacks including the most recent attack on Ain al-Asad.
Iraq’s Defence Minister Juma Anad on Saturday described Muslih’s arrest as a ‘wrong move’, adding that his case has been dealt with in a wrong way and the solution to the issue is not right, either.
Anad told Iraq’s Al-Marbad news website that he had fought alongside all PMU units against Daesh, and that the support of the popular resistance group in the parliament led to his appointment as defence minister.
On the arrest, Khadim Al-Waeli, former advisor to the military coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said the US is behind the targeting of PMU commanders so as to pave the way for Daesh terrorists to enter Anbar Province again and resume their terrorist activities in the province.
According to al-Shamas, the latest ‘suspicious movements’ were done to distract public attention away from the Palestinian resistance and their achievements, and to get Iraq’s resistance stirred up into a domestic war.
‘The US government’s actions in the future will not be military, but in the first place, giving false information to the Iraqi government about Hashd al-Sha’abi (PMU) forces and other Iraqi security commanders,’ the Syrian security expert warned.
Meanwhile, US military officials are ‘increasingly alarmed’ by drone attacks from anti-terror resistance groups in Iraq, The Washington Post reports.
Amid rising tensions between the US and anti-terror Iraqi groups, the ‘Daily Caller’ reported on Friday that the Pentagon is planning to seek approval from US President Joe Biden to launch strikes against those groups.
‘The administration is looking hard at a broad range of responses to Shiite militia aggression against Americans in Iraq,’ the news website quoted an unnamed source ‘with knowledge of the situation’.
It also quoted a second source as saying that the operations plan and various options will be discussed with the White House through the National Security Council, adding that ‘officials would seek Biden’s approval for the strike orders sometime soon.’
Biden’s first military strike on another country’s soil was against the PMU at a border point in Syria’s eastern province of Day al-Zawr, only a month after he assumed office.
Early last year, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill demanding the withdrawal of all US-led foreign military forces from the country in the wake of the assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis. But the US-led forces have maintained their presence in Iraq.
The US invaded Iraq in early 2003 under the later debunked pretext that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Since then, according to Iraqi President Barham Salih, $150 billion of Iraq’s stolen money has been smuggled out of Iraq in corrupt deals.
- Iran’s defence minister says Palestinian missiles and drones will continue to haunt illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied territories following the regime’s recent failed aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip.
‘From now on, missiles, drones and defensive capabilities of the true owners of Palestine will haunt usurper Israeli settlers like a nightmare,’ Brigadier General Amir Hatami told high-ranking officials of Iran’s Defence Ministry on Sunday.
He added that the most important achievement of the victory against the Israeli regime in the recent war was enhanced unity and solidarity among all Palestinians across the occupied territories in the face of the criminal Zionist regime and its Western and American supporters.
‘As the sage Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) said, the Zionist regime will not see the next 25 years,’ he added.
Pointing to the Palestinian resistance fighters’ victory over ‘the armed-to-the-teeth Israeli regime,’ Hatami emphasised that the Palestinian people fought the enemy under the most difficult circumstances ‘and emerged victorious through faith in the divine victory over falsehood.’
Meanwhile, the Hamas resistance group says it is capable of firing hundreds of missiles with the range of up to 200km in one minute.
The Gaza war began on May 10 and lasted until May 21, when the occupying Israeli regime announced a unilateral ceasefire, which was accepted, through Egyptian mediation, by the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza.
The war was precipitated after weeks of Israeli violence against Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s attempts to force more Palestinians out of their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood so as to build new illegal settlements.
Throughout the 11-day conflict, Israeli airstrikes killed at least 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, wounded almost 2,000, and displaced over 72,000 people in the besieged enclave. On the other side, Palestinian rocket attacks killed 12 people in the occupied territories.
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations says Israeli authorities must be brought to justice as the Tel Aviv regime is committing ‘heinous’ crimes against the Palestinians.
And the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said on Saturday that the Zionist regime and the US are declining and face more defeats as the resistance front strengthens and wins bigger victories in the future.
Hajizadeh added that ‘victories of the resistance front and back-to-back defeats of the global arrogance and the Zionist regime are not confined to their policies vis-à-vis Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq or Yemen … the Zionists know that they should pack up and leave this region.’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Hatami warned that the enemy of the Islamic Republic (Iran) is attempting to break the Iranian nation’s resistance and eliminate the Islamic Republic from the region.
‘Through negative propaganda and offering a distorted image of the valuable achievements of the Islamic Republic, the (world’s) arrogant system is trying to do away with solidarity and social strength of the Iranian nation, because they know that today, Iran is a powerful Iran, which is source of huge developments both in the region and at the international level,’ the Iranian defence minister said.