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Revealed: Images of bombed Iraqi site indicate it was hit in airstrike

2019/08/15 | 19:48

(Iraq Now News)-

An Israeli satellite imaging firm released photos of a weapons

depot in southern Baghdad controlled by a pro-Iranian militia that was hit in

an alleged Israeli airstrike earlier this week.ImageSat International said that damage characteristics

identified from the photos show “it is probable that the blast was caused by an

airstrike, followed by secondary explosions of the explosives stored in the

depot.”On Tuesday, a former Iraqi deputy prime minister appeared to

blame Israel for the massive explosion on Monday.“We believe they are weapons we were

holding onto for a neighboring state and they were targeted by an oppressive

colonial state on the basis of a treasonous Iraqi act,” former deputy prime

minister Baha al-Araji wrote on Twitter.An unnamed security source said that Israel was behind the

strike.“All indications point to Israel, perhaps with the support of

the United States, completing what it started in Syria in terms of targeting

sites with Iranian forces,” the source said.The Israel Defense Forces has not commented on the reports.According to foreign reports, Israel has been increasingly

active in carrying out airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Iraq,

shifting its focus after years of reported raids aimed at keeping Tehran from

gaining a foothold in Syria.Israeli officials have identified Iraq as a likely growing base

of operations for Iran-backed efforts against Israel.“It is clear that we are in the midst of a real battle between

Israel and the United States against Iran and its allies in Iraq.

It is clear

that the two sides chose Iraq to be the place for their unannounced battle,”

the unnamed security source said.The blast occurred Monday in the Saqr military base in the

southern section of the Iraqi capital, which is ordinarily used by the

country’s Federal Police and Iran-backed militias according to Iraq’s Interior

Minister Saad Maan.Local media reported that the weapons storehouse was controlled

by the Sayyid of Martyrs Battalions, an Iraqi Shiite militia supported by Iran.In contrast to the opinion of the unnamed defense source, Adel

al-Karawi, spokesman for the Ansar Allah al-Awfiya in IMIS, said that “the data

regarding a fire breaking out at the Saqr base, near the al-Dura area south of

Baghdad, indicates the base was subject to a bombardment by an American [drone]

carrying missiles.”The explosion set off some of the munitions stored on the base,

sending projectiles into surrounding neighborhoods.According to Maan, 13 people were injured in the blast,

including two federal policemen and four IMIS members.

It was not immediately

clear if the injuries were caused by the initial blast or the projectiles that

were launched following the blast.Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said one person was killed

in the Monday incident and that civilians were also wounded.

Mahdi ordered an

investigation into the blast along with “integrated safety measures at all

military bases and armed forces’ storage facilities to prevent it from

occurring again,” he wrote on Twitter.But the unnamed security official said the results of the

investigation — as well as investigations into previous cases of bombings at

pro-Iranian militia bases — would likely never be publicized as doing so “will

bother the Iranians.”“[Tehran has] adopted a strategy to not announce Israeli and

American targeting of their sites in Syria and later in Iraq,” the source


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