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Iraq: The Middle East’s new battle front between Israel and Iran

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In the last two months, several unexplained explosions occurred in Iraq, significantly damaging ammunition warehouses and weapons storage sites. All targets have been associated with Iranian-backed Population Mobilisation Forces (PMF), suggesting that explosions could not be a mere coincidence as they were probably caused by precision air strikes. Though no one has officially claimed responsibility, in most reports the fingers have been pointed towards Israel, which has the means and motive to perform such raids.

According to various sources, the targeted sites (Al-Saqr military base in southern Baghdad, Camp Ashraf and another PMF base in Amerli) were all identified as stockpiles of Iranian ballistic missiles or rockets from which Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were coordinating their operations in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

While Israel has not commented on any of these attacks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefly said that “Iran has no immunity, anywhere”, in what many interpreted as a clear sign that Israel really stands behind the raids.

Recent strikes have opened the question as to whether Israel just opened a new front against Iran in Iraq. If these allegations are proven true, this would be the first Israeli attack on Iraqi soil since 1981 when Israel attacked an Iraqi nuclear reactor.

READ: Israel came dangerously close to Iran strike, expose reveals

For Dalia Dassa Kaye, director of the Centre for Middle East Public Policy at RAND Corporation, this does appear to be a new front in Israel’s ongoing confrontation with Iran. “Israel views all countries where Iranian aligned forces operate as fair game in its efforts to prevent weapons transfers and missile........

© Middle East Monitor