Iraq is moving to strengthen its air defenses

Iraqi Defense


2019/08/23 06:24:32

The National Security Council held its meeting chaired by Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Adel Abdul Mahdi, and discussed issues prepared for its agenda.

The Council stressed that all military formations, including the Popular Mobilization, had a great role in combating terrorism and liberating Iraqi lands and cities from terrorism and that the government is responsible for protecting them. The Iraqi airspace, except with the approval of the commander in chief of the armed forces or his duly authorized persons, and take the necessary measures and steps to transfer weapons and equipment to secure storage places outside the cities.

The Council discussed the assumption of the Ministry of Defense to develop appropriate plans and procedures to arm the air defense command commensurate with the current and future situation.

The Council agreed that the Ministry of Defense would conclude a memorandum of understanding with its Lebanese counterpart.

The National Security Council approved the national policy to rehabilitate society after liberating cities from ISIS terrorist gangs.

The New York Times reported that Israel launched at least one strike on a weapons depot in Iraq.

Israel bombed a base north of Baghdad in July, while two US officials said the Jewish state had carried out several strikes in Iraq in recent days, the newspaper quoted a senior Middle East intelligence official as saying.

Four bases used by the Popular Mobilization, which includes pro-Iranian Shi’ite factions hostile to the US presence in Iraq, suffered mysterious explosions last July.

Israel has repeatedly bombed Iranian targets in Syria. But extending this campaign to Iraq – where Israel destroyed the July nuclear reactor in 1981 – could damage relations between Washington and Baghdad.

The deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Council, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, who is on the US blacklist because of his aggressive hostility to the US presence, accused the US forces on Wednesday of being “the first and last responsible” for the attacks that were carried out “by agents or by specific aircraft operations.”

He accused the Americans of “bringing four Israeli drones” into Iraq to “carry out sorties targeting Iraqi military headquarters,” threatening that the PMU would treat any foreign aircraft flying over its positions without the knowledge of the Iraqi government as “enemy aircraft.”

The head of the Popular Mobilization Commission, Faleh al-Fayyad, national security adviser to the Iraqi government, on Thursday mitigated the charges.

Although he said that “preliminary investigations” had revealed that the incidents were “an orchestrated external act,” he stressed that ”

The Pentagon denied the charges. “We are not involved in the recent bombings,” a ministry spokesman told AFP, stressing that the US presence in Iraq was to support the country’s efforts against jihadists.


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