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Senior cleric demands govt. action against Iraq sovereignty violation

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows fighters from the pro-government Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in an undisclosed location in Iraq. (Photo by the media bureau of Popular Mobilization Units)

Senior Iraqi cleric Ammar al-Hakim has called on Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to adopt effective measures aimed at defending the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the wake of strong indications that the United States and the Israeli regime were involved in recent attacks on positions of pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

“Repeated violations of the Iraqi sovereignty take place in the light of officials’ and the government’s silence to expose the perpetrators and the motives involved. We have had enough of condemnations. What our military facilities are subjected to is a serious violation of our national sovereignty. The government should assume its responsibilities for these violations, and defend the country,” the leader of the National Wisdom Movement said in a post published on his Twitter page on Thursday.

Meanwhile, PM Abdul-Mahdi, President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi have met in the capital Baghdad to discuss the latest attacks on the bases of the Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi.

The trio stressed the need for the formation of a fact-finding mission to investigate explosions at the weapons depots of the volunteer forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi (L), President Barham Salih (C) and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi meet in the capital Baghdad on August 22, 2019 to discuss the latest attacks on the bases of pro-government Popular Mobilization Units. (Photo by al-Sumaria television network)

They also called on the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the terrorist Takfiri Daesh group to honor its commitments as regards the protection of Iraqi airspace against any hostile aircraft.

On Wednesday, the second-in-command of the Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, held the United States fully responsible for recent attacks on the volunteer forces.

Second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes (file photo)

He said in a statement that the US, which has contributed to the emergence of terrorist groups in the Middle East, is now considering various ways to violate Iraq’s sovereignty and targeting the PMU.

“We have accurate and credible information that Americans brought in four Israeli drones this year via Azerbaijan to operate within the US fleet to carry out sorties aimed at Iraqi military headquarters. We also have other information, maps and recordings of all types of American aircraft, when they took off, when they landed and the number of hours they flew,” Mohandes pointed out.

“Instead of chasing Daesh terrorists, US military aircraft are collecting information and data concerning the brigades of the Popular Mobilization Units, and their warehouses and arms depots,” the statement read.

Sayf al-Badr, spokesman of the Iraqi Health Ministry, said in a statement that at least one person was killed and 29 others were wounded in a powerful explosion, which rocked a military base in southern Baghdad on August 12.

An unnamed source from Iraq’s Interior Ministry said an ammunition warehouse exploded inside a federal police military base, named Falcon, in Owerij area near the southern district of Doura.

The source added that the blast was followed by a series of explosions at the warehouse that sent a large amount of shrapnel to nearby houses.

Arabic-language al-Ahad TV television network reported on July 19 that a drone had dropped explosives onto a base belonging to the Popular Mobilization Units near the town of Amerli, located about 170 kilometers north of the capital, in the early hours of the day, killing at least one PMU fighter and injuring four others.

Video footage broadcast by Iraqi channels showed a blaze burning at the site and plumes of thick smoke billowing. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Moreover, the Iraqi al-Etejah television network reported that an American B350 reconnaissance plane had flown over the area a few days earlier.

The Israeli regime has a record of attacking the forces fighting Daesh in Syria.

In June 2018, Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters came under attack in Syria’s border town of al-Hari, in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, as they were chasing Daesh terrorists out of the area.

Both the Syrian government and Hashd al-Sha’abi declared back then that the attack near the Iraqi-Syrian border had been deliberate and could only have been carried out by either Israel or the United States.

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