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Nujaba warns Daesh supporters after reports of plots to hit Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala

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)
The photo shows the site of a twin bombing attack in a central market in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on January 21, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Iraq’s Harakat al-Nujaba resistance group has warned about plots by the terrorist group of Daesh to carry out attacks in the capital Baghdad, as well as the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, threatening the regimes supporting the Takfiri group that they will cause the war to drag into their own lands.

Nasr al-Shammari, the spokesman for the al-Nujaba movement, which is part of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, said in a televised interview with Iraq’s Aletejah TV that the movement had information that Daesh was planning more attacks after its recent attack in Baghdad.  

“Daesh is seeking to target Najaf, Karbala and the capital [Baghdad]. Terrorists are currently preparing two suicide vehicles in the Baghdad belt area. Of the five suicide bombers, only two blew themselves up and three others are still alive,” he said.

On Thursday, Daesh carried out a deadly twin bombing attack in the Iraqi capital, which claimed the lives of at least 32 people and wounded 110 others in a crowded marketplace.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said the first attacker drew a crowd at the bustling market in the capital’s Tayaran Square by claiming to feel sick and then detonated his explosives belt, while the second attacker set off his explosives after more people flocked to the scene to help the victims.

Al-Shammari offered his condolences to the bereaved families of the victims, saying the al-Nujaba movement had information proving that Daesh was recovering.

“We … have intelligence [of that] and we are ready to cooperate with the [country’s] security apparatus [to foil the plot],” he said during the interview.

He said that terrorists were attempting to reach Karbala through the al-Anbar desert, adding, “One of the two suicide bombers of the recent operation had infiltrated into our territory from the Syrian border, right from the point where, in a seemingly deliberate act, Iraqi units had been moved.”

The spokesman also warned that Iraq’s security and the protection of Iraqi people’s lives are “our red line,” threatening to bring the war into the land of “those who want to set fire to Iraq.”

The Thursday attack drew a wave of condemnations in Iraq and elsewhere, with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi promising a crushing response against the “evil leaders” of Daesh.

“Our response to those who shed innocent Iraqi blood will be bold and earth-shattering, and the evil leaders of Daesh will face a force to be reckoned with,” Kadhimi tweeted on Thursday.

Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah resistance group, part of the PMU, blamed the “axis of evil” – namely Saudi Arabia, the US and Israel – for the bombings, warning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he will pay the price for supporting such plots.

“The Zionist, American, and Saudi evil bands have restarted their filthy criminal acts against the children of the Iraqi nation by committing an ugly crime, which targeted a marketplace full of poor Iraqis,” the group said in a statement.

Another Iraqi group blamed Saudi Arabia and the UAE, warning that the Iraqi fighters will not remain indifferent in the face of such crimes.

The fingerprints of the Al Saud and Al Nahyan regimes are evident in the attacks, said Saad al-Saadi, a member of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement.

The group’s spokesman, Jawad Al-Talibawi, also took to Twitter to say Saudi Arabia had once again mobilized its agents to shed the blood of the Iraqi nation after former US President Donald Trump’s criminal role came to an end in Iraq.

Also on Thursday, two roadside bomb attacks targeted convoys of logistic vehicles belonging to the US military coalition in Iraq.

The first attack occurred in Iraq’s southern province of Muthanna on a highway near the provincial capital city of Samawah, leaving no casualties, while the second attack took place on a highway in Abu Ghraib area, west of the capital Baghdad, several hours later.

On Friday, bomb attacks targeted three US-led coalition convoys in different areas of Iraq, bringing to five the number of attacks against coalition convoys in 24 hours.

Since January last year, Iraq has been the scene of several attacks against the positions of the US military, which came to the aid of Daesh by assassinating Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani – a prominent anti-terror commander who played a significant role in the defeat of the terrorist group in 2017.

General Soleimani and his companions, including the deputy commander of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020. The strike inflamed anti-American sentiments in the Arab country.

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