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Iran's retaliation is wake-up call for Iraqis about Israeli danger

A building was damaged by the Iranian missile retaliation in Erbil, northern Iraq. (Photo by Reuters)

Iraq's popular anti-terror groups have urged eviction of foreign forces from the country, saying the regional Kurdistan government's hosting of Mossad elements makes them a valid target for any side.

Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba weighed in on Sunday after missiles fired by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in retaliation razed Mossad centers in Kurdistan’s Erbil.

Akram al-Kaabi, the secretary general of the movement, said the fact that the Kurdistan region “provides Mossad agents with refuge” makes it allowable for any party to target the “Zionist spies.”

The Erbil operation targeted the “lair of the Zionists, who have taken refuge with a famous family to carry out their mercenary operations,” he said, referring to the Barzani family, which has dominated Iraqi Kurdistan's politics for some time. 

The family provides refuge to Iraq’s “enemies with the aim of weakening and disintegrating the country” and separating Kurdistan from Iraq, al-Kaabi said.

“We congratulate those who stand with us against Daesh and Mossad,” he said in an apparent reference to Iran which was key to helping Iraq drive out the Takfiri terrorists from its cities.

Kaabi said he had received verified reports that several Mossad agents had been killed in Iran's retaliatory attack.

He said he was surprised by Kurdish leaders claiming that they were unaware of the presence of Mossad elements in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, which he said, "is quite obvious".

Kaabi also welcomed calls for the formation of a committee to investigate the existence of Mossad centers in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

"This committee should lead to the consolidation of Iraqi sovereignty over the rule in Erbil and prevent further defiance," Kaabi said.

Another Iraqi resistance movement said the decisive counterattack by Iran on Mossad training centers in Erbil portends "a different stage of conflict on the Iraqi soil.”

"We reiterate the need to expel foreign military bases and intelligence bases from our country, in order to avoid the further burden of international and regional conflicts on our soil," Kata'ib Hezbollah said in a statement.

The group also upbraided certain groups and individuals who have talked disparagingly about Iran's retaliation. 

"Where were these voices, when the American and Zionist occupiers were bombing Iraqi forces and military warehouses?” it said.

Senior Iraqi cleric Jawad al-Khasi said Mossad uses the Kurdistan region to “export terrorism” to Iraq and its neighbors.

'Iran strike proved resistance enjoys upper hand’

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said the Iranian counterattack proved that “the resistance today enjoys the upper hand in the region.”

“The Islamic Republic proved that it can deliver a painful blow on Israel at the right time, and turn the tables on it,” the group said.

It congratulated the IRGC on the operation, describing it in line with reinforcing the axis of resistance.

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