Everything you need to know about alleged airstrikes in Iraq - Timeline

It began on July 19 with unidentified “bombs” falling on an “Iran-allied militia base” in Iraq north of Baghdad.

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August 22, 2019 12:03
1 minute read.
Everything you need to know about alleged airstrikes in Iraq - Timeline

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaks during a news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim in Baghdad, Iraq May 26, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/KHALID AL MOUSILY)

Alleged airstrikes in Iraq targeting the bases of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have increased over the last month, with the militias blaming America and Israel for the incidents. Here is everything you need to know about the emerging crisis.

It began on July 19 with unidentified “bombs” falling on an “Iran-allied militia base” in Iraq north of Baghdad, according to Kurdish media. The attack happened at Amerli. Local members of Kata’ib Hezbollah, a militia group, immediately blamed Israel and the US. Washington said that it had not carried out the “attack against the Iranians and Popular Mobilization Forces” at the base. By the next day, the militia groups said that none of their forces had been killed.

On July 30 a new attack was reported at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province, not far from the first incident. Reports in Asharq al-Awsat said that Israel was behind the attack “using F-35s.”

On August 12, another explosion south of Baghdad at Camp Falcon was blamed on “foreign actors” by Iraqis on social media. Satellite images from ImageSat International published on August 14 showed the site of the explosion and concluded that it had been an airstrike. Iraq put new orders in place to restrict use of its airspace by the US. An Iraqi MP blamed Washington, and PMF militia leader Qais Khazali called for an investigation. A member of the State of Law Coalition in Iraq’s parliament said that the US was attacking Iraq on August 19. The Harakat Hezbollah militia also blamed America.

August 20 began with reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “hinted Israel might be behind attacks in Iraq,” according to Radio Farda. But Baghdad rejected Netanyahu’s reported comments. Hours later, unknown aircraft bombed a PMF base near Balad, according to Al-Ain news. Iraqi fire crews arrived, as did high level army and ministry of defense officials.

On August 21, deputy leader of the PMF Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis blamed the US for the attacks and claimed that four Israeli drones were responsible. The head of the PMF said foreign forces were responsible. Asharq al-Awsat reported that the US had given Israel the green light for the attacks.

On August 22, Iran unveiled a new missile defense system.


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