Alleged US airstrike was ISIS attack on power lines: Iraqi officials

While pro-Iran media claimed the explosions were caused by US airstrikes, Iraqi officials have confirmed that the incident was an ISIS attack on infrastructure.

Iranian-backed militias stand on a tank close to the Syria-Iraq border (photo credit: ALAA AL-MARJANI/REUTERS)
Iranian-backed militias stand on a tank close to the Syria-Iraq border
An attack by ISIS militants on power transmission towers south of Baghdad caused the explosions mistakenly reported by regional media as US airstrikes on sites belonging to pro-Iranian militias in Jurf al-Sakhar south of Baghdad on Monday night, Iraq's Security Media Cell confirmed on Tuesday morning.
On Monday night, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen news, as well as Al-Hurra and Al-Arabiya, reported that explosions were heard near Jurf al-Sakhar overnight after airstrikes targeted sites in the area. While Al-Mayadeen claimed that US airstrikes had targeted sites belonging to the Iraqi Armed Forces, Al-Hurra and Al-Arabiya claimed that the sites allegedly targeted belonged to the pro-Iranian Kataib Hezbollah militia, with multiple deaths and injuries reported in the alleged incident.
Iraq's Security Media Cell denied that Iraqi security forces in the area had been targeted by any strikes on Monday night, calling on the media and bloggers to be careful about transmitting information and not to broadcast rumors.
A senior US defense official told Jennifer Griffin of Fox News overnight that there were no US airstrikes near Baghdad on Monday night, despite the reports. A Reuters reported confirmed that the US Central Command (CENTCOM) denied any knowledge of airstrikes in Iraq.
Earlier on Monday, multiple logistical convoys supporting the international coalition were targeted by IEDs, according to Iraqi media. No casualties were reported.
The reports come amid continued tensions following the first anniversary of the US assassination of former IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Iranian officials blame on Israel. Iranian officials have vowed revenge for both of the assassinations, as well of a number of other incidents blamed on the US and Israel.
Pro-Iranian militias have repeatedly clashed with US forces in Iraq, with dozens of rocket attacks in recent years targeting the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the US embassy is located, as pro-Iranian militias have demanded that US forces leave the country.
In 2018, Reuters reported that Iran was producing missiles in Jurf al-Sakhar, the area reportedly targeted on Monday night. Al-Arabiya reported that the area is used by Hezbollah for a number of operations, including developing missiles.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.