Pro-Iranian groups in Iraq back Tehran’s attack on US, Israel - analysis

Iraq’s prime minister is reportedly heading to Erbil, the capital of the country's Kurdistan Region, where the attack took place.

 A plane is seen at the Erbil International Airport in Erbil, Iraq September 29, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/AZAD LASHKARI)
A plane is seen at the Erbil International Airport in Erbil, Iraq September 29, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AZAD LASHKARI)

A day after Iran used ballistic missiles to target Iraq, claiming to be firing them at US and Israeli targets, pro-Iranian groups in Iraq on Monday said they supported the operation. These groups were quoted in Iranian media, which clearly represents Iran’s attempt to not only take credit but to demonstrate its support in Iraq.

The US has condemned the attack. Iraq’s prime minister was reportedly heading to Erbil, the capital of the country’s Kurdistan Region, where the attack took place.

“[The] attack on the Mossad headquarters was a reaction to the bombing of the interior of Iran by the Zionists from the territory of Iraq,” Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq was quoted as saying by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency on Monday.

“The bombing of an advanced Israeli base in Erbil by Iranian forces, in which a number of Israeli Mossad officers were killed or wounded, is a process that represents a different phase of the conflict in Iraq,” it said in a statement.

The “operation was carried out in response to the bombing of Iran’s interior in recent weeks by the Zionist regime from Iraqi territory with drones,” it said.

 View of a damaged building in the aftermath of missile attacks in Erbil, Iraq March 13, 2022 (credit: AZAD LASHKARI/REUTERS) View of a damaged building in the aftermath of missile attacks in Erbil, Iraq March 13, 2022 (credit: AZAD LASHKARI/REUTERS)

It was unclear what the statement was referring to, but last week, Israel said Iranian drones flown from Iran were intercepted by Israel last March.

Other pro-Iranian groups condemned Saudi Arabia on Monday, a signal that Tehran is mustering its support and forces in Iraq. Iranian parliament members were also quoted as backing Iran’s attack on Iraq and warning Israel of further attacks.