BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement says the United States and the Zionist regime have been behind a recent attack on positions held by the anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi.
Asa’ib Secretary General Qais Khazali criticized the Iraqi government for its silence on the September 14 raid on the border between the town of al-Qa’im and the Syrian city of al-Bukamal.
“The denial on the part of the Americans does not absolve them of their responsibility in this regard, because in practice, the responsibility for Iraqi airspace lies with them. If they were not involved in this attack, it is the work of the Zionist enemy,” he said.
“Israeli planes cannot target positions held by Iraqi military forces without American consent,” he added.
Khazali also denounced as “unjustifiable” the Iraqi government’s inaction to purchase air defense systems in a bid to deter repeated acts of aggression against the country.
Colonel Wayne Marotto, spokesman for U.S.-led coalition’s Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), had in a tweet claimed that Washington was not behind the aerial assault.
Telegram channels affiliated to resistance factions said the U.S. denial was due to its fear of a reaction by Iraqi fighters.
Media sources said that the attack involved U.S. F-15 fighter jets and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) firing four missiles at Hashd al-Sha’abi positions.
The town of al-Qa’im came under an attack by U.S. warplanes on June 27 at the order of US President Joe Biden.
The U.S. strike killed four Iraqi fighters who were performing their duties of preventing the infiltration of Daesh terrorists from Syria.
Meanwhile, Iraqi military sources on Friday said the U.S. agreed to reduce military units in two military bases in Iraq by the end of September.
The agreement was reached during a meeting held on Thursday in Baghdad between an Iraqi committee headed by JOC’s Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir al-Shammari and a U.S. committee headed by Maj. Gen. John Brennan, commanding general of the U.S.-led forces in Iraq, a statement said.
The two sides agreed to reduce troops from the military bases in Ayn al-Asad in the Anbar province in western Iraq, and Erbil in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern of the country. The reduction of U.S. troops will be completed by the end of this month.
American occupation troops are required by the parliament to leave Iraq under a resolution passed by the Arab country’s parliament on January 5, 2020.
However, Washington has been dragging its feet on the troop pullout and targeting anti-terror groups from time to time.