Iraqi PM accuses Israel of attacking Iraqi militias

BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has accused Israel of initiating attacks on Iranian-backed militia positions in Iraq, the first time Baghdad has directly accused Israel, Al TV reported on Monday. Jazeera.

“Investigations into the targeting of certain positions of the Popular Mobilization Forces indicate that Israel led it,” Al Jazeera said, citing Abdul Mahdi.

Shiite militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, have repeatedly blamed Israel for raids by unmanned planes on their bases and weapons depots, including at least two incidents in which fighters were killed . The United States provided air support, they say.

Israel has so far declined to comment officially, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month hinted at possible Israeli involvement. The Pentagon has denied that US forces were involved in the attacks.

Abdul Mahdi, who visited Saudi Arabia last week, also told Al Jazeera he believed the kingdom was seeking peace, referring to increased friction between Riyadh and Tehran following an attack on Saudi oil installations for which Saudi Arabia and the United States blamed Iran.

Solving the crisis in Yemen could be the key to solving the problems in the Gulf, Abdul Mahdi said. Saudi Arabia, which backs the internationally recognized Yemeni government, is engaged in a war against the Iran-aligned Houthi militia in the country. Iran and Saudi Arabia are ready to negotiate, Abdul Mahdi said.

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