Maliki vows to respond if Israel is proven responsible for PMF blasts

Netanyahu doing little to tamp down speculation
The head of the State of Law Coalition Nouri al-Maliki (File)

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SULAIMANI – Head of the State of Law Coalition Nouri al-Maliki said on Friday (August 23) that Iraq would strongly respond if Israel was proven to be responsible for alleged attacks on facilities belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

In recent weeks, several explosions have occurred at PMF-held facilities across central Iraq.

While they have officially been explained as accidents caused by summer heat, poor storage, and negligence, rumors have swirled about Israeli involvement with senior Iraqi officials blaming the country and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doing little to tamp down speculation.

Late this week, the New York Times and the Associated Press both ran stories citing anonymous US officials as saying that Israel was behind a July 19 explosion at a PMF base near Amerli in Saladin governorate.

The US-led coalition for its part has denied any involvement in the recent incidents, noting that its presence was that of a guest of the Iraqi government.

Tellingly, however, no physical evidence of airstrikes or of Israeli involvement have been produced by the PMF or the Iraqi government so far.

Maliki said in a statement that if Israel was responsible for the attacks, Iraq would turn into a battlefield for some countries, including Iran. Many of the PMF's constituent brigades have close ties with Tehran and the US and Israel have warned of Tehran's use of proxy militias in Iraq and Syria.

“The security of the Iraqi border is the joint responsibility of the region's countries. It is the responsibility of all countries,” Maliki added.

(NRT Digital Media)