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Explosion at PMF position in Ar-Rutbah’s western Anbar

Unidentified drone blamed
File / al-Sumariya
2019-09-22

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SULAIMANI – A military barracks belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) was apparently bombed by an unidentified aircraft in ar-Rutbah district in western Anbar on Sunday (September 22).

A security source said that the strike hit the Marsanat military camp and was conducted by a drone, although the latter point has not been confirmed.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.

The incident occurred a day after the announcement that a major counter-Islamic State operation, codenamed “Will of Victory,” had concluded.

Led by the Iraqi security forces, various PMF militias also took part in the operation, which took place in several phases.

It also follows a summer which saw explosions at several PMF bases across Iraq, which were officially explained as accidents.

Some senior politicians, however, blamed Israeli airstrikes for causing the explosions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously hinted at possible Israeli involvement.

“We are operating - not just if needed, we are operating in many areas against a state that wants to annihilate us. Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and instructed them to do anything necessary to thwart Iran’s plans,” he said on August 22.

Also known as the Hashd al-Shaabi, the PMF is a largely-Shia paramilitary umbrella organization that was organized to fight Islamic State. However, its political, military, and economic power across the country has worried observers, who say that it operates largely outside government control.

(NRT Digital Media)