Sep 12, 2019 05:37 UTC
  • Hashd al-Sha’abi forces foil drone attack on military base in northern Iraq

Air defenses of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units have reportedly thwarted an airstrike by an “unidentified” unmanned aerial vehicle on a main military base in the country’s Northern-Central Province of Salahuddin.

The Salahuddin Operations Command Center of the volunteer forces announced in a statement that missile defense systems fired shots at the drone as it was flying over the headquarters of the 35th Brigade of the fighters, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, Iraq's al-Ahad television network reported on Wednesday.

The statement added that the shots forced the aircraft to leave the area to an unknown location.

On September 5, second-in-command of the Popular Mobilization Units, Jamal Jafaar Mohammed Al Ebrahim – better known by the nom de guerre Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, issued an administrative order, declaring the formation of the forces’ Air Force Directorate, and appointing Salah Mahdi Hantous as its chief.

A week earlier, Ahmad al-Assadi, Spokesman of the Fatah Alliance, told journalists that the Baghdad government was preparing a complaint to the United Nations against Israel over attacks on the positions of Hashd al-Sha’abi forces.

“Some of the government investigations have reached a conclusion that the perpetrator behind some of the attacks is absolutely, certainly Israel,” he said, declining to provide details on the evidence.

“The government is preparing sufficient evidence and documents to complain to the [UN] Security Council. It won't submit a complaint against an unknown entity,” Assadi said.

Iraq's military said on August 26 it had launched an investigation into a purported Israeli strike that martyred two Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters near the town of al-Qa’im close to the country's western border with Syria.