Iraqi FM casts doubt on claims by Iraqi resistance of attacks on Israel

Iraqi FM casts doubt on claims by Iraqi resistance of attacks on Israel

Shafaq News/ Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Thursday cast doubt on statements by the "Islamic Resistance in Iraq" claiming responsibility for attacks on Israel.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq is a vanguard group of armed actors from within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/ al-Hashd al-Shaabi) that operates in Iraq and Syria but does not necessarily fall under the PMF's chain of command.

Despite being closely aligned with Iran, it at times acts in its own interests and with its own agency. It is a loose alliance of Iran-backed fighters from different backgrounds who have banded together to oppose the US support of the Israeli war on Gaza. Beside attacks on US targets in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan, the Iraqi group claimed responsibility for multiple attacks inside Israel. However, Tel Aviv repeatedly denied that anything "unusual" happened in the allegedly targeted facilities.

"I have read the statements, but the other side [Israel] has said nothing to confirm," Hussein said in an interview with Voice of America's Kurdish service. "I do not know if these statements are meant for domestic consumption or if they are true?"

He added that "the use of weapons inside Iraq requires a decision from the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and no one should take it upon themselves to wage war on this party or that," stressing that "the decision to go to war is issued by the Iraqi parliament exclusively, and not a personal decision."

Hussein was also asked about reports of Turkish preparations for a large-scale military operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraqi territory.

"There was no such talk in the meetings we held with the Turkish side," he said. "Our discussions with the Turkish side were not limited to the security aspect. It also included water, economy, trade, and bilateral ties between the two countries."

Militant groups in Iraq and Syria have attacked US troops as part of a coordinated front since the outbreak of the war in Gaza – where health authorities say more than 31,800 people have been killed by Israeli fire – demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian territory run by their ally Hamas.

However, the last strike by those militias was on February 4. The cessation of attacks against US forces was part of an "unannounced truce" that included Tehran and the Iraqi government, according to National.

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