US denies involvement in bombing of PMF military base

US denies involvement in bombing of PMF military base

Shafaq News/ The United States denied any involvement or connection to the bombing that targeted the headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) in the northern Babil governorate of Iraq.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) refuted reports claiming US airstrikes in Iraq, stating, "We are aware of reports claiming that the United States conducted airstrikes in Iraq today. Those reports are not true. The United States has not conducted air strikes in Iraq today."

A US official also confirmed to Reuters that there had been no US military activity in Iraq at the time of the reported bombing.

The incident occurred late on Friday when a massive explosion rocked a military base of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), located 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Baghdad. T

he base, known as the Kalso military base, is situated in the Al-Mashrou district along the highway north of Babil governorate. It accommodates personnel from the Iraqi Army, Federal Police, and the PMF (Hashd al-Shaabi), including its chief of staff.

Sources told Shafaq News Agency that three missiles targeted the PMF's 27th Brigade headquarters within the base, resulting in three injuries and significant material damages.

The Popular Mobilization Forces is a paramilitary organization in Iraq that was formed in 2014 to fight against ISIS following a fatwa by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. It initially comprised various armed forces and later integrated into the Iraqi state as an auxiliary force to the armed forces. The PMF has played a significant role in countering ISIS.

Tensions have escalated between the US and Iran-backed forces within the PMF, particularly under the umbrella of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. This escalation follows more than 160 military attacks on US airbases in Iraq and Syria since October 7, 2023, with Iran-backed forces launching numerous attacks on US forces in the region.

In response, the United States has targeted facilities of the PMF that have resulted in casualties among PMF members, including prominent leaders such as Mushtaq Jawad Kazim al-Jawari (Abu Taqwa) of Harakat al-Nujaba, who was killed in a US airstrike in January.

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