Iraq condemned Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa Thursday for defending Israel’s recent targeting of Hashd al-Shaabi, a largely Shia paramilitary force.
“The Foreign Ministry rejects and condemns the Bahraini foreign minister’s tweet about the recent attacks on Arab territories and the Popular Mobilization Forces by the Zionist enemy under the pretext of self-defense,” said the statement, referring to the English name for Hashd al-Shaabi.
It said Hashd al-Shaabi acts together with the country’s armed forces, police and peshmerga forces to fight against Daesh militants.
On Monday, Khalifa said in a Twitter post that the Israeli attack on Hashd al-Shaabi’s installations “very clearly affirms the right of states to self-defense against any threat or aggression.”
“So one who strikes and destroys the piles of their ammunition is not to blame. That is self-defense,” he added.
Multiple ammunition depots of Hashd al-Shaabi units were targeted between July 19 and Aug. 25. The paramilitary group accused Israel of carrying out the attacks.
Iraqi President Barham Salih said an investigation into the airstrikes was underway.
Abu Mahdi Muhandis, deputy chairman of Hashd al-Shaabi, said on Aug. 21 that the U.S. was responsible for the attacks and had used four Israeli drones to target Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi military bases.
The same day, Falih Alfayyadh, Hashd al-Shaabi’s chairman and Iraq’s National Security Council advisor, said the attack was planned from “outside” but added that Muhandis’ statement did not reflect the official view of the paramilitary organization.
Alfayyadh refrained from openly accusing the U.S. and Israel of carrying out the attacks.
In addition, the U.K.-based Asharq Al-Awsat daily alleged that the Tel Aviv administration got approval from the U.S. and Russia and struck Iranian missile and ammunition depots in Iraq.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Aug. 20 that Iran’s military elements in Iraq were targeted by the country’s army in July.
By Gozde Bayar