Iran-backed militia claims US behind drone attack on Iraqi base
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An official from the Badr Organization, an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, asserted on Saturday that the US was responsible for the recent drone attack on an allied militia's military camp a day earlier in Iraq’s Salahuddin province.
Amid reports of US involvement in the incident, the US-led anti-ISIS coalition denied the claims, saying in a tweet on Friday they were aware of the attack but, “Coalition Forces were not involved, and we have no further information at this time.”
Mohamad Mahdi Bayati, director of the Badr Organization’s Northern Axis, told Kurdistan 24, “The technique used in the bombing is not a Da’esh [ISIS] one but an American invention and the bombing is their work.”
The attack took place at the al-Shohada base of the Turkmen Brigades, part of Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) militias, of which the Badr Organization is a major and influential member. According to the Iraqi Security Media Cell, an unmanned aircraft dropped grenades on the camp, injuring two individuals.
The incident comes amid an increasingly tense standoff between the US and Iran. Tehran last month shot down a US surveillance drone in the Gulf of Oman, claiming that the plane had breached its airspace and did not respond to multiple warnings. Washington disputes this and insists the aircraft was flying over international waters at the time.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump said that the US navy had destroyed an Iranian drone after it got too close to one of its warships in the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran later dismissed Trump’s statement and claimed all its drones were safe and accounted for.
Iran has also begun a standoff in the Persian Gulf with the UK after the British Royal Marines in early July impounded an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar. London said the ship was transporting oil to Syria through the Mediterranean, in contravention of EU sanctions.
In an apparent response, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Friday seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, with Tehran claiming the vessel had been in distress. The UK rejected the allegation and described it as a “hostile act.”
(Reporting by Soran Kamaran)
Editing by John J. Catherine