Iraq threatens ‘military action’ against foreign assault: Defense Minister

“The [defense] ministry will take security and military measures to protect the country against an assault.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Following an emergency meeting on Friday evening, Iraq’s Ministry of Defense threatened “military action” in response to any external attack on the country.   

Najah Al-Shimari, Iraq’s Minister of Defense, announced in an official statement that “an attack on any official entity of Iraq is an attack on Iraq itself.”

Shimari affirmed that “the ministry would take security and military measures to protect the country against an assault.”  

The minister did not accuse any official sides of an attack, but the meeting took place at a time when the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have accused Israel of being behind the recent attacks on their weapons depot. 

“It is essential to take precautions against any attempts to undermine the sovereignty of Iraq,” he added. 

Friday’s meeting included the minister of defense, Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Othman al-Ghanmi, and several other high-ranking military officers.

In the announcement, Shimari also emphasized the importance of “cooperation and coordination among all the armed forces including the army, federal police, border patrol, anti-terrorism forces, Peshmerga forces, and the PMF” to ensure a secure and unified Iraq.

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Tensions are high in Iraq as rumors spread on Iraqi social media networks claim the recent explosions at the militia’s munitions warehouse were a result of an air attack by an Israeli fighter jet or drone. Multiple Iraqi officials made the same claim.

Although the Islamic State, which once controlled nearly a third of Iraq, has largely been defeated as a territorial entity, many PMF militias remain mobilized. In parts of Iraq, they constitute an undisciplined force that practices mafia-like tactics to extort the population.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany