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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Israel bombed Syria's al-Hari killing Iraqi PMUs: US

Iran Press TV

Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:56AM

Israel was behind the bombing raid on the Syrian town of al-Hari where over 22 members of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) were killed, claims a US official.

"We have reasons to believe that it was an Israeli strike," an unnamed US official was quoted by AFP as saying on Monday.

Before the announcement, Iraq's Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing "rejection and condemnation of any air operations targeting forces in areas where they are fighting Daesh, whether in Iraq or Syria or any other area where there is a battlefield against this enemy that threatens humanity."

It went on to call on all countries to cooperate to deal with these "extremist groups," and also called for an international coalition to coordinate regularly and accurately with the forces all forces engaged in battling terrorism.

Earlier in the day, the PMUs better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha'abi, said a US airstrike on the Iraqi border with war-torn Syria has claimed the lives of nearly two dozen of its fighters and wounded a dozen others.

Hashd al-Sha'abi is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 groups, which are mainly Shia Muslims. The force reportedly numbers more than 100,000 fighters. Iraqi authorities say there are between 25,000 and 30,000 Sunni tribal fighters within its ranks in addition to Kurdish Izadi and Christian units.

"At 10 p.m. [local time] last night a US aircraft hit a standing headquarters of the brigades 45 and 46 of the Hashd al-Sha'abi forces defending the border strip with Syria using two guided missiles which led to the martyrdom of 22 fighters and the injuries of 12 others," the paramilitary forces said in a statement on Monday.

The fighters have played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast and north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, ever since the Takfiri terrorist group launched an offensive in the country in June 2014.

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