on August 20th an ammunitions depot exploded the area near Balad Air Base, 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Baghdad. Initial media reports claimed that it was a result of a drone strike. The depot is operated by Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU)
On Monday a massive blast ripped through a neighborhood in the city, which Iraqi officials believe was the result of an Israeli strike on a pro-Iranian militia ammunition depot. The resulting fire had raged throughout the day not far from the ‘Green Zone’ and sent mortars and exploding munitions across the city, resulting in the death of at least one civilian and wounding of nearly 40 others, many of them children. The weapons base reportedly belonged to the pro-Iran Kataib Sayyid Al-Shuhada militia, and an estimated $110 million worth of munitions were wiped out.
On August 22nd, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to admit that Israel attacked allegedly Iran-backed militant positions in Iraq throughout July and August.
“I don’t grant Iran immunity anywhere,” he said to Channel 9. “Iran is a state, a power, that has sworn to annihilate Israel. It’s trying to establish bases against us everywhere. In Iran itself, in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen.”
Then, Netanyahu was asked the following question:
“In other words, if necessary, we act in Iraq also?”
To which he replied:
“We’re acting not only if necessary, we’re acting in very many theaters against a state that seeks to annihilate us. Obviously, I’ve given the security forces the order and the operational freedom to do what is necessary in order to disrupt these plots by Iran. And obviously I’ve also led, and in many ways continue to lead, a global effort against Iran. And there were years when I stood alone.”
Just days earlier Netanyahu made similar remarks, on August 19th.
“Iran has no immunity, anywhere,” he said. The Iranians continue to threaten Israel with annihilation and are building military bases across the Middle East intended to carry out that goal, Netanyahu said, blaming the 2015 nuclear deal for Iran’s increasing aggression. “We will act — and currently are acting — against them, wherever it is necessary,” he declared.
“A state that says, ‘We are going to destroy you and we will build bases to fire missiles and to send terrorist cells against you’ — as far as I’m concerned, has no immunity,” he told reporters. “We will act — and currently are acting — against them, wherever it is necessary,” he said while visiting Ukraine.
The PMU also operated another weapons depot that exploded on August 12th at al-Saqr military base near Baghdad. The incident left 1 dead and 29 injured.
A PMU checkpoint was attacked just days earlier Syrian-Iraqi border at Albukamel, nobody was harmed.
Earlier than that, two Iranians were reportedly killed by a blast at a base in Amerli, in the same area of the al-Saqr military base on July 19th.