Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) – commonly known as Hashd Shabi – said it has shot down an unidentified drone in eastern Iraq, nearly three weeks after the group came under aerial bombardment by Israeli fighter jets.
“The tactical group of Hashd Shaabi’s 26th brigade deployed in the operational center in Diyala in the district of Kanaan managed to shoot down a drone, which was attempting to attack the Iraqi army,” the statement published by PMF read.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at his country’s involvement in the aerial attacks on ammunition depots in Iraq belonging to the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) composed of mostly Shia Muslim groups.
An unnamed senior US officials were quoted by the New York Times as saying that Israel conducted “several strikes in recent days” in Iraq, including the July 19 attack north of Baghdad which targeted a base allegedly used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “to transfer weapons to Syria”
In response, the Hashd announced it is now forming its own ‘Air Force’ in order to respond to hostile air strikes.
Established in 2014 with the aim to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS,ISIL, IS), the Hashd al-Shaabi was formally incorporated into the Iraqi army in 2017.