UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday that Israel might be involved in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
In recent weeks, there have been a series of explosions at weapons depots and bases belonging to armed groups in Iraq, many of which are backed by Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy.
In an interview with Russian-language Channel 9 television broadcast on Thursday, Netanyahu was asked whether Israel would strike Iranian targets in Iraq if necessary and said: “We are working not only if necessary, but in many areas against a state that wants to exterminate us. Of course, the security forces were given a hand and instructed to do anything necessary to thwart Iran’s plans.
Netanyahu did not name Iraq as one of these areas.
Israel says it has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria, some of which hit Iranian targets, to prevent Tehran from establishing a military presence there and to prevent advanced weapons from reaching its proxies in the region.
Israeli officials have recently indicated that they consider Iraq to be more of a threat than in the past few years, but have not commented directly on the recent bombings at the PMF.
The Popular Mobilization Body, which groups mostly Shi’ite groups, on Wednesday blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts at its weapons depots and bases.
The United States has allowed four Israeli drones to enter the area with US forces and carry out missions on Iraqi soil, the agency said in a statement.
The Pentagon denied involvement in the strikes. The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq rejected the statement.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi last week ordered the transfer of all ammunition depots belonging to the armed forces or armed factions outside the cities.
He also revoked all permits for private flights of Iraqi or foreign aircraft, which means the prime minister must pre-authorize flights, including those carried out by the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State.
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