A Hashd al Shaabi base was bombed, on Friday morning, in Amerli, which is located in the Tuz Khurmatu district of northern Iraq’s Salahuddin province. Reports are still unclear whether the attacking aircraft was a drone, or a fighter jet.
— Barzan Sadiq (@BarzanSadiq) July 19, 2019
The base was being used as an ammunition depot by the Tehran-controlled Shi’a militia. According to some reports, Tehran had recently installed Fateh-110 ballistic missiles at the base that were targeted at Israel and Saudi Arabia.
BREAKING: Drones attack base of pro Iran militias in Iraq believed to house balletic missiles deployed recently by Iran. Hezbollah & IRGC believed to be among the dead. (Al Arabiya) https://t.co/yXdzfpBU6B
— Firas Maksad (@FirasMaksad) July 19, 2019
Casualty reports also remain unclear, but according to Iraqi media sources at least one person is confirmed dead, and multiple injured. Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps officers were among those struck. Unconfirmed accounts say up to six IRGC personnel were killed.
#BREAKING: After almost 38 years, #Israel Air Force carried-out an airstrike in #Iraq. #Israeli F-35I jets carried-out an airstrike against a Popular Mobilization Forces camp in E. Saladin. They killed 6 #IRGC & #Hezbollah members & destroyed their Fateh-110 ballistic missiles. pic.twitter.com/YrVOjZ1kxd
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) July 19, 2019
Responsibility for the bombing has not yet been claimed by anyone. The US Central Command, however, has officially denied any role. Social media speculation is focusing on Israel, which had previously threatened to attack IRGC and Hezbollah posts in Iraq.
"We are aware of the report on the attack on the Iranian forces and Hadesat al-Sha'abi in Salah al-Din province. The US forces did not interfere in the attack, and we have no further information at this time." https://t.co/PM1vQIc2z0
— OSINT-Aggregation (@OAggregation) July 19, 2019
Tensions had been rising of late between the Hashd al Shaabi and the Iraqi government. Earlier this month, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi had ordered them to either integrate into the regular Iraqi military or else disarm, an initiative that the IRGC, which has used the militia as an enforcer for their interests inside Iraq and beyond, is resisting. The IRGC-backed force has repeatedly attacked American installations and staff over the past several months.