Monday, June 25

Say, let's shift blame to Israel for our massacre of Iraqi fighters in Syria

June 24, 2018
[emphasis throughout mine]

al-Muhandis during Baghdad press conference

On June 24, deputy leader of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis accused the US-led coalition of carrying out an infamous airstrike on a position of the PMU near the Syrian city of al-Bukamal on June 18 in which more than 30 PMU fighters were killed.
Al-Muhandis revealed that an investigation committee formed by the PMU visited the site of the attack and was able to confirm that a US-made missile was used to target the PMU fighters. The deputy leader of the PMU said that the missile was “clearly” launched by the U.S.
“The strike was carried out with a missile and we still have the remnants of that missile,” al-Muhandis said, during a press conference in the Iraqi capital of Baghdadi.
The results of the PMU investigation contradict the claims of an unnamed U.S. official who told the CNN TV on June 18 that the airstrike was carried out by the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The official didn’t explain how the IAF was able to reach al-Bukamal without coordinating with the US-led coalition, which is operating there.

[Pundita note: I'd have to check the CNN report to be certain but if I recall correctly the official didn't actually tell CNN the IAF did the strike, only that the Israelis were behind it. Of course everyone assumed he meant the Israelis carried out the strike. Heh.] 
During the press conference, al-Muhandis also criticized the Iraqi Military Joint Operation Command for their “hasty and confused” statement on the incident, in which they claimed that the PMU didn't have any units near al-Bukamal.
Furthermore, al-Muhandis confirmed that the Joint Operation Command and the US-led coalition were informed ahead that a unit of the PMU was stationed in al-Bukamal. According to al-Muhandis, the Joint Operation Command even asked the PMU to keep the unit there during the last meeting between the two sides.
“The crime is considered a war crime and we are waiting for the government to defend the rights of these martyrs,” al-Muhandis said at the end of the press conference.
The PMU has not made any threats against the US-led coalition yet. However, the Iraqi force may take action against the coalition inside Iraq if the Iraqi government continues to follow the U.S. narrative.

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