What Happened: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has publicly blamed Israel for a series of airstrikes targeting facilities associated with his country's popular mobilization units (PMUs), militia groups often linked with Iran, Reuters reported Sept. 30.
Why It Matters: This first official public statement by an Iraqi official accusing Israel of the attacks will spill over into Iraq's relationship with the United States, which has been accused of providing the support that has allowed Israel to conduct the attacks. Rising anti-American sentiment could create complications for U.S. organizations in Iraq, and possible retaliation by PMUs poses a risk to U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq.
Background: For years, Israel has conducted air campaigns against Iranian-affiliated personnel and facilities in Syria. It has recently expanded such activities to Iraq and Lebanon.
- Israel, Lebanon: 2 Drones Crash in Beirut, and Regional Tensions Soar (Aug. 26, 2019)
- Why Iraq Could Be the Next Regional Powder Keg (Aug. 23, 2019)
- The Missile Arsenal at the Heart of the Israeli-Iranian Rivalry (Aug. 8, 2018)