Major ‘Mystery’ Airstrikes Pound Iraqi Militia Base Near Syria

Suspicions fall on Israel after repeated attacks

Iraqi officials are reporting a major series of explosions in a base in the Anbar Province, just 120 km from the Syrian border. They are attributing this to airstrikes targeting the base, which belongs to a government-aligned Shi’ite militia.

Though officially presented as a “mystery” attack, the suspicion necessarily falls immediately on Israel. They have, after all, repeatedly attacked Iraqi militia sites across both Iraq and eastern Syria in recent months.

One of the militia commanders said it was a major strike “shaking nearby buildings,” and that he was not sure if it originated inside Iraq or not. If Israel is not blamed, the US is liable to face allegations, as the US hostility toward Iran has led them to issue statements condemning Shi’ite militias repeatedly.

Iraqi officials are continuing to try to rein in the militias, with many fearing they have too much political clout. That the groups are continuing to be under attack is bolstering their support from locals, and from key political allies, allowing them to resist the PM’s attempts to regulate them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.