Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi Vows Response to Deadly Syria Strike
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iraqi voluntary and pro-government Popular Mobilization Units pledged to get revenge for a deadly air raid on their fellow fighters in Syria’s eastern province of Deir ez-Zor earlier this week, blaming the United States or Israel for the attack.
Hezbollah Brigades spokesman Jaafar al-Husseini said it was still too early to say definitively whose forces carried out the late Sunday strike against the border town of al-Hari near the frontier with Iraq but insisted it “could only have been” the Americans or Israelis.
“When it becomes known who was responsible then there will be an appropriate response and the hand of the resistance will strike anywhere,” Husseini said during a memorial ceremony for the fallen fighters at a mosque in Baghdad, Press TV reported.
Both the Syrian government and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, initially pinned the blame on the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
“We have reasons to believe that it was an Israeli strike,” a US official later told AFP on condition of anonymity. Israel has so far declined to comment.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry has denounced the deadly airstrike in Syria, saying it “expresses rejection and condemnation of any air operations targeting forces in areas where they are fighting Daesh, whether in Iraq or Syria or any other area where there is a battlefield against this enemy that threatens humanity.”
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
Russia has been helping Syrian forces in an ongoing battle in the province of Deir ez-Zor as the Daesh terrorist group struggles to keep its last positions in eastern Syria.
The Russian military assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as the Syrians continue to recapture key areas from Daesh and other terrorist groups across the country with the backing of Russian air cover.
On May 21, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces announced in a statement that complete security was restored to Damascus and its countryside after al-Hajar al-Aswad district and al-Yarmouk camp had been totally purged of Daesh terrorists.
The development was preceded by flushing the Takfiris out of the towns of Yalda, Babbila and Beit Sahem on the southern outskirts of Damascus.