Journalist Rania Khalek said it was “difficult to believe Israel would strike Iraq without a green light from the U.S.”
Iraqi parliamentary Shiite leaders in the Fatah Movement political party on Monday issued a statement calling weekend airstrikes allegedly carried out by the Israeli military in western Iraq tantamount to a “declaration of war.”
The statement placed blame for the strikes not only with the Israeli military but also with American forces.
“While we reserve the right to respond to these Zionist attacks, we hold the international coalition, particularly the United States, fully responsible for this aggression which we consider a declaration of war on Iraq and its people,” the statement read.
Sunday’s strikes in Iraq targeted forces with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the state-backed militia group that has fought ISIS at the Iraqi-Syrian border for years.
Among the dead was a commander with the PMF. Ten thousand people reportedly attended his funeral Monday.
“These strikes won’t break us, they’ll make us stronger,” PMF Lt. Gen. Hussein Abed Muttar told The Associated Press.
In a tweet, journalist Rania Khalek pointed to the U.S. role in signing off on strikes like Sunday’s and said that such attacks were not strategically sound.
“It makes zero sense that a base in Iraq that belongs to the Iraqi army would pose a threat to Israel,” said Khalek. “It’s also difficult to believe Israel would strike Iraq without a green light from the U.S.”
In Lebanon Sunday, two drones alleged to belong to the Israeli military were downed. The drones, one of which was reportedly armed with explosives, were alleged by Hezbollah to have targeted a Hezbollah communications center in Beruit.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a statement that the attacks were part of a cynical reelection strategy by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—a strategy, Nasrallah said, that would end badly for Netanyahu.
“Netanyahu knows that his destiny is either in the prime minister’s office or prison, he is doing this with the blood of Lebanese and Iraqis,” said Nasrallah. “But this time, Israelis, Netanyahu is electioneering with your own blood.”
The attacks come as tensions between Iran and Israel are rising. Israeli drones also attacked a Syrian convoy on the Iraqi border, a strike that was claimed by Israel in a rare admission by the state.
According to Reuters:
The Israeli military said its aircraft struck “Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days.” The elite Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
The Israeli government followed up the attacks Monday by cutting fuel transfers to Gaza.