Regional experts had immediately suspected the possibility of an Israeli air raid after a pro-Iranian militia arms depot in Iraq was obliterated during a mysterious attack on July 19, and another reported follow-up attack this past Sunday.
The attack happened around 80 km from the Iranian border and 40 km north-east of Baghdad at Camp Ashraf, former home to the Iranian exile group Mojahedin-e Khalq, but now reportedly in the hands of Iranian intelligence and paramilitaries.
Speculation was rampant in the days that followed as to the source of the ‘mysterious’ air strikes – or what was also initially reported as a drone strike – however, some pointed the finger at an American operation targeting Iranian militants inside Iraq.
But now Israeli and regional media, citing western diplomats, have confirmed it was a nearly unprecedented Israeli operation on Iraqi soil — representing a major escalation and expansion of Israel’s anti-Iran operations.
Israel reportedly launched a total of two separate air strike operations on the camp using its US-supplied F-35 stealth fighter jets.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
Israel has expanded the scope of its anti-Iranian attacks and struck targets in Iraq, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday.
According to the report, which cites anonymous Western diplomats, Israel struck Iranian warehouses storing arms and missiles at Camp Ashraf, north-east of Baghdad, twice in the past month.
On July 19, the base was struck by an Israeli F-35 fighter jet, the sources added. The base was allegedly attacked again on Sunday.
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