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Iraq: an “explosion” on a military base leaves one dead and injured

An "explosion" Nocturnal attack on a military base in Iraq left one dead and eight injured, officials announced. Saturday the authorities, security officials and &eac;recalling them a "bombardment" against the former pro-Iran paramilitaries of Hachd al-Chaabi, in a regional context that is already in danger. explosive.

With divergent accounts several hours after the tragedy, vagueness still reigns over the exact circumstances of the events that occurred at the Calso base (center), housing personnel from the army, the police, and fighters from Hachd al-Chaabi, now integrated into the regular Iraqi forces and allies of Tehran.

Interviewed by AFP, a military official and an official from the Ministry of Defense 'Interior were unable to identify those responsible for an alleged bombing, which would have targeted the base located in the province of Babylon.

Saturday after midnight, “an explosion and fire occurred in the base”, leaving one dead and eight injured among the personnel stationed there, according to a media cell of the Iraqi security forces.

Evoking “preliminary data”, “a report from the air defense command” and the inspection of radars, the official press release ensures that “there was no drone or plane combat airspace (…) before or during the explosion.”

Clearing Washington, the American Military Command for the Middle East (Centcom) he quickly announced on says “do not comment on information appearing in foreign media.”

But the events in Iraq come at a time when diplomatic efforts are continuing to avoid a conflagration in the Middle East, against a backdrop of war in Gaza and rekindled tensions between Israel and Iran.

Friday before dawn, drone strikes targeted the surroundings of a military base in the Isfahan region in central Iran. The attack was blamed on Israel, which, however, did not claim responsibility.

– “Aggression” –

< p>In Iraq, an official at the Ministry of the Interior initially reported a toll of “one dead and eight wounded” in an “aerial bombardment” targeting Calso.

Iraq: an “explosion” on a military base leaves one dead and injured

Soldiers, injured in a nighttime explosion on a military base in Iraq, are treated in the emergency room of a hospital in Hilla, April 20, 2024 © AFP – Karar Jabbar

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he assured that the strike had targeted the Hachd al-Chaabi Armored Vehicles Directorate. “The explosion hit equipment, weapons, vehicles,” he said.

Another military official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, also reported “explosions in the warehouses housing the equipment, due to the bombing”.

Hachd al-Chaabi is an integral part of the official Iraqi security apparatus placed under the authority of the Prime Minister.

But this institution brings together several pro-armed factions Iran, some of whom have also carried out dozens of attacks in Iraq and Syria against American soldiers deployed as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition.

“We will retaliate against anyone behind this aggression,” warned Abu Alaa al-Walaï, secretary-general of the Sayyed al-Shuhada Brigades, one of the factions that is part of the Hashd.

“Those involved in this heinous crime will pay the price”, he promised in a press release published on his X account.

– “Risks of military escalation” –

Officially, however, Hachd al-Chaabi laconically confirmed in a first press release the “wounded”, without specifying the number, and “material losses” in an “explosion”.

The organization specified that a “preliminary investigation” had been opened and investigators dispatched to the site. A second press release on Saturday morning mentions a meeting between the Hachd chief of staff and the commissions of inquiry “on the site which was attacked”.

Ces events take place in an explosive regional context.

Before Friday's strikes in Iran in the vicinity of Isfahan, Tehran carried out an unprecedented attack on April 13 using drones and missiles against Israel. It was a response to a previous attack which destroyed the Iranian consulate in Damascus and cost the lives of seven soldiers, including two high-ranking officers.

Diplomacy Iraqi expressed on Friday evening its “strong concern” regarding the attack in Isfahan and “warned of the risks of military escalation which threatens security and stability in the region”.

“This escalation should not distract attention from what is happening in the Gaza Strip, the destruction and loss of innocent lives,” she argued.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Chia al-Soudani returned to Baghdad on Saturday after a long tour of the United States, where he met the president earlier this week Joe Biden.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116