Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces form air force directorate

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces.

Baghdad ( Iraq’s, Iran-backed, Popular Mobilization Forces declared Thursday the formation of their own air force, a document attributed to its leadership showed today.

A statement by the PMF, circulated through Iraqi media, said deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes ordered the formation of the air force directorate, appointing Salah Mahdi Hantous as its chief.

The step came a few weeks after a number of air raids that targeted PMF locations in Baghdad and other provinces, which PMF leadership blamed on Israeli drones used by U.S. forces operating in Iraq.

Israel did not officially claim responsibility for the raids, but acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran was threatening Israel’s security by setting up bases in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Israel claimed raids on alleged Iranian forces locations in Syria and Iran-backed Hezbollah in Beirut.

The PMF was formed from mainly Shia militias in 2014 as per a decree from Iraq’s top Shia clergy to counter Islamic State militancy, and later gained recognition as a national force.



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