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    An Israeli Air Force F-35 warplane performs during a graduation ceremony for new pilots at Hatzerim Air Force Base near the city of Beersheba, Israel, 29 December 2016.

    US Officials Confirm Israel Staged ‘Several Strikes in Recent Days’ on Iraq – Report

    © AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit
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    Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that his country was behind the latest attacks on ammunition depots in Iraq allegedly linked to Tehran, recalling that “Iran is a power that has sworn to annihilate Israel”.

    Israel conducted “several strikes in recent days” in Iraq, including the July 19 attack north of Baghdad which targeted a base allegedly used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “to transfer weapons to Syria”, unnamed senior US officials were quoted by the New York Times as saying.

    One of the sources said that Israel was “pushing the limits” with the alleged strikes on Iraq, and that the Jewish state risks “getting the United States military removed from Iraq”.

    Netanyahu Hints Israel Could Conduct Strikes in Iraq

    The claims come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at his country’s involvement in the latest attacks on ammunition depots in Iraq belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) composed of mostly Shia Muslim groups.

    “We’re acting not only if required, we’re acting in very many theatres against a state that seeks to annihilate us. Obviously I’ve given the security forces the order and the operational freedom to do what is necessary in order to disrupt these plots by Iran. And obviously I’ve also led, and in many ways continue to lead, a global effort against Iran”, Netanyahu told the Russian-language Israeli news network Channel 9 when asked whether Israel acts in Iraq “if required”.

    He pledged that he will not grant Tehran immunity “anywhere”, describing the Islamic Republic as a country that is “trying to establish bases against us everywhere, [including] Iran itself, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.”

    The statement followed another blast which struck an ammo depot located to the north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Tuesday, the fourth such attack on the PMF since July. The PMF claimed that Israeli drones carried out the attack, while allegedly acting in coordination with the US-led coalition. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have not commented on the issue yet.

    The last time that Israel officially claimed responsibility for bombing Iraq dates back to 1981, when the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Osirak nuclear power plant, which was under construction southeast of Baghdad.

    Iran-Israel Standoff

    There are no diplomatic relations between Israel and Iran, with the Jewish state repeatedly accusing the Islamic Republic of establishing a permanent military presence in Syria.

    The IDF has been carrying out airstrikes against what they claim are Iranian military targets in the Arab country, while Tehran insists that it has only been sending military advisers to Damascus to help it fight terrorists.

    Iran denies Israel's right to exist and has threatened to wipe the Jewish state off the political map.

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    Tags:
    Benjamin Netanyahu, airstrikes, base, Iraq, Iran, Israel
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