Arab Report: Israel Twice Struck Iranian Targets in Iraq Using F-35s

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Air Force F-35. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Israel has expanded the scope of its anti-Iranian attacks and twice struck targets in Iraq in the last two weeks, 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.

The base was formerly used by the People’s Mujaheddin of Iran, a militia that fought against the Iranian regime.

Camp Ashraf is located around 49.7 miles (80 km) from the Iranian border and 40 km northeast of Baghdad. The reports said that Iranian advisers were injured in the attack and that a shipment of ballistic missiles that had recently been brought from Iran to Iraq had been targeted.

Over the past year, a number of strikes targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah in Syria were attributed to Israel.

Last Wednesday, Syrian state media said there were reports of an Israeli attack on a strategic area in southern Syria where Western intelligence sources previously said Iranian-backed militias are known to be based.

The newsflash on state-owned Ikhbariyah did not give details, but said the strike was directed on Tel Haraa, which had long been an outpost for Russian forces but was later taken by Iranian-backed militias, according to Western intelligence sources.

Tel Haraa is a strategically located area in southern Deraa Province overlooking the Israeli-held Golan Heights. It was for many years a major Russian military radar outpost until rebels took it over in 2014 before it was again recaptured by the Syrian army last year.

The zone has been a target of Israeli raids against Tehran-backed militias which have become entrenched in southern Syria and the Golan Heights near the border with Israel.

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said in an interview last week that Israel is the only country in the world that has been “killing Iranians.”

“For two years now, Israel has been the only country in the world killing Iranians,” the minister said. “We have hit the Iranians hundreds of times in Syria. Sometimes they admit it, sometimes foreign publications expose the matter, sometimes a minister, sometimes the chief of staff. But everything is a coordinated policy.

“The Iranians are very limited in their responses, and it’s not because they do not have the capabilities, but because they understand that Israel means business,” Hanegbi said. “We are very firm on issues of national security.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said earlier this month that “the only army in the world that is fighting Iran is the Israeli army.”