Jefferson Morley | August 22, 2019
Iraq Curbs U.S. Flights After Reported Israeli Attacks
While Trump condones Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Iraq, the Iraqi government is pushing back with new restrictions on the U.S. military.
In the past months, facilities controlled by Iranian-backed militias known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) have been bombed. U.S. and Israeli news sites have reported Israel is behind the attacks.
According to the Washington Post, Iraq’s response is curb both the U.S. military and to disperse the PMUs.
In a statement issued Thursday following a national security meeting, Abdul-Mahdi ordered the cancellation of all aviation approvals for flights throughout the country, unless authorized by the commander of the armed forces. The statement did not specify military or civilian flights but specifically cited reconnaissance, fighter jets and helicopters and drones of all kinds.It said the directives applied to “Iraqi and non-Iraqi parties.” Iraq hosts American troops and forces.
The U.S. military said it would “immediately” comply with the directives.
The move is a sign of Iran’s influence in Iraq. One PMU commander described in a tweet Abdul-Mahdi’s “decision to ban American drones in Iraqi airspace” as brave.