Iran-allied militia claims air strike hit base in Iraq

The base is run by Iraq's PMF
The base is run by Iraq's PMF - GETTY IMAGES

One person was killed and several others were wounded in an explosion at a military base in Iraq on Friday night that was reported to have been caused by an air strike.

The command post in Kalso, about 50km (30 miles) south of Baghdad is held by Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an state security agency that has targeted US forces and is composed of dozens of armed groups, many of them close to Iran.

Reuters reported that security sources said the huge explosion, which killed a PMF fighter, resulted from an air attack.

An official in Iraq’s interior ministry said the attack had killed one person and wounded eight others, while the military source told AFP that three Iraqi military personnel had been hurt.

It is not known who was responsible for the strike, which reportedly hit equipment, weapons and vehicles. The US military denied that American forces were involved.

“The United States has not conducted air strikes in Iraq today,” US Central Command posted on X, adding that reports that American forces had carried out a strike were “not true”.

The strike in Iraq comes amid high tensions in the region as the conflict between Iran and Israel threatens to spill over into all-out war.

Israel carried out an attack on Iranian territory on Friday morning, days after Iran struck Israel with a barrage of more than 300 drones and ballistic and cruise missiles.

The PMF is an enemy of Israel and is allied with the regime in Tehran and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

It started as a group of armed factions, many close to Iran, that was later recognised as a formal security force by Iraqi authorities.

Factions within the PMF took part in months of rocket and drone attacks on US forces in Iraq following Israel’s Gaza campaign but the group has halted attacks since February.

In February, the US killed 16 PMF fighters in an air strike in Akashat, in western Iraq.

The PMF, also known as Hashed al-Shaabi, is now integrated into the regular army.