Iraqi forces late on Thursday attacked a headquarters belonging to the powerful militia of Kataib Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, and arrested more than a dozen militias including three commanders, Reuters cited local officials.
“The raid was the most brazen action by Iraqi forces against a major Iran-backed militia group in years and targeted the Kataib Hezbollah faction, which U.S. officials have accused of firing rockets at bases hosting U.S. troops and other facilities in Iraq,” said the report.
According to Reuters, there are contradictory reports on the numbers and the fate of detainees. A government official said the Iraqi forces arrested 19 militias, while another official noted that the number of detainees was 23.
Several other reports indicated that 14 militia were arrested during the raid.
“The paramilitary sources and one government official said those detained were transferred shortly afterwards to the security branch of Iraq’s paramilitary umbrella grouping, the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF),” Reuters said, adding that “a second government official denied any such transfer and said the militiamen were still in the custody of other security services.”
A number of rockets attacked areas close to the US embassy in Baghdad on different occasions in recent weeks, all of which were reportedly conducted by pro-Iranian Kataib Hezbollah.