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Iraqi militia leader tells Israel to expect retaliation

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A pro-Iranian Militia in Iran and Syria (IMIS) leader has threatened Israel over the recent airstrikes on militias' arm depots in Iraq for which they have accused Tel Aviv of carrying out the attacks.

Qasim al-Araji, the former Iraqi Interior Minister, said in an online statement on Facebook that Israel "needs a lesson," and that the militias would retaliate the air raids.

Several airstrikes have lately been conducted on the IMIS weapon caches in Iraq and no countries have yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu last week suggested that his state could have been behind the incidents.

Also, Israel said on Sunday an air strike against an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria that it accused of planning “killer drone attacks” showed Tehran that its forces were vulnerable anywhere.

The Israeli military said its aircraft struck “Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days”. The elite Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, told reporters “a number of attack drones”, each armed with several kilogrammes of explosives, were to have been launched simultaneously at targets in northern Israel on Thursday but the plan was thwarted.
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