Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
sraeli Air Force aerial demonstration on Independence Day over Tel Aviv's beaches. Tel Aviv, May 9, 2019

The Iran-back Shia militias in Iraq are regrouping, relocating and are moving their weapon caches to other locations, the Al-Quds-Al-Arabi newspaper reported Monday.

The paper explained that the militias were going through the process out of fear that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) will carry out further strikes against them inside Iraq.

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Sources within the militias told the London-based publication that the dispersal of their weaponry to several locations is meant to conceal it from possible Israeli strikes.

The militias members were likewise evacuated to more remote bases, the newspaper said.

The al-Hashd al-Sha’abi Shia Muslim units, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), are equipped with Iranian rockets. According to various reports, the weapons that the armed groups have in their possession are more advanced than those that the Iraqi army has. These weapons are transferred to Syria from Iran through territory controlled by the PMF. There is a regular supply of Iranian weapons, including Iranian-made anti-tank guns and mortars of various calibers.

The PMF has taken control of army basis and receives separate funding, enabling it to operate independently.

Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday commented on the security situation and stated that “we know that most of the terrorism comes from one source, is cultivated from one source, feeds off one source, is launched from one source and is organized from one source – and that is Iran.”

“A new empire has arisen the goal of which is to defeat us. They dispatch proxies. They are building a proxy in Lebanon in the form of Hezbollah and are building another in Gaza in the form of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They are also trying to entrench in Iraq in order to turn it not only into a conduit for weapons to Syria and Hezbollah, they want to turn it into a launchpad for missiles and incursions against us,” he added.

Israel fears Iran and its proxies will stage long-range attacks on its territory.

“I reiterate to our enemies, especially Iran – whoever comes to destroy us places himself in similar danger,” he declared.

Last month, the PMF blamed the US and Israel for several bombings on their warehouses and bases. The group accused the US of permitting Israeli drones to execute attacks in Iraq. The group pledged to counter any attack in the future.

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