Members of the Popular Mobilization Units, al-Hashd al-Sha’abi, have reportedly intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle as it was flying in the skies over a region in the country’s northern province of Nineveh.
The media bureau of the volunteer forces said in a statement that Hashd al-Sha’abi forces shot down the unidentified drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission, and flying for more than 20 minutes over one of their command centers there.
The statement added that the volunteer forces brought down the unmanned aerial vehicle with anti-aircraft guns after ensuring that the aircraft was not of Iraqi origin.
The development came only a few hours after Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi held a meeting in the capital Baghdad with senior commanders of the Hashd al-Sha’abi to discuss measures aimed at protection of Iraq’s security and sovereignty.
They stated that the latest assaults on Hashd al-Sha’abi positions were meant to marginalize the volunteer forces, and strip them of the role in the fight against the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group.
A powerful bloc in Iraq’s Parliament called Monday for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, following a series of airstrikes targeting the mobilization forces in the country.
The Fatah Coalition said it holds the United States fully responsible for the Israeli aggression, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people.” The coalition is a Parliament bloc representing al-Hashd al-Shaabi.
The coalition’s statement came a day after a drone strike in the western Iraqi town of Qaim killed a commander with the forces – the latest in strikes apparently conducted by the Zionist entity. It added that US troops are no longer needed in Iraq.
“While we reserve the right to respond to these Zionist attacks, we hold the international coalition, particularly the United States, fully responsible for this aggression, which we consider a declaration of war on Iraq and its people,” the statement by the coalition said.