Unidentified aircraft targets IRGC and Hezbollah military camp in Iraq

An unmanned aircraft dropped explosives on a base belonging to Iran-linked Shiite paramilitary groups in northern Iraq on Friday, killing at least one person. (Screenshot/YouTube)
Updated 20 July 2019

Unidentified aircraft targets IRGC and Hezbollah military camp in Iraq

  • There was no immediate claim of responsibility
  • Iraqi military said in a statement a drone had dropped a grenade onto the base

DUBAI: An unmanned aircraft dropped explosives on a base belonging to Iran-linked Shiite paramilitary groups in northern Iraq on Friday, killing at least one person, the army and paramilitary sources said.
The Iraqi military said in a statement a drone had dropped a grenade onto the base in northern Salahuddin province, wounding at least two people, but gave no further details.
Paramilitary sources in the area and a Baghdad-based paramilitary leader said one person had been killed in the attack which took place in the early hours of Friday morning.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
A security source said two explosions hit the base, one targeting an ammunition depot belonging to an Iranian-backed group.
The incident took place amid heightened tension between the US and Iran.
Iraq is seen as a potential arena for any violent regional confrontation between the two foes because of the presence of Iran-backed Shiite Muslim paramilitary groups operating in close proximity to bases hosting US forces.
Daesh militants, also enemies of the Shiite paramilitaries, operate in the area where the base is located and in many remote areas of northern Iraq, despite the group having lost its sway over territory.
It has claimed attacks against Iraqi forces in recent months.
Several Iraqi bases hosting US forces were hit by a number of rockets a few weeks ago in unclaimed attacks in which no one was hurt. Washington is pressing Iraq's government to rein in Iran-backed paramilitary groups which it says pose a threat to US interests in Iraq.
The US has blamed Iran for attacks on several oil tankers in the Gulf. Tehran denies any involvement.


Iranian wedding party fueled new COVID-19 surge, President Rouhani says

Updated 25 min 1 sec ago

Iranian wedding party fueled new COVID-19 surge, President Rouhani says

  • New cases dipped to 2,886 on Friday, bringing Iran’s total cases to more than 167,000, with over 8,000 deaths
  • Health officials have been warning of a second wave of the outbreak, but say a reason for the surge in new cases could be wider testing

DUBAI: A wedding party contributed to a new surge in coronavirus infections in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday but insisted the country had no option but to keep its economy open despite warnings of a second wave of the epidemic.
Iran, which has been gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April, has reported a sharp rise of new daily infections in recent days. Thursday’s toll of 3,574 new cases was the highest since February, when the outbreak was first reported.
“At one location, we witnessed a peak in this epidemic, the source of which was a wedding that caused problems for the people, health workers and losses to the economy and the country’s health system,” Rouhani said on state TV. He did not say when or where the wedding took place.
New cases dipped to 2,886 on Friday, bringing Iran’s total cases to more than 167,000, with over 8,000 deaths.
Health officials have been warning of a second wave of the outbreak, but say a reason for the surge in new cases could be wider testing. One official said about 70% of the new cases in Tehran were among those who had traveled outside the capital in recent days.
Iran has been struggling to curb the spread of COVID-19 but authorities are concerned that measures to limit public and economic life to contain the virus could wreck an already economy already reeling under international sanctions.
“In these circumstances, we have no other choice — that is, there is no second option,” Rouhani added. “We have to work, our factories have to be active, our shops have to be open, and there has to be movement in the country as far as it is necessary.”
Iranian universities reopened on Saturday after being closed for more than three and a half months, state media reported. Nurseries will reopen in a week’s time, when Qur'an and languages classes will also resume, Rouhani said.