Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Aug. 14, 2019 - A large fire resulted in a series of explosions at a weapons depot belonging to the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces also known as Hashd-al Shaabi near Baghdad, according to Reuters.
The explosion at a storage facility of short-range Katiusha rockets belonging to a group backed by the Iranian regime resulted in powerful blasts rocking all of the Iraqi capital. A number of the rockets were launched to areas around the base.
The al-Saqar base located south of Baghdad was the site of the explosions. According to various reports, Iran-backed militia groups, Shiite militia units affiliated to the Badr Organization, Jondol-Imam and battalions known as the Seyed al-Shohada are stationed in this base. The 14th Brigade of the Popular Mobilization Force is responsible for managing the site.
A Health Department spokesman said this fire resulted in various missiles exploding in this warehouse, leading to 14 injures – mostly children – due to missiles landing in areas a few kilometers away from the base.
Reuters cited a security source saying these arms depots were located inside an Iraqi Federal Police base where short-range missiles and Katiusha rockets were currently stored.
Images and videos posted on social media platforms showed a large smoke cloud rising to the skies.
Various local media outlets reported shrapnel from this explosion also landing near the U.S. Embassy building in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone.
One Iraqi police source said this fire was possibly the result of negligence in storing munitions along with the extreme summer heat.
This is the third explosion in bases affiliated to Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq in less than five weeks. The Iraqi Interior Ministry has ordered an investigation into these developments.
The Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) is known to fully back Iraqi militia groups in Iraq. The U.S State Department recently designated the IRGC as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO).