Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated Thursday that Israel is working to prevent Iranian military consolidation in Iraq in the first such admission of Israeli activity in Iraq.
"We are working against Iranian consolidation - in Iraq as well," Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 9 News.
On Wednesday, he Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsatnewspaper reported that the bombing of Iranian weapons warehouses in Iraq in recent weeks, which has been attributed to Israel, was carried out with permission from the United States and Russia.
A Western diplomatic source quoted in the article told the newspaper that the understanding stresses that Israel should not officially declare its raids in order to control regional tension.
The understanding stipulates that “Israel’s security is a priority as well as pursuing Iran in Iraq and Syria,” the London-based newspaper reported.
The most recent attack came on Tuesday night, when a weapons depot belonging to the state-sanctioned paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces at al-Balad military base in Saladin province was targeted, allegedly by Israeli drones.
Last week, an explosion at an ammunition warehouse in southern Baghdad run by the Popular Mobilization Forces injured 13 people.
Last month, an unmanned drone dropped explosives on a base belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces in northern Iraq.
Israel had not commented on the reports before Thursday. On Monday, Netanyahu stated that Israel would respond to Iranian aggression anywhere without specifically admitting to Israeli activity in Iraq.
The Israeli government has confirmed that it has carried out numerous airstrikes in Syria aimed at preventing an Iranian military consolidation in the war-torn nation.