Secretary general of al-Khorasani Battalions, affiliated with Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), said all members of Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades) who were arrested by the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad have been released from custody.
In an interview with Tasnim, Sayyid Ali al-Yasiri, the commander of Saraya al-Khorasani (al-Khorasani Battalions), said all Hashd al-Shaabi forces who were arrested on Thursday evening have been released.
Late on Thursday, the Iraqi security forces raided a base belonging to Kata’ib Hezbollah faction in southern Baghdad and detained several members.
The operation, carried out by Iraq’s elite Counter Terrorism Service, came after the US accused Kata’ib Hezbollah of firing rockets at bases hosting American troops and other facilities in Iraq.
Speaking to Tasnim, Yasiri said the arrests were made by the Counter Terrorism Service, but there is evidence that American forces were also taking part in the raid.
“What happened was a provocative measure,” he added.
After the raid was carried out, deputy commander of Hashd al-Shaabi Abu Fadak (Abdul-Aziz al-Muhammadawi) made contacts with relevant authorities in person, but commander of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service said he was not informed about the issue at first, Yasiri explained.
Thereafter, Abu Fadak’s brother decided to take retaliatory action against the bases of Counter Terrorism Service for holding the PMU fighters in custody, commander of Saraya al-Khorasani added.
Finally, the issue was resolved and all forces from the two sides were released after Falih al-Fayyadh (chairman of Hashd al-Shaabi and advisor of Iraq’s National Security Council) and Hadi al-Ameri (secretary general of Badr Organization) stepped in, he added.
Asked about the reason behind the raid and the arrests, Yasiri said there were allegations that rocket attack on the Green Zone and Baghdad International Airport have been launched from the base of Kata’ib Hezbollah.
“They (security forces) claimed that there were missile launch pads in the (Kata’ib Hezbollah) base. In conclusion, all of this was only a provocative issue with the purpose of damaging the image of Hashd (al-Shaabi) and resistance and insulting the organizations whose role is standing against the American forces,” Yasiri stated.