Iraqi forces detain PMF commander over attacks on air base

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SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi security forces on Wednesday detained a senior Shia paramilitary commander Qasim Muslih under the country’s terrorism law, Security Media Cell said in a statement.

The security media cell said the security forces carried out a raid at dawn on Wednesday to arrest Muslih over “criminal charges” against him, state news agency INA reported.

“The operation does not target any military or security agency,” the Iraqi military added.

He is the head of the Population Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Anbar province, a grouping of mostly Shia militias backed by Iran, which the U.S. regards as the biggest threat to security in the Middle East.

Two security sources with direct knowledge of the arrest told Reuters that Muslih was detained in Baghdad for involvement in several attacks including assaults on Ain al-Asad air base, which hosts U.S. and international troops.

The air base was attacked at least twice this month with rockets and an unmanned aerial surveillance system.

The Iraqi military said a joint investigative committee was formed to probe the PMF commander.

A security source told Shafaq News that the committee included agents from intelligence agencies, joint operations command and the PMF.

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