World War 3: Iran targeted in tough new crackdown on rocket attacks at US troops

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Rockets were seized and three commanders were arrested. Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraqi Prime Minister has expressed a willingness to be tougher on militia groups which target US installations. Several attacks near the US embassy in Baghdad and other US installations have occurred in recent months.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition in Iraq has denied the commanders were handed over to the US military, who they claim played no part in the raid.

An Iraqi official has said at least 20 fighters were detained in the raid.

Tensions between the US and Iran have been high in recent months.

In January, a US strike killed the leader of Iran’s Quds Force Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of Iraq’s most powerful militias had opposed Mr Kadhimi’s nomination.

In a statement, last month they said: “During the sensitive times we are going through, the brothers in politics who brought Mustafa al-Kadhimi to be prime minister-designate should know before it’s too late that the man is not up to the responsibility that has been given to him and is still accused of a crime of which he hasn’t been acquitted.”

The group had accused Mr Kadhimi of facilitating the operation that resulted in the death of Mr Soleimani and its leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

According to the Guardian, Mr Kadhimi had sought a meeting to assure the group he played no role in the operation.

But, it has been claimed he left open the possibility that an Iraqi National Intelligence Service official had been in contact with US spies.

An official claimed: “The informal agreement was that they would not stop him from getting the job, but would continue to talk out against him.”

Mr Kadhimi is thought to have been backed by both the US and Saudi Arabia for his position.

Prior to his approval by the National Assembly, Iraq had gone six months without a Prime Minister.

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Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned in November after weeks of violent protests.

Iraqis were demanding jobs, an end to corruption and better public services.

By the time of Mr Adbul Mahdi’s resignation, there had been 400 deaths.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country’s top Shia cleric condemned the use of live ammunition against protestors and called for a new government.

In a statement, Mr Adbul Mahdi said: “In response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to parliament a demand [to accept] my resignation from the leadership of the current government.”

A protestor told the BBC: “It is our first demand.

“That will change something.

“Then our second demand is to shut down the parliament.

“We’re hoping it’s going to happen because our young guys are very strong and they have their words, we say that we’re going to stay here.”

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