An explosion at the Iraqi base of an Iran-aligned organization left one dead and twenty injured.

As regional tensions rise, blast targeting the Popular Mobilization Forces coincides with escalating attacks on groups with ties to Iran.

According to security reports, there have been at least one fatality and twenty injuries following an explosion at a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) military base in Iraq. Iran is an ally of the PMF. The PMF reported late on Friday that “the attack” was directed against the military base at Kalsu, which is in the province of Babil (Babylon), some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital Baghdad.

Films and photos from the incident revealed a massive explosion that spread the flames by setting nearby trees on fire. On Saturday morning, footage taken within the base revealed extensive damage to vehicles and equipment, along with a sizable crater. The PMF said that “American aggression bombed the Kalso military base,” which is close to the town of Iskandariya, in a statement.

The Iraqi military declared on Saturday that no fighter jets or drones were seen in the Babil area’s airspace prior to or after the explosion. An army statement revealed that the explosion claimed the life of one PMF member and injured eight more. The US military refuted rumors that it was orchestrating airstrikes in Iraq. The Iraqi government declared that it was looking into the event. Mohammed Shia al-Sudanithe prime minister of Iraq, is presently in the US.

Iraqi military units and federal police are also housed at the locations. According to Abdelwahed, Camp Kalsu was occupied by US soldiers during the US-led invasion of Iraq, but in 2011 the Defense Ministry took control of it. It has a storehouse for tanks and other weapons, as well as an ammo depot. “All fingers are pointed towards Israel, accusing Israel of carrying out the attack,” he said. The Israeli military refrained from making any remarks.

The PMF chief of staff, Abu Fadak al-Muhammadawi, examined the base on Saturday. The Iraqi military’s umbrella organization, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which opposes both Israel and the United States, announced that it had launched a counterattack early on Saturday. It made public a video of a drone being launched at night, claiming that the drone was headed toward an Israeli port city called Eilat.

Since the current struggle in Gaza began in October, the group has launched many strikes on US and Israeli interests throughout the region. However, after three US soldiers were killed in a drone strike on a site close to Syria’s border with Jordan in February, it has mainly stopped its assaults. In a statement released on Saturday, the militant Palestinian faction Hamas “strongly condemned” what it described as an vialation.

The explosion occurs one day after Iran claimed to have shot down three quadcopters over its skies in the Iranian capital of Isfahan, close to a military facility housing many fighter jets and air defense batteries. No injuries or damage was reported in that incident. Israel has not formally admitted its involvement in the Isfahan operation, but it is thought to be the cause.

Iran fired hundreds of drones and ballistic and cruise missiles on Israel on April 13. Israel, the US, the UK, France, and Jordan formed an alliance to defend its airspace, and it shot down the majority of the missiles. The Iranian strike was a reprisal for the earlier this month demolition of Tehran’s Syrian consulate, which resulted in the deaths of two generals and other members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

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