Kurdish security forces near Irbil, Iraq. (AP/Khalid Mohammed) (AP/Khalid Mohammed)
Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq

Kurds say a pro-Iranian media story claiming an attack on a ‘Mossad base in Iraq’ is fake news.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq issued a statement that shot down a pro-Iranian news report claiming somebody had attacked an Israeli Mossad facility there and killed several Israelis, Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

“We can confirm that news reports about an attack on an Israeli intelligence facility in the region are false,” the Kurdistan Regional Government statement said, adding that there are “Mossad bases” in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq.

Iran’s FARS news reported that the Iraqi Sabereen News outlet had claimed in a report Tuesday that “a Mossad center came under attack by unknown resistance forces … adding that the attack resulted in the death and injury of a number of Israeli forces, including a senior officer, dealing a ‘heavy blow’ to the regime and its spy agency.”

However, the report contained no details about the attack and raised serious doubts about its authenticity.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) notes that Sabereen News is “the most influential muqawama [resistance]” news source whose goals include “spreading disinformation for a variety of purposes, including to discredit the Iraqi government” as well as to incite muqawama supporters, propagate anti U.S sentiment and “promote and disseminate real and fake news.”

Researchers at the Washington Institute noted that Sabereen News has a special relationship with the front group Ashab al-Kahf, “the first and best-known of the facade groups used by Iranbacked militias to selectively conceal their involvement in operations.” Al-Kahf claims it has carried out IED attacks on convoys since March 2020, and has also claimed at least one rocket attack on the US embassy in November of last year.

According to WINEP, good relations with Iraqi Kurdistan are a valuable strategic asset for the United States and it would be important for the Biden administration to pay attention to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The Kurds occupy an important geo-strategic location in northern Iraq and the area has been been Iraq’s most stable region. The Kurds have been a steadfast partner to the US for nearly three decades and have played a critical role in countering threats from groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, says WINEP.

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