US forces have transferred Daesh (ISIS) terrorists out of Syria and into Iraq, Mohammed Mahdi al-Bayati, a key member of the Badr Organization, a powerful Iraqi Shia political and militia group, has claimed.
“Eyewitnesses living along the border with Syria have informed security officials that American forces are conducting extensive airborne transfers of Daesh terrorists from Syria to Iraq,” al-Bayati said, his remarks cited by Press TV.
The politician clarified that the terrorists were being transferred into Iraq’s northwest, and speculated that their deployment was meant to cause an upsurge in terrorist violence to justify the continued presence of US forces in the country.
Al-Bayati’s comments follow the emergence of unauthenticated footage released by Iraqi pro-government militia group Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, another member of the Popular Mobilization Forces coalition, appearing to show a US helicopter landing in a Syrian town under the cover of night to transfer unknown persons from Syria to Iraq. The militia claims these persons are Daesh terrorists.
The US government has not commented on the footage or the allegations, but has previously dismissed any association between itself and the terrorist group. Damascus and its allies have repeatedly accused Washington of using Daesh militants to its own ends. The White House has decried these claims as “absurd.”
Over the weekend, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces reported thwarting a Daesh attempt to infiltrate Anbar province from Syria. At the same time, PMF official Sadiq al-Hosseini reported on the elimination of a senior Daesh commander in the province of Diyala, and the targeting of Daesh bases in the eastern province of Saladin.
On Monday, intelligence gleaned by the PMF led the Iraqi Army to launch airstrikes against Daesh facilities in Mosul. The Army and PMF attacks follow an uptick in Daesh attacks on Iraqi forces in recent weeks.