RNA - Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the Kata’ib, said thousands of Iraqi fighters took part in the maneuver in order to prepare themselves for four scenarios, the first of which was tackling heliborne operations by US troops.
The drill was held in the town of Jurf al-Nasr, some 60 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, with the aim of achieving combat readiness and preparing for any emergency situation, al-Husseini said.
Sophisticated weapons with live ammunition were used in the exercises, he added.
The exercise simulated a number of engagement patterns, including confronting airstrikes and land exposure, and fighting in a forest environment. It also tested the effectiveness of urban warfare, the spokesman noted.
Al-Husseini said the “successful” war games were a warning to the enemies of Iraq that resistance forces are fully prepared to counter possible US threats.
Kata’ib Hezbollah had earlier blown the lid off a plot by the US military to carry out massive aerial operations — backed by ground troops – against the bases of the anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which is currently helping the government in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kata’ib Hezbollah reported “suspicious activities by the US and its mercenaries” in Iraq in preparation for an operation.
The US plans to conduct heliborne operations backed up by ground troops and fighter jets against positions belonging to security agencies and positions of Iraq’s resistance groups, the statement added.
Anti-American sentiment has been running high in Iraq following the US assassination on January 3 of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s PMU, and their companions.
The terrorist US act promoted the Iraqi parliament to vote for the expulsion of American forces from the country, but the government has not acted on the decision yet as it is grappling with a political deadlock.
The US-led military coalition has reportedly handed over a strategic air base in the northern province of Nineveh to the Iraqi military, an Iraqi security source said Thursday.
According to the source, forces from the US-led alliance departed Qayyarah Airfield West, which lies some 70 kilometers south of Mosul and on the west bank of the Tigris River, handed it over to Iraqi government troops.
France has also followed suit and announced that it will remove all of its troops currently stationed in Iraq for the time being.
“France has taken the decision to repatriate until further notice its personnel deployed in operation Chammal in Iraq,” the French armed forces ministry said on Wednesday.
The French military claims the withdrawal is because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.