Iranian-backed militias say it’s an Israeli covert operation. The U.S. says it’s probably just the heat. There’s an epidemic of mysterious explosions at Iraqi militia bases this summer, and it might be a sign that there’s a whole new shadow war going on in Iraq. Five hundred miles away, an attack by an explosive-laden delivery drone through the window of a Beirut office may have been the opening shot in a second front in Israel’s covert war against Iran. So who’s behind the bombs and why?
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Mystery explosions: The first explosion took place on July 19 at an Iranian-backed militia ammunition depot in Amerli, a hundred miles north of Baghdad. Shortly after the explosion, Saudi news outlets quickly claimed that the explosion was the result of an Israeli airstrike that killed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) advisers and destroyed Iranian ballistic missiles.