Thursday, February 22, 2018

Iraqi Army Supplied Pro-Iran Hashd With U.S. Abrams Tanks


In February 2018 the Pentagon’s Inspector General (IG) reported that pro-Iran Hashd groups had nine M1A1 Abrams tanks that were originally sold to the Iraqi army. The IG said that some of the tanks were taken by the Hashd from ISIS. During the end of 2017 a few of those tanks were returned to the Iraqi forces. According to a spokesman from the U.S. led Coalition that talked with The Daily Beast the Americans are working with Baghdad to ensure that all nine tanks are back in the army’s hands. The Daily Beast added that several of the nine Abrams were given to the Hashd by the same Iraqi military. That should have come as no surprise. The Abrams tank requires a huge supply chain. That includes 120mm smooth bore ammunition, technical teams to maintain the computer systems, etc. The Hashd do not have those capabilities unless they were supported by the Iraqi military. The Hashd had these tanks since at least 2015, and there was no way they could have kept them running unless the government forces were involved. The irony is that Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has had running feuds with these same pro-Tehran groups over his support of the U.S. and their role in the war against the Islamic State yet they still got some advanced tanks. Those same differences may mean that the Hashd are in no rush to give them back.

SOURCES

Axe, David, “In Iraq, Hezbollah’s Got U.S. tanks, and Washington Wants Them Back,” Daily Beast, 2/20/18

Department of Defense Inspector General, “Overseas Contingency Operations, Operation Inherent Resolve Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines, October 1, 2017-December 31, 2017,” 2/2/18

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