General Dynamics Withdraws Technicians Over Pro-Iran Hashd Possessing Abrams Tanks Posted: 07 Mar 2018 – MUSINGS ON IRAQ BY JOEL WING
That doesn’t seem like it will happen any time soon as a Hashd spokesman attacked the Americans for making those demands replying that the Hashd were part of the Iraqi forces, and therefore the U.S. was interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs. An Iraqi parliamentarian on the security committee lamented that this matter could leave most of Iraq’s tanks disabled.
The Hashd got ahold of these tanks in 2015 if not earlier. Seven were captured from the Islamic State who seized them during their takeover of northern Iraq in 2014. Two other tanks were handed over to the Hashd by the Iraqi army. Some were even deployed to Syria. The Hashd last deployed the tanks in October 2017 when they confronted and clashed with the Peshmerga in Kirkuk. The Hashd has been using American equipment from the start of the war against the Islamic State. That includes Humvees to mine resistant vehicles to armored personnel carriers to these Abrams. Many of these were given to the Hash by the Iraqi army who also provided support as the Hashd do not have the parts nor technicians to maintain many of these vehicles especially such technologically advanced ones like the Abrams. Since the U.S. is complaining about them, the pro-Iran Hashd are probably more intent on holding on to the vehicles just to annoy Washington. When the media attention fades they may change their minds.
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– “U.S.-Made Tanks That Fell Into Militia Hands in Iraq Sparks Assistance Standoff,” Foreign Policy, 3/2/18
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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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