Orient News, Feb. 10, 2018 - The Pentagon says Iranian-backed militias fighting ISIS in Syria used Abrams tanks that the US military had originally provided to the Iraqi Army.
However, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said on February 9 that the estimated nine tanks were later returned to the Iraqi military.
The Iranian-backed Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are legally considered by Iraq to be part of the Iraqi Security Forces, Pahon said. But he added that the United States had never supplied "defense articles" to the militia.
"We have discovered incidents where some US-origin equipment, including M1 Abrams tanks, came into the possession of certain PMF groups. This equipment was subsequently used by these groups" in the fight against the ISIS.
The United States has approved sales of more than $22 billion in arms and equipment, including at least 150 Abrams tanks, to Iraq since 2005.