BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – The Iraqi Army has received back a number of M1 Abrams main battle tanks that it in handed-over to pro-government paramilitary groups following their formation in 2014.
US coalition sources confirm that at some point after the formation of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) umbrella militia in early 2014, some nine M1 Abrams battle tanks were handed over by the Iraqi Army to the auxiliary force to increase its capabilities against ISIS.
Following the annihilation of the Islamic State’s territorial empire in Iraq (and Syria) by the end of 2017, US military authorities in Iraq pushed the country’s army to ask for the return of the M1s as part of a general demobilization of the PMU.
In recent days, the PMU has reportedly returned all nine of its M1s back to the control of the Iraqi Army. With this being done, the US has promised to continue its technical program to keep the tanks serviced and operational on behalf of the Iraqi Army.
Although formed as an auxiliary force to the Iraqi Army, the PMU played a vanguard role in the war against ISIS, participating in many major battles against the terrorist group.