US officials have agreed that Iranian-backed militia could be using American-made arms, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Monday.
"US officials acknowledged Iranian-backed forces in Iraq could be using American-made arms, an admission that comes amid growing concern on Capitol Hill the US government is quietly working with militia fighters in Iraq who are directly tied to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
"US lawmakers and military insiders are concerned by what they described as the American government’s continued arming and training of Iranian-backed fighters in Iraq, an ongoing policy that multiple sources described to the Washington Free Beacon as one of the US's chief foreign policy failures in the region."
Earlier this month, the Beacon reported that "photos presented to Congress, which could not be independently verified, claim to show IRGC proxies operating a US M1A1 Abrams Tank."
"The lawmakers also displayed pictures of what he claimed was Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Qasem Soleimani with top US-backed Iraqi militia leaders," the report added.
An official within the US State Department stated that "The US-led International Coalition is in Iraq to support the Iraqi Government in the al-Qaim Liberation operation and the overall military defeat of ISIS in Iraq. As such, the Coalition provides support, through the Government of Iraq, to vetted forces, including vetted tribal forces."
"However, the Coalition does not provide support to groups or forces that are designated terrorist organizations, or that do not fall under the control of the Government of Iraq," the administration official emphasized.