This shit is feckless leftover policy from the Obama regime. It should have been stopped the day Trump took office.
From the Free Beacon
U.S. officials acknowledged Iranian-backed forces in Iraq could be using American-made arms, an admission that comes amid growing concern on Capitol Hill the U.S. 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.
U.S. 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 U.S.’s chief foreign policy failures in the region.
Top lawmakers and others have begun to present evidence showing that the State Department continues to provide widespread support for Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, a program that first begun under the Obama administration.
This has helped solidify Iran’s presence in key Iraqi territories and appears to directly conflict with the Trump administration’s newly outlined push to combat the Islamic Republic’s regional military efforts, which have included targeting U.S. forces in Syria and other locations.
Multiple sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon both on and off the record accused the State Department of making “common cause” with the IRGC, which they say has benefited from ongoing American efforts to arm and train Iraqi militia groups, many of which have direct ties to Iran.
These sources pointed to the continued presence of senior Obama administration officials in government as one of the primary drivers of this ongoing policy.
Senior Trump administration officials acknowledged they have seen evidence that some Iraqi forces on its blacklist are using American arms.
“We have seen reports that some U.S.-origin military equipment is being operated by Iraqi militia units that are not the approved end-users,” said a spokesman for the White House National Security Council. “We urge the Government of Iraq to expeditiously return this equipment to the full control of the Iraqi Army.”
However, the official said the United States has strict policies in place to prevent Iranian-tied forces and other terrorist actors from benefitting from its military programs in Iraq.
“All recipients of U.S. security assistance are fully vetted and subject to end-use requirements,” the official said. “The United States has strict standards to avoid providing security assistance to designated terrorist organizations, units with close ties to Iran, or units under suspicion of committing gross violations of human rights.”
Leaders on Capitol Hill are currently pushing the Trump State Department to come clean about possible interactions with Iranian-tied forces in Iraq.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is one of several lawmakers who recently disclosed direct evidence of Iranian-backed fighters using American-made tanks and other military equipment in Iraq.
DeSantis told the Washington Free Beacon Congress is increasing pressure on the State Department to disclose currently withheld information on the relationship between the U.S. military and Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq.
“The State Department should not be making common cause with the IRGC, [Iranian commander] Qassem Soleimeni, the [Iranian] Quds Force or Shia militias,” DeSantis said, explaining that these groups have long worked to thwart U.S. operations in the region.
“These groups were responsible for killing hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq during our operations there last decade,” DeSantis said. “Congress needs to get the facts about the relationship between our own State Department and these nefarious actors.”
Intelligence information circling around Capitol Hill and reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon shows that multiple IRGC proxy groups have been operating under the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI), which coordinates and doles out U.S. funding and equipment to various militia groups.
Iranian-tied entities believed to be benefiting from U.S. programs include Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iraqi Shia military group supported by Iran; and the Badr forces, an Iranian backed military group. At least four other Iranian-supported military groups also are said to have benefited from U.S. training programs, according to the intelligence information.
Photographs and other open-source intelligence information appear to show that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is aware that Iran is cashing in on U.S. programs.
Al-Abadi’s government is believed, in part, to allocate funds to these Iranian forces via Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, a designated terrorist who leads Kata’ib Hezbollah, who then doles out U.S. funds to various Iranian-backed militia groups.
Kata’ib Hezbollah has been identified as receiving American funding, armor, and artillery via these programs.
Other photographic evidence in the possession of lawmakers appears to show various Iranian-backed militia fighters in Iraq using American-made M1A1 Abrams tanks, which require direct training from the United States to operate.
The State Department and Trump administration officials are said to be aware of this information, as well as other evidence, but stand accused of downplaying it so as not to interfere with the fight against ISIS in Iraq, which these Iranian militias have helped wage.
This is fucking insane.
Oh, and by the way, another consequence of this idiocy that the Iran-allied shiite militias in Iraq have threatened to attack U.S. troops if they refuse to leave the country, declaring that the United States “has become our direct enemy.”:
The threat came from Abdullatif al-Amidi, the commander of the Saraya al-Ashura faction inside the umbrella organization of mostly Shiite militias loyal to Iran known as al-Hashd al-Shaabi, Arabic for Popular Mobilization Forces/Units (PMF/PMU), reportsKurdistan24.
PMF factions, including at least one with American blood on its hands—the Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous)—have repeatedly vowed to target U.S. troops since they returned to Iraq to combat the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in 2014.
Although the U.S. military has fought alongside the PMF, praising them for their contribution to the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently urged the Shiite militiamen to “go home.”
Moreover, Congress has proposed bipartisan legislation to impose terrorist sanctions on at least two PMF components, Asaib Ahl Al-Haq (AAH) and Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba, prompting some of their fellow militiamen to threaten American troops in Iraq again.
During a televised speech on Tuesday, Abdullatif al-Amidi, the commander of the PMF faction Saraya al-Ashura, warned, “The U.S. has become our direct enemy after the Congress’ decision against some Hashd al-Shaabi factions,” reports Kurdistan 24.
The Shiite militia commander urged American troops to immediately withdraw from Iraq because “they have now become a target for our forces,” noting that the U.S. proposal against two PMU components is explicitly “aimed at targeting the Islamic resistance and all Hashd al-Shaabi factions.”
Stop funding, aiding, and arming the mutherfuckers. Obama did that the whole time he occupied the White House.
It’s time to bring this shit to a halt.