The evidence is emerging that proves the U.S. State Department is still providing widespread support, including American-made weapons and training, for Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, through a program that was initiated by the Obama administration.
A new report from the Washington Free Beacon reveals that the U.S. government is continuing to quietly work with militia fighters in Iraq who are directly tied to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
U.S. lawmakers and military insiders told the Free Beacon that they are concerned about the American government’s continued arming and training of Iranian-backed fighters in Iraq. This aid “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,” according to the report.
Sources who spoke to the news outlet accused the State Department of making “common cause” with the IRGC, which they say has benefited from ongoing American efforts to arm and train at least six military groups which have direct ties to Iran. They blamed the continued presence of senior Obama administration officials in government as one of the reasons this practice continues.
“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.”
Representative Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is one of the several lawmakers who recently disclosed direct evidence of Iranian-backed fighters using American-made tanks and other military equipment in Iraq.
DeSantis made it clear that Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq are the enemy. “The State Department should not be making common cause with the IRGC, [Iranian commander] Qassem Soleimeni, the [Iranian] Quds Force or Shia militias,” he said, explaining, “These groups were responsible for killing hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq during our operations there last decade. Congress needs to get the facts about the relationship between our own State Department and these nefarious actors.”
The State Department and Trump administration officials are said to be aware of this information, as well as other evidence, but they fear that it could interfere with the fight against ISIS in Iraq, which these Iranian militias have helped wage.
“The Trump administration is supporting Iran in just about every country across the Middle East,” revealed one source in the report who noted, “That’s what you get when you leave in place the Obama officials who originally orchestrated the pro-Iran pivot. The mystery is why the good people inside the administration, who come up to the Hill and tell lawmakers they don’t want to see the Middle East controlled by Iran, don’t do anything about it.”
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