The Iraqi Security Forces hosted a September 3 ceremony at Al-Taqaddum Air Base in al-Habbaniya, Anbar province, marking the handover of arms and equipment to some 100 tribal fighters who have been enrolled in the Government of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces and trained to liberate and protect their local communities. Anbar Governor Sohaib al-Rawi, Anbar Commander Staff Major General Ziyad al-Dulaimi and National Security Service Secretary General Hamid Zerjawi attended the ceremony.
The arms and equipment – including machine guns, rifles, ammunition, first aid kits and other materials — were provided to the ISF by the U.S. Government.
These volunteers join thousands of others from Al Anbar who already have enlisted in the PMF and are fighting side by side with the ISF against Da’esh. Tribal fighters have been integral in operations that constrained Da’esh freedom of movement and reclaimed traditional tribal lands in Anbar. They have also sacrificed greatly and fought to defend their fellow soldiers.
The U.S. Embassy commends the Iraqi government for its commitment to arm and integrate tribal fighters. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones stated, “Arming, equipping and training volunteers to defend their own communities is an essential component in the overall fight against Da’esh. These fighters are already proving their valor and skill on the battlefield. The U.S. stands with Iraq in the fight against Da’esh, and pledges its continued support and cooperation through airstrikes, intelligence, training and equipment.”