February 2, 2015 | Army Times

Video: Iran-Backed Militia Brings M1 Tank to Fight IS

A video posted Tuesday to YouTube appears to show a militia group preparing for battle against the Islamic State with the help of an M1 Abrams tank, but how the fighters got the tank — and what good it will do them — remains unclear.

The video, featured in a Wednesday report by The Long War Journal, is undated and shows what's likely a convoy of Kata'ib Hezbollah forces, also known as the Hezbollah Brigades, of up to 250 vehicles, including the tank, Humvees, rocket launchers and pickup trucks.

“There are too many vehicles and too many weapons for this to be just a propaganda exercise. That's actual Kata'ib Hezbollah, actually headed to a fight,” said Christopher Harmer, an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War's Middle East Security Project, in a Friday email. “You can fake a lot of stuff. You can't fake a big convoy headed to the front.”

The Long War Journal report called the video “the first evidence of Iranian-backed militias having M1 tanks at their disposal.” Veryan Khan, editorial director of the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, called it “fairly alarming,” and said “the real million-dollar question is, Where did [the] tank come from?”

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