‘The Beast’ gobbling up ISIS fighters in Iraq
US touts success of US-made Iraqi army tank is driving out ISIS forces in a series of setbacks for the jihadists.
An American-made Iraqi army tank that locals have fondly nicknamed “The Beast” is playing a major role driving the Islamic State jihadist group (ISIS) from a town on the frontlines, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.
Baghdad-based spokesman Colonel Steve Warren recounted the exploits of the M-1 Abrams tank in Heet in response to a question about whether the Iraqi military is taking too long to expel ISIS jihadists and lacks the will to fight.
On Monday, Iraqi security forces (ISF) raised the Iraqi flag over government buildings in Heet, in Anbar province.
“This M-1 tank has been driving all around Heet, crazy, and blasting IEDs (roadside bombs), punching holes in enemy defenses and maneuvering between multiple engagements,” Warren said.
“This tank has become a little bit of a folk hero here in Iraq. They’ve nicknamed this tank ‘The Beast.’ So now all of a sudden, The Beast has become a thing here.”
Warren later retweeted a video of the tank – provided by the US – blowing up a car purportedly carrying explosives. Three tanks had initially been deployed to Heet but two were out of the fight for mechanical reasons.
The US military is keen to highlight examples of Iraqi security forces making progress against ISIS, which seized vast swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, including the key Iraqi cities Ramadi and Mosul.
Despite some major setbacks, including
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