In 2015, US Congress appropriated $1.6 billion for the ITEF program. The funds were earmarked to fight against the ISIS in response to Obama’s counter-terrorism campaign launched in Summer of 2014. In a bitter irony, a large number of these weapons landed up in the hands of terrorists including the ISIS.
The 1.6 billion were spent on light weaponry. It’s all for a good cause: The shipments of weapons and ammunition were according to reports dispatched to Iraq (c/o the Iraqi Armed Forces) to be distributed to armed groups involved in fighting ISIS-Daesh.
Some of the shipments unfortunately went astray or landed in the wrong hands, according to Patrick Wilcken, an Amnesty researcher on International’s Arms Control and Human Rights. This was attributable to “US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region.”
“[The report] makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.” (Amnesty International, May 24, 2017)
The transfers, which include tens of thousands of assault rifles (worth USD$28 million), hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles, were destined for use by the central Iraqi Army, including the predominantly Shi’a Popular Mobilisation Units, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.