A metalworker works under a tank, known as Duldul, in Basra, southeast of Baghdad March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani
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In a military scrapyard in the southern Iraqi desert, abandoned army equipment sat for years waiting to be melted down to steel bars.The scrapyard also contains guns, vehicles and tanks – some of them identifiable only by barrels still poking through the sand – from Iraq's 1990-91 occupation and defeat in Kuwait and from the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.So the 65-year-old veteran of Saddam's army set to work with his sons to restore some of the old vehicles and supply them to Shiite militias now fighting to push ISIS out of the late dictator's home city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad.The Popular Mobilization units of mainly Shiite militia fighters have led the counteroffensive against ISIS. Fighting alongside the army, many of them go into battle with whatever arms and equipment they can muster – much of it supplied by Iran.
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