AR70s in Iraq

Images gained from Iraqi social media groups have indicated the transfer and usage of 5.56x45mm NATO Beretta AR70s. Specifically there has been one rifle spotted with the Shi’a Al-Abbas Brigade. The Al-Abbas Brigade was originally formed in Syria in 2012 but after heavy losses with Daesh moved to Iraq in 2014.

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Some of these AR70s appear to have been modified with Airsoft picatinny rail handgun systems to provide a picatinny interface. The Italian rifle never received an upgrade to a picatinny system having been replaced by Beretta’s ARX-160 instead. The rail in the title photograph looks to be a very common AR Airsoft rail coming out of China with the oval vents, very similar to many handguards from UTG. However the example below might be one of the Daniel Defense fakes with the 12 o’clock gas tube vents actually installed at the 6 o’clock position. Both examples show an M16A4 handguard mounted to a rail section that covers the top portion of the rifle, leading S.R. to believe that they might originate from the same source or small arms market.

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