A growing number of Iraqi militias have been seen using Iranian-made weapons in their battles against Sunni militants led by Islamic State (IS).

While many of the weapons produced by Iran are copies of arms designed in other countries, some are distinctively Iranian, including the 12.7 mm AM-50 anti-materiel rifle. Occasionally referred to as the Sayyad, the AM-50 is a copy of the Steyr HS .50, but Iranian-made versions can be identified from their different barrels and muzzle breaks.

These heavy calibre rifles appear to have been used by Iranian-backed groups in Iraq since at least 2007, but have become increasingly visible in recent months as Shia militias have been remobilised to counter the Sunni offensive that began in June. […]