In an article published by the website War is Boring, US expert Robert Beckhusen has claimed that the M1A1 Abrams tank could be obliterated by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters using a Chinese-made HJ-8 "Red Arrow" anti-tank missile.
Earlier, Peshmerga published a video showing a burnt-out tank which the Iraqi military suggested could have been destroyed with a German-made wire-guided MILAN anti-tank missile launcher.
As for the HJ-8, Beckhusen described it as "an older missile, which was first produced in China in the 1970s and which is roughly equivalent to the US-made [tube-launched optically-tracked wire-guided] TOW missile."However, neither Peshmerga nor the German Defense Ministry confirmed this information.
To destroy the Iraqi tank, Peshmerga could use the modern version of the HJ-8: the HJ-8E, which is capable of piercing through the Abrams M-1A1's "add-on explosive reactive armour tiles, although Iraq's M-1 Abrams tanks also appear to lack this additional defensive capability," according to Beckhusen.
He recalled a previous video with Peshmerga forces using the HJ-8 systems installed on their Humvees, something that confirms the suggestion that it was the HJ-8E system which was used by Peshmerga to take out the Iraqi tank.
Last week, Iraqi troops regained control over a number of military and transport facilities in Kirkuk province, also taking the town of Sinjar and the dam near the city of Mosul without any resistance from Kurdish Peshmerga paramilitaries.