Skip to comments.ISIL Moving Seized U.S. Tanks, Humvees to Syria
Posted on 06/17/2014 2:47:20 AM PDT by markomalley
Syrian and Iraqi terrorist forces obtained significant numbers of tanks, trucks, and U.S.-origin Humvees in recent military operations in Iraq and those arms are being shipped to al Qaeda rebels in Syria, according to U.S. officials.
U.S. intelligence agencies reported this week that photos of the equipment transfers were posted online by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, the ultra-violent terror group that broke away from al Qaeda but shares its goals and philosophy.
Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks confirmed the weapons transfers and expressed concerns about the captured arms.
Were aware of reports of some equipmentnamely Humveesand the pictures that have been posted online, Speaks said in an email. We are certainly concerned about these reports and are consulting with the Iraqi government to obtain solid confirmation on what assets may have fallen into ISILs hands.
Speaks added that the loss of the equipment to the terrorist group is really a matter for the Iraqi government to speak to publicly because it is their equipment.
Exact numbers of captured arms and equipment are not known. The insurgents raided all the arms depots and vehicles belonging to Iraqs Second Division, based in Mosul, which included a motorized brigade and several infantry brigades.
A defense official warned that ISIL claims that they have captured advanced weaponry, such as Blackhawk helicopters, are suspect.
We do know that they made false claims last week, particularly with Blackhawk helicopters, which have never been sold to Iraq, the official said.
The seized weapons are said to include Russian-made T-55 tanks and one report said U.S. M-1 Abrams tanks were taken. Numerous Humvees were shown on flatbed trucks being transported from the Nineveh province, in northwestern Iraq, to ISIL-controlled areas of Syria, including the Al Shadadi area and the town of Tall Hamis.
The ISIL notified people in the region where the tanks were seen to be alert for possible U.S. airstrikes, presumably against the captured weaponry.
One online posting by ISIL fighters showed a captured Iraqi T-55 tank reportedly in Deir ez-Zor, Syria.
Other online photos of captured Iraqi military equipment showed towed artillery, trucks, and troop transports being transferred to Syria from Iraq.
The weaponry is expected to provide ISIL with a major advantage over other rebel groups in Syria in their civil war with the forces of the Bashar al Assad regime in Damascus, as well as against other rival rebel groups, including the official al Qaeda affiliate, Al Nusra Front.
In a statement posted through its Twitter account, ISIL on June 12 provided a field report with photos of its capture of Iraqi weapons and conquests of Iraqi military outposts.
The weapons were taken from military bases on the border with Syria and moved to areas in Syria controlled by ISIL that the group is calling its caliphate.
One photo carried a caption in Arabic that read Transferring the spoils to the Islamic States headquarters in Wilayah [territory under the Islamic caliphate] Al-Barakah in the Al Hasakah province in northeastern Syria.
A U.S. official familiar with intelligence assessment of the ongoing conflict in Iraq said the ISIL has seized key cities, including Mosul and Tikrit, but is not expected to attempt a further drive to the capital of Baghdad, which is more heavily defended.
Iraqi military forces, many of them trained by the U.S. military prior to the pullout of forces in December 2011, suffered widespread desertions during the ISIL invasion. Iraqi special operations forces, however, are said to be engaged in fighting the terrorist group.
Fighting continued in northern Iraq as ISIL fighters, estimated to include around 10,000 insurgents, sought to take the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar, a strategic location sought for the groups effort to maintain control and open a supply corridor between Syria and the areas of central and western Iraq not controlled by ISIL.
Iraqi forces retook some areas but the ISIL now has control of several areas and has a land corridor leading to Syria.
Bill Cowan, a former Army Special Forces officer and former defense contractor in Iraq, said the ISIL operation succeeded in seizing arms and equipment.
The ISIL has got lots of weapons now, Cowan said in an interview.
The U.S. military during the war engaged in large-scale intelligence gathering in Iraq but now is hamstrung in spying on ISIL by the lack spying resources. We pulled all that out, Cowan said of the electronic and signals intelligence forces.
In other Iraq developments:
A report in the Arabic-language newspaper Al Hayah quoted Mosul residents who described the takeover of the city by ISIL.
Abu Ahmad, a former colonel in the Iraqi Army, described the initial stages of the ISIL attack as launched by hundreds of local militants wearing jeans and Arabic headscarves who struck on the night of June 9 and morning of June 10.
The first engagements were carried out with tanker truck bombs and other explosive devices set off at the entrances to military bases.
At around 2200 [11:00 pm], I left my home on the [western] side, and found that the police were abandoning police stations, often without a fight, and before the arrival of the gunmen, and they announced to the public that they would prefer to sit at home than get into an armed confrontation with any party, Ahmad told the newspaper.
The groups that entered the city wanted to release prisoners from the temporary detention centers of the police, and then crept northward toward the Badush central prison, and before midnight they captured the governors office without firing a single bullet.
The initial group that took over Mosul included between 3,000 and 4,000 militants led by former senior officers of the Iraqi military.
A police officer in Mosul told the newspaper that forces of the Iraqi Armys Second Division abandoned the weapons and equipment, and withdrew from military camps around 11:00 pm.
Mosul International Airport also was seized without fighting. Three Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters used by Iraqi special operations forces were believed seized at the airport.
ISIL also attacked the prison in Mosul and freed numerous jihadists imprisoned at a transfer prison there. Guards at the prison reportedly abandoned the facility during the ISIL attack. Other area prisons also were opened as part of the ISIL.
An estimated 2,500 prisoners, many held on terrorism charges, were freed.
Nice picture. Do you think it might be classified as a target rich environment? Do you think the Obungler wants them to fall into the hands of the dip sticks in Syria?
They are not the same equipment the US uses. Export laws prohibits certain features from being exported.
Yes, as long as they're his dip sticks.
Looks like they may have loaded them on that trailer incorrectly and in an unsafe manner. NTSB might fine them.
Yes, I am pretty sure they are.
The only cure for rabid, fulminating jihadism would be radiotherapy. Recurrences could be prevented..
While America’s Commander-inp-Chief jerks himself off on the golf course and ploys how further to destroy the United States.
If the fire their weapons the same way they load their trucks, they’ll destroy themselves within weeks.
This is an unexpected bonus to Obama.
The events of the past two weeks have likely been the most rewarding of his nefarious life as he revels in how neatly his plans for America’s destruction are coming together. I’m sure his master Satan is highly pleased.
Can't maintain them or operate them without US tech. know-how. They are mainly too stupid. Best they can do is make IEDs from the shells on board.
Being as he is a Muzzie, then yes, he is a follower of Satan, as he is the father of Islam, and he is is very pleased indeed.
Don’t think for a second this regime isn’t sending them all the technical expertise they could ever need.
Syria is a much more accessible target environment and not just for the US
Assad has lost Syria....... that is the Syria he once ruled has been diminished considerably.
The real gain in addition to vehicles and small arms are antiaircraft weapons. While not disabled, the Syrian sir force will be under attack if there are missiles captured.
There was mentioned that senior Iraqi officers were involved with ISIS. The operation shows good generalship so far.
This U.S. weapons transfer by Obummer to the Syrian troglodyte butchers is easier than what he tried in Benghazi. Does anyone really believe that all the U.S. weaponry being peddled into Syria is going to stay in the hands of the "good rebels" and not come under the control of ISIS?
This is all done with Barack’s blessing.
Bammy and the idiots in his administration are still evaluating their options and studying the situation.
They are on the “flog” course. Hell My Dogs have more of a clue what the situation is than the zer0 does.... And they are taking a NAP!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.