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ISIS moving seized US tanks, Humvees to Syria

Mideast Iraq_tank_AP660.jpg

Monday, June 9, 2014 image taken from video obtained from the Iraqi Military, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, an Iraqi army tank fires towards militants during clashes in in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq. Insurgents on Tuesday pressed their efforts to seize effective control of Iraqs second-largest city of Mosul on Tuesday after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts and militants overran the provincial government headquarters and other key buildings, dealing a serious blow to Baghdads attempts to tame a widening insurgency in the country. (AP)

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.

“We’re aware of reports of some equipment—namely Humvees—and 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 ISIL’s 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 Iraq’s 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.

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