A new video from ISIS reportedly depicts the terrorist army showing off U.S. military equipment seized from Iraq troops in fierce fighting near Fallujah.
"ISIS has captured thousands of American-supplied vehicles."
- Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters
The 10-minute video shows live action from skirmishes in the town of Karmah, just east of Fallujah. The black-clad jihadists are shown using small arms and several rocket-propelled grenades. One scene features an ISIS sniper shooting at Iraqi military positions near the town, and another shows a suicide bomber identified as “Turkistani” being deployed.
But the footage showing the spoils of the fighting could be of deeper concern at the Pentagon. Humvees, cargo trucks, fuel tankers, and U.S.-made MRAPS, the acronym for "Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected" are among the vehicles flaunted by ISIS. A Department of Defense official declined comment on the video.
The images, gathered by SITE Intelligence Group and reported by Long War Journal, point up the U.S. dilemma in aiding Iraq's effort to defeat ISIS. While the Obama administration has held firm against sending ground troops, equipment given to outfit the Iraqi military has too often fallen into the hands of ISIS. In addition to giving the terrorist army the world's best firepower, it makes coalition air strikes more difficult, too.
"ISIS has captured thousands of American-supplied vehicles," said retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a Fox News contributor. "So both sides travel in the same vehicles and use the same weapons."
Peters said ISIS gained more than 2,000 Humvees last year when it sent the Iraqi army fleeing and took Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. The more the U.S. spends to equip the Iraqi army, the stronger ISIS gets, he said.
"We have been the number one source of sophisticated military gear for Islamic State," Peters said. "The Iraqis were only middlemen."
The fight for Karmah, which is only 35 miles west of Baghdad, came in mid-May, just before ISIS captured Ramadi. In a statement released by ISIS on May 13 and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, the terrorist army claimed its forces“carried out a wide scale assault yesterday on the region of Al Rufah in northwest Al Karmah near Al Fallujah.”
The statement said ISIS took “control of most of the region, and captured a tank, several vehicles, and heavy weapons as ghanimah (spoils).”
One day earlier, ISIS said that the suicide bomber seen in the video blew himself up.