Military Experts Impressed by Islamic State Capabilities


isis-islamic-stateVideo footage shot from a drone operated by Islamic State, flying over an oil refinery at Baiji in central Iraq while under IS attack, shows that the group retains a surprisingly high level of military skill despite months of daily airstrikes, Mitchell Prothero reports for McClatchy. IS “remains better trained, more motivated, better led and supported by a logistical infrastructure that the Iraqi government is literally incapable of delivering to their own troops,” said one former British special forces soldier.

Military experts said the video provided a disconcerting comparison with Iraqi government troops. “Even the better-trained Iraqis still empty at least a clip or two without establishing a specific target the minute they enter contact with the enemy,” the former British soldier said. “Besides sowing confusion without actually hitting anything, all they’ve done is waste precious ammo that they cannot count on their leadership in the rear to replenish.”

Referring to U.S. air support, he said, “Without those air assets up there, it’s possible we would have seen everything west and north of Baghdad under Daash [IS] control and Baghdad itself under direct siege.”

IS appears to have adapted to American airstrikes. Most of the images of artillery, rocket launchers and heavy anti-aircraft guns mounted on the beds of trucks include a level of camouflage designed to mask the weapons’ positions’ from the air.

{Andy Newscenter}