ISIS photos show gains and Iraqi support


The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham's media wing in Wilayat Ninewa released a series of photos yesterday to social media sites illustrating the group's staggering gains. They also demonstrate wide public support for ISIS in the northern Iraqi province. The ISIS has divided its "state" in Iraq and Syria into 16 administrative units, or wilayats.

The first series of photos shows the advance of ISIS fighters through Ninewa province and depicts the group's control over various military installations, such as headquarters of the Iraqi Army's Second Regiment in Ninewa. ISIS proudly displays the ammunition, weapons, vehicles, and even airplanes left behind by the Iraqi military that are now in the terror group's hands. All of these pictures are captioned "Pictures from the Invasion of Asadullah [Lion of Allah] al-Bilawi Abu Abdul Rahman." As The Long War Journal previously reported, ISIS has named the current offensive after a now deceased ISIS commander, 'Adnan Ismail Najm, also known as Abu Abdul Rahman al Bilawi.

The second group of photos displays mass demonstrations in Ninewa province in support of the ISIS. The demonstrators hold banners expressing the solidarity of some of northern Iraq's tribal confederations, including the al Sada and the al Jabbour, with the ISIS.

Last week, the ISIS took control of Ninewa and most of Salahaddin province, as well as parts of Diyala province. Most of Anbar province fell under ISIS control in January.


An Iraqi Air Force Air command base in Ninewa taken over by ISIS:

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Tail sections of bombs left behind by Iraqi military:

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Aging Saddam-era airplanes left behind by Iraqi military:

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Iraqi government trucks left behind:

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Headquarters of the Iraqi Infantry 2nd Regiment, 26th infantry brigade:

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What was once the headquarters of Ninewa's Second Emergency Regiment:

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This banner from demonstrations in support of ISIS in Ninewa announces the al Sada tribe's solidarity with ISIS:

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These three black banners congratulate ISIS on behalf of the Jabbour, al Madi, and Maadeed tribal confederations:

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READER COMMENTS: "ISIS photos show gains and Iraqi support"

Posted by Eric Price at June 19, 2014 3:30 PM ET:

How sad. I know my old Kurdish Bde from Mosul was sent south in late 2008. Have Kurdish units remained with the IA or have they hightailed it north to protect the Blue or Green line?

Posted by Will Fenwick at June 19, 2014 4:22 PM ET:

Those jet fighters depicted above are MiG - 21's. Given their age and lack of maintenance, having not been overhauled since likely well before 2003, i doubt very much ISIS would have the capability to put them in the air. Though theoretically, since parts are somewhat easy to find throughout the world it might be possible to bring them back to flight status through cannibalization. They should be immediately bombed by US forces.

Posted by Stephanie at June 19, 2014 4:27 PM ET:

Well, when I first read the headline I thought, "I can't believe that!"

However, some Iraqis are turning this into a Sunni vs. Shia issue and Al-Jazeera (while not openly pro-ISIS) is spinning this whole thing as a "popular revolution" against Maliki and the Shia government.

Recently on a debate show on Al-Jazeera, the Shia (pro-Maliki) guest kept pressuring his Sunni counterpart to admit that ISIS was a terrorist group. The Sunni guest waffled around the question and said, "Well, anyone who kills civilians / women and children is a terrorist" (basically saying, "Why single out ISIS?") and was unwilling to come out and openly condemn them. The program actually ended in a physical altercation between the two guests (abruptly cut off and turned to a commercial break) and the Shia guest storming off stage and not finishing the discussion.

What a MESS. And disheartening that the Sunni-run media is coming down on the side of ISIS (albeit softly, as though they are not popular by those who wish to portray themselves as moderates, but somewhat sympathetic so long when they are pitted against the Shias and the West).

Posted by Alex at June 19, 2014 11:15 PM ET:

Hmm. This report from Basra seemed to indicate that Sunnis in the south have been siding with the government (use Google Translate if you can't read Arabic): http://www.alsumaria.tv/mobile/news/103083/iraq-news

Granted, correct me if I am wrong, but hasn't Mosul always been Iraq's version of the hood?

I am not naive enough to think that the Sunni-Shi'ite divide is benign, but that being said it also is not as all-encompassing as most mainstream media sources give it credit. I find it a little funny when people divide Iraq into "Sunni", "Shi'ite", and "Kurd", when "Kurd" isn't a religion and most of them are in fact Sunni (Shafi and Hanafi schools)--yet you don't see any ISIL in Kurdistan.

Posted by Maj Robert T. Jordan, USMC (Ret) at June 20, 2014 8:06 AM ET:

@spteam5-- I would discount the pictures and mass groupings of tribal members that #ISIS has released.

Of course they have turned out as ISIS dictates! What choices do they have, show support or mass slaughter?

The tribes will lean towards power and tribal security. When the power shifts, they will support whomever they believe will be the ultimate successor.

We had our chance in Iraq...and we won. Maliki blew it!

Posted by Winston at June 20, 2014 4:05 PM ET:

Only stupid people would side with ISIS. So far ISIS has not started showing its real face. Then even the stupid people would get a rude wake up call.

Meanwhile all these area rely on Baghdad for funds. Wait till they get none! Hellp ghettoistan!

Posted by Winston at June 20, 2014 4:08 PM ET:

Al Jazeera owners are probably financing ISIS. Gulf state donors major financiers of these terrorists and this is a KNOWN factor.

Posted by stranger at June 24, 2014 5:06 AM ET:

barzani & iyaad alawai said maliki is a dictator & sectarian stooge of iran

Stephanie ur living in dreamland if you think this is all ISIS, its a sunni uprising spearheaded by ISIS

to defeat this US must bring in sunni tribes & non-ISIS groups including islamists who are anti-ISIS after all since US is happy to be allied to Iran in iraq & proxies which control that government

must seperate sunni & shia areas & should use its own forces with tribes & kurds not malikis Iranian controlled army