The Islamic State released photographs of last week’s rout of an Iraqi Army unit in the Saqwaliya area north of Fallujah in Anbar province. More than 300 Iraqi troops are reported to have been killed in the attack.
The pictures from the assault on Camp Saqwaliya were released on Twitter by fighters and supporters of the Islamic State. Recently the Islamic State has begun to release its propaganda on Twitter via its supporters. Twitter has taken an active role in suspending official accounts associated to the Islamic State’s wiliyats, or administrative districts.
While the authenticity of the photographs cannot be confirmed, the captions bear the title of Wilayat Fallujah. In the past, photographs released using this method by the Islamic State have proven to be authentic.
The Islamic State took control of the Alsigir area of Anbar two weeks ago, and then laid siege to the nearby Iraqi Army base at Camp Saqlawiya. Most of the base was overrun on Sept. 21 after Islamic State fighters launched a complex suicide assault. [See LWJ report, Islamic State overruns Iraqi military base in Anbar.]
The photographs show numerous Iraqi Army soldiers who were killed in the fighting (these photographs have not been included below as they are extremely graphic).
Based on the photographs, the Islamic State seized or destroyed at least one M1 Abrams tank, four M113 armored personnel carriers, 15 Iraqi Army Humvees, a BMP infantry fighting vehicle, and other trucks. At least three of the US-donated M113s appear to be operational; an Islamic State fighter is shown driving one M113. The M1 tank appears to have caught fire.
According to the Islamic State, the Iraqi unit that was overrun was from the 30th Brigade. The 30th Brigade is subordinate to the 8th Mechanized Division, which is based south of Baghdad. The Iraqi Army has been forced to deploy units from other provinces, as much of the Anbar-based 1st and 7th Divisions have been rendered combat ineffective.
The 30th Brigade has been hit hard by the Islamic State over the past few weeks. A company or battalion from the 30th Brigade also was ambushed and routed just north of Ramadi on or about Sept. 28. [See LWJ report, Islamic State ambushes Iraqi military column near Ramadi.]
Another Iraqi armored unit was destroyed in the town of Khalidiya in July during a complex ambush by the Islamic State. Khalidiya is between the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Habbaniyah. [See LWJ report, Islamic State routs Iraqi armored column in Anbar.]
The Islamic State has maintained the initiative against the Iraqi military in Anbar province more than seven weeks after the US began launching airstrikes against the jihadist group inside Iraq on Aug. 7.
Photographs of the Islamic State’s operation in Saqlawiya
An Islamic State fighter fires on Iraqi troops:
A captured Humvee:
Islamic State fighters inspect three captured M113s:
An Islamic State fighter drives an M113:
A dead Iraqi soldier outside a Humvee:
An Islamic State fighter walks past a burning M113 and a Humvee:
Burning buildings at the Iraqi Army camp:
A destroyed Humvee:
A destroyed Humvee in front of a trench: