Islamic State releases photos showing fighting in Amiriyat al Fallujah

The Islamic State has released photographs showing its forces engaged in combat with the Iraqi military and their tribal allies in Amiriyat al Fallujah in eastern Anbar province. The photos were disseminated on Twitter by the jihadist group’s supporters after being posted elsewhere online. The Islamic State has taken to releasing its propaganda this way after the social media site began to crackdown on its official accounts.

The pictures bear the title of Wilayat al Fallujah, which is one of the Islamic State’s proclaimed administrative districts in Iraq. The Wilayat is one of their newest districts and is one of the three that make up Iraq’s Anbar Province. The three are Wilayat Anbar, Wilayat al Fallujah, and Wilayat al Furat (Euphrates Province), which includes the towns of Al Qaim in Iraq and Albu Kamal in eastern Syria.

The images show fierce firefights between the Islamic State and Iraqi military personnel or their tribal allies. Several pictures showcase their snipers, while others focus on troops armed with PK machine guns, AK-47, or US-made assault rifles. Other pictures detail mortars being fired on Iraqi military positions, as well as M113 armored personnel carriers being used as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

Amiriyat al Fallujah is a town just 30 kilometers south east of Fallujah. The Islamic State has surrounded the town and laid siege to it. Iraqi security forces holed up in the town have repelled several assaults by the Islamic State over the past few weeks.

The town is on the Euphrates River and links Anbar province with Jurf al Sakhar in northern Babil. If the Islamic State is able to control Amiriyat al Fallujah and Jurf al Sakhar, it is able to link its forces in the two provinces and put pressure on the capital of Baghdad as well as the Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Iraqi forces, spearheaded by Iranian-backed Shia militias, recently took control of Jurf al Sakhar, however the town has changed hands multiple times since the beginning of this year. The Iraqi military has claimed it will launch an operation to clear the Islamic State from Amiriyat al Fallujah.

Pictures released by the Islamic State from Amiriyat al Fallujah:










The next seven pictures showcase M113 armored personnel carriers being used as VBIEDs. The pictures are captioned “First Martyr” (two pictures), “Second Martyr” (two pictures), “Third Martyr” (one picture) and “Fourth Martyr” (two pictures) respectively.











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  • Clive Munson says:

    I wonder if the President is regretting the fact that his hasty withdrawl from Iraq forced the military to abandon all that war materiel when they left. Those M113s being used by ISIS as VBIEDs cost the US taxpayer about $300,000 each. Maybe the explosives ISIS packed into the M113s were paid for by the US taxpayer too! I expect we’ll see photos of the Taliban in AFG using M-16s and MRAPs to attack government forces in a year or two as well if the President has his way.

  • Adam says:

    we should consider just getting out. this Admin. is clearly not serious about winning so why waste the $ making believe we are doing something.

  • Michael says:

    We should never have entrusted the Iraqi Army with anything. Arming them only created a paper army, that gave it all away at first contact.

  • Dave Murphy says:

    Tech manuals exist telling troops who must abandon war materiel how to disable same — whether temporarily or permanently. Let me guess, no one consulted the manuals?

  • kush dragon says:

    Clive, hasty or not it was probably bound to happen. Personally I hardly consider an 8 year occupation to be “short.” Invading Iraq in the first place was an incredibly poor choice and I really don’t believe it was bound to end well. Lest we forget, Bush did an equally terrible job of “winning” in Iraq, whatever that means.
    Now I do agree that the decision to supply these weak puppet governments with top notch American and Western equipment is questionable to say the least. I also do not doubt that in Afghanistan we will see a repeat of this whole Iraq situation. But blaming everything on Obama is a bit much IMHO. Our military does some things very well but we have a rather poor track record when it comes to occupations. Add to that a very competent insurgency and incredibly poor pre-invasion planning and you have a recipe for disaster.

  • Alex says:

    Are using armored vehicles as suicide VBIEDs really ISIS’s best use of equipment? These aren’t exactly Toyota trucks that a terrorist group can just buy on the open market, or more likely, carjack. Seems like ISIS is starting to make some tactical blunders that they didn’t use to do.

  • kush dragon says:

    Alex, I’ve heard that ISIS was using normal car bombs against Peshmerga forces, but unfortunately for them they were getting toasted before they could reach their targets. However, they figured this out and are now loading bombs onto APCs, causing massive casualties among the lightly armed Kurds. My guess is that ISIS has calculated that most of these vehicles will be destroyed through air strikes soon anyway, so they might as well get some use out of them.

  • dave says:

    The m113s are likely A. gifts from the UAE or B. recent Foreign Military sales of U.S. stocks. Iraq purchased about 1026 m113 carriers a few years back. Check your facts

  • sundoesntrise says:

    They do that (use armored vehicles) so the explosives are not struck by enemy fire, therefore increasing the chances of the VBIED op going as planned. Those armored vehicles provide enough protection, just enough within the time allotted to successfully complete the operation.
    Also, the armored vehicles give the VBIED operator a far greater chance of survival as opposed to a Toyota truck or a minivan.

  • RandomGuy says:

    Alex, IS frequently up-armors their vehicles before using them out as VBIEDs in an attempt to protect their drivers and increase the likelihood of them successfully reaching their targets to cause maximum damage when exploded. Since netting over 1,500 armored Humvees back in June, IS has increasingly used them in VBIED attacks. Instead of spending several hours up-armoring Toyota pickups, they just rig up these pre-armored vehicles and send them into battle. They are almost impossible to stop without the use of well aimed high caliber rounds and/or RPGs. Rather than use them to transport troops over large distances and lay out more targets for US sorties, I figure IS is trying to use them now to their tactical advantage while they still can, because they are 1) currently readily available and 2) they require a significant amount of gas to operate, especially over large distances.

  • irebukeu says:

    @Alex I always thought that the continued use of these vehicles was going to be their undoing, that they could be located easily and destroyed.
    I think the use of the 113’s was smart on their part as they would be hard to repair and the parts supplier wasn’t going to be shipping to Mosul.
    Being armoured they can survive small arms fire that might stop a smaller unarmoured vehicle.
    Having a strong suspension might mean they can pack more explosives into the crew compartment which is nice and boxy.
    This has been done many times in Syria already using Russian built BMPs by Nusra and other groups.

  • sundoesntrise says:

    Just clarifying what I said, when I said “give the VBIED operator a far greater chance of survival”, I meant from enemy fire. Obviously, they are not going to actually survive the massive VBIED explosion, and a guy needs to actually detonate the explosives himself if the operation goes as planned.
    There are RCVBIEDs, but they still seem to be rare in all theaters. Nusra in Syria often feared having the guy be shot before he could press the button, so they would monitor the situation and remotely detonate when they saw he was close enough.
    An actual RCVBIED with a camera feed and no human in the vehicle seems to be quite rare though, still.

  • Diyalaweeping says:

    Kush: “Personally I hardly consider an 8 year occupation to be “short.” compared to what? Our one-year occupation of the Rhineland in 1918-1919 was probably too short don’t you think? Our 50+ year occupations in Japan, Germany and Korea seem to be pretty successful.
    “Lest we forget, Bush did an equally terrible job of “winning” in Iraq, whatever that means” Maybe. It certainly wasn’t a victorious drive across France. On the other hand, by 2009, we had clearly achieved a military victory and were on track to a political victory as well (defined as a stable, unified Iraq). Our sudden dramatic removal of military power and its influence on security forces enabled the Shia leadership to turn on the Sunnis and turn the ISF into a Shia militia. It is a stark lesson in how quickly one can throw away victory.

  • Tom says:

    VBIEDs ? I guess we should call this kind of stuff the VBSIED… These are suicide tools, with no doubt. And I agree – these vehicles are almost unstoppable, without tanks or anti-armor weaponry

  • sundoesntrise says:

    I try not to talk about this stuff with too much emotion/personal angst anymore. It’s more of a personal thing on my part. I’ve seen so many reports of this type of stuff, so many videos, so much death that I’ve adapted, and I try to look at it from a logical perspective. Only time, self-criticism, socioeconomic development, cutting off the funding for terrorism and the open skepticism of religion will ever change anything in the Muslim world.
    Until then, an old adage I remember comes to mind, it goes something like this: “As it rained this week, so will it rain next week.”


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