Video shows abandoned Iraqi Security Forces armored vehicles near Ramadi

Iraqi Spring, a media center in Iraq, has released a video showing a number of abandoned Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) vehicles near Khaladiya. The city, which sits near the town of Habbaniya, is just over 10 miles from Anbar province’s capital of Ramadi. Most of the vehicles shown are US-made M113 armored personnel carriers.

Al Jazeera has reported that the Iraqi Security Forces and the Islamic State have clashed near Khaladiya in recent days. The vehicles were abandoned by the ISF when they retreated from the fighting, according to the Qatari news organization. The video and the fighting in Khaladiya comes as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al Abadi, announced the beginning of an operation to liberate Tikrit and all of Salahadin province in central Iraq. The wider focus and attention of the ISF is likely invested in that operation.

Khaladiyah, Habbaniyah, and the nearby town of Saqlawiyah have seen severe fighting in the past. In early January, the Islamic State attacked Camp Habbaniyah, and the jihadists were briefly able to breach the military base’s perimeter. Camp Saqlawiyah was overrun last September, when a suicide bomber in a captured Humvee and wearing an ISF uniform was able to detonate inside the camp. After the suicide bombing, an Islamic State assault team was able to overrun the ISF personnel inside. Hundreds of ISF personnel and Sunni tribesmen were thought to have been killed in the attack. In July 2014, the Islamic State ambushed and destroyed an Iraqi armored column in Khalidiyah. During the fighting, Islamic State fighters destroyed three US-supplied M1 Abrams main battle tanks and captured several American-made M113 armored personnel carriers. [For more on these attacks, see LWJ reports Islamic State assaults Iraqi Army base in AnbarIslamic State photos detail rout of Iraqi Army at Camp Saqlawiya, and Islamic State routs Iraqi armored column in Anbar.]


Caleb Weiss is a research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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  • mike merlo says:

    too funny & the Liberation of Mosul is right around the corner

  • IronV says:

    All it will take is another 10 years and another $25 billion with a B dollars and the Iraqi army will be ready to take on a team of goat herders. This is nuts and reveals the fallacy of the proposition that we should have kept our troops there longer.

    How much longer, folks? 5 years? 10 years?

    How many more years and dollars would have been enough?

  • IronV … “the fallacy of the proposition that we should have kept our troops there longer. ”

    IMHO, yes, we needed far more time. We were (perhaps foolishly) retraining the Iraqi Army as a Western-style operating force, pushing initiative down into battalion and company ranks.

    But more critical, al-Maliki’s government corrupted the Army by favoring Shiite officers and their political sponsors. The Army became a giant patronage system, with at least a third (IIRC) of the troops not reporting for duty, kicking back part of their wages to their superiors.

    This time last year, Mosul was filthy with Sunni veterans of Saddam’s armed forces. “Disaffected” is the kindest characterization. They handed the Second Divison to ISIS … on a plate.

    Allow me a fantasy that the Iraqi Hashemite Kingdom was maintained back in the day, and found a Glubb Pasha to train and lead its army.


  • The Pentagon Establishment (now including the regional Commands), has been forced by politically-driven appointments into suck-up mode.

    During Vietnam, the Pentagon made serious mistakes. Today, CentCom and the Pentagon are essentially run by traitors.

    The public statements about the coming Liberation of Mosul are blatant politics, and are likely to get men killed.

    Baghdad isn’t capable of it, and the Kurds are openly wary of Baghdad and the US making them carry the load. The US is NOT supplying heavy weapons to Erbil, rather to Baghdad. Every last Kurd and his brother’s dog knows that fact.

    They appear to be going in with probing attacks on their own, keeping ISIS off-balance, as ISIS is trying to do in return. I do NOT see them trusting the US to supply and support them in a full-blown offensive.

  • Mike E says:

    Obamas failure to prevent the destabilization of Syria and his premature drawdown in Iraq are the worst foreign policy mistakes in US history.

  • Richard Weed says:

    Worst foreign policy mistake in U.S. History? Seriously? . . . worse than Vietnam with 50,000+ US dead? Worse than invading Iraq in the first place?

  • Having been on the ground in Iraq and also an analyst, I cannot see the Iraqis being ready or able to defend their country anytime soon. Too many internal divisions and corruption- from the government down through the military and ultimately the ISF.

  • john says:

    President Obama could never have prevented the destabilization of Syria. That was caused by the evil policies of Assad. Everyone who lives in the ME knows this. I am not sure what you mean by a premature withdrawal. Iraq when we left was not stable. It was in the hands of a corrupt Shiite dictator posing as a democratically leader. How many more dead US soldiers and billions of dollars would have been needed to make Iraq “mature” enough?
    At some point in time, you have to recognize the elephant in the tent for what it is, not what we wish it would be.

  • john says:

    What all of this “proves” is that the concept of “Nation-Building” is absolutely the stupidest method of wasting our own time and effort in our history. Why did we ever agree to “rebuild” Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place? To jump-start our economy, maybe? What were we “re”building? In Afghanistan there was nothing there when we showed up, so certainly we weren’t fixing any damage we had done. But, once we start, if we aren’t willing to see it through to the end…well it’s a massive waste. The people that are there are either fully invested in their own future or they surrender it to really bad folks. We paid for years of time to give them a chance, but none of them is willing to stand. Hindsight being what it is, all of our efforts were for nothing, or worse. If this is the model, why not just bomb the crap out of whomever and then WALK AWAY, only to return when something ugly raises its head later? We try so hard to help everyone, and we can’t. They have to help themselves. They have to want to change, or it’s just us getting ripped off forever. Without the context, though, those people can’t see why they should want to change. It’s a generational mission, and ten years isn’t long enough. Do we Nation-Build for generations out of our own pockets? For people that don’t care and see us as conveniently placed targets and easy marks? We could do it faster. We would have to become those conquerors that everybody is so afraid of becoming. Is it worth it? Are they worth it? I say yes. Then I look over my shoulder and I see my country hasn’t the backbone to offer real change to the world. Yet.

  • m3fd2002 says:

    What would have happened if the the US withdrew from Europe completely in 1955? Think about it.

  • mike merlo says:

    not true. Had a Force of consequence been left in place in Iraq then Syria would have never had to fight an Insurgency/Rebellion that had sanctuary in Iraq

  • sundoesntrise says:

    Completely different cultures with completely different approaches to the world. Europe has already had roughly 200 years of separation of church and state, the Middle East has never gotten on it’s feet in that regard. This is it’s own situation in itself. The western world was equally similar to the Islamic world in terms of how we did things – at one point in time – but taking the power away from religion and a swathe of technological advancements made us different.

    They say time heals everything, which is true. No matter how much we may want to be like our ancestors, they are gone, and time always keeps rolling. We in the western world at least had the sense to realize that and act accordingly.

  • mike merlo says:

    Muslims will never separate Church(Islam) from State

  • Muslims who play by present day rules (or who are forced to do so, by threat of death at the hands of the takfiri) will never, that’s true.

    Muhammed Ali Jinnah wanted religion kept out of politics.

    I suspect, if one could get inside the heads of Egypt’s al-Sisi and Jordan’s Abdullah II, you’d find the same.

  • Alex says:

    I’d avoid making too many conclusions from this video. We don’t know for sure when this was filmed. Another thing is that there appears to be a number of unusual paintings or markings on the vehicles that seem…non-standard to say the least. Almost like graffiti. It could be that these vehicles were stolen by local militia for some time now, possibly during the initial instability back in 2014.

  • Adrian says:

    Or perhaps the vehicles was given by the Iraqi government to Shia militia groups.

  • mike merlo says:

    @p-B Marine

    Jinnah was a fraud. Pakistan, Jordan & Egypt have always had Islam as part of the Government.

    Any Muslim who says they do not want Islam as part of the Government is not a true Muslim

  • mike merlo says:

    ‘sounds’ like you’ve never passengered in a taxi or rickshaw piloted by a Muslim

  • Alex says:

    Thank you for your value adding analysis

  • mike merlo says:

    you’re welcome. Next time you’re in Karachi hailing transportation be sure to ask for Achmed. He pilots a ‘mean’ rickshaw not only ‘heavy’ with graffiti but also replete with an 8 Track stereo system & hash hookah

  • Mike E says:

    The Iraq we left was stable. After the Bush administration surge monthly deaths in Iraq fell from about 3000 to 250 and remained that way from 2009 till the end of 2012 when ISIS invaded from Syria. Maliki was democratically elected. He was also reliable against Shiite extremists when the US was in Iraq. Who can forget his decision to crush al-Sadars forces in Basra and Najaf before turning his attention to Anbar. When Obama failed to keep US troops in Iraq he naturally turned to the next big dog, Iran and it was all downhill from there,

    Obama could have prevented the ISIS take over in Syria by a robust military intervention to support the pro democracy activists who were massacred by Asad and who started the uprising. Allowing the situation to fester, and ISIS to grow to the point where it could invade Iraq, was inexcusable.

    “How many more dead US soldiers and billions of dollars would have been needed to make Iraq “mature” enough?”

    A superpower of 300 million people can not lose two troops per day and spend 5% of its GDP on defense? Pathetic if true.

  • Mike E says:

    “What would have happened if the the US withdrew from Europe completely in 1955? Think about it.”

    Great point. Our NATO friends would be vodka drinking, Russian speaking, comrades.

  • Fred says:

    I know you military guys like Maliki, but the truth is that he was a scumbag who played us like a harp. Iraq was never fixed, it was locked into ethnic politics and the Sunnis were always going to be unhappy. Maliki’s deliberate oppression and favoritism made that 1000X worse.

    Leaving a residual force might have prevented the collapse, or it might not have. It might have prevented Maliki’s disgraceful behavior, or it might not have. But Maliki deserves the real blame for it, because he’s the one who set it off.

  • Mike E says:

    I’m not a military guy, or a government guy of any sort.

    Obama deserves the blame for leaving Iraq too early and forcing Maliki to turn the second biggest dog in the region as patron.

  • Mike Smith says:

    M-113s don’t go fast enough in retreat. Something faster is needed to run away from ISIS.

  • mike merlo says:

    The truth is Malaki offered President Obama a deal to keep US Military Forces in Iraq but President Balked. President Obama is to blame for what has now enveloped Iraq

  • Joe Cottone sr says:

    Mr. Weed: Do you feel that keeping a sadistic neurotic killer ( Saddam ) in power ( a Sunni ) would have been better? The world was well aware that Saddams brutality gassed 5,000 innocent Khurdish women & children, then used the gas on countless thousands of Iranian troops during his 87-88 war just save his ass then!
    The problem was once Iraq was free of that savage killer the vacum left an unstable country ripe for any other savage(s) to replace him. Instead of the corrupt Maliki keeping a balance of Sunni & Shite in his govt he opted for Iranian shites to dominate forcing Sunnis out & still leaving Khurds out to dry is what caused the current slaughter to rapidly escalate to it’s current height! Obama should never have funded & armed the Syrian rebels which he knew all to well was Al Qaeda!
    Which leaves me to wonder which muslim sect is Obama??
    As for Vietnam that’s another argument for another day!


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