Islamic State details rout of Brigade 26 headquarters in Anbar

A video released over the past several days by the Islamic State details the scale of last month’s rout of the Iraqi Army’s 26 Brigade headquarters in the Thar Thar area of Anbar province.

The Islamic State overran the base in early March and released several photos of the attack. The most recent video, which is just short of 10 minutes long, shows some of the planning of the operation, including a briefing that features footage from an Islamic State drone; Islamic State fighters launching rockets and missiles at the base before executing the ground attack; the blast from a massive suicide attack; and the aftermath of the assault. Additionally, the bodies of at least a dozen Iraqi security personnel, many of whom were burned, are displayed in the video.

The Islamic State gained a large quantity of vehicles, weapons, and ammunition after taking the base. The jihadist group filmed captured boxes of AK-47 and PKM ammunition, RPG rockets, mortars, and other munitions. Additionally, dozens of US-supplied Humvees and Ford pickup trucks and other military vehicles were shown. While many of the vehicles were destroyed, a large number of F-150s and several Humvees appear to be operational.

The Islamic State has remained on the offensive in the Thar Thar and the provincial capital of Anbar, as well as in Baiji, where much of the strategic refinery is said to be under the jihadist group’s control, despite recent setbacks in Tikrit. The loss of 26 Brigade headquarters was followed by the Islamic State’s takeover of the 4th Regiment’s headquarters in Thar Thar in mid-April, and the assault on the Thar Thar dam and the rout of an accompanying military barracks at the end of April. The commander of the 1st Iraqi Army Division was killed in the attack at the dam.

Screen shots from the Islamic State’s rout of 26 Brigade headquarters:

Explaining the battle plan:

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Drone footage:

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Preparing for the battle:

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Firing an anti-tank rocket:

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Suicide bombing:

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Mortar fire:

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Firefight:

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Aftermath:

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Spoils:

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Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal. Caleb Weiss is an intern at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to The Long War Journal.

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9 Comments

  • Jo Flemings says:

    DRONE.

  • AndyFMF says:

    A screen shot of a Steyr .50 is posted, but there is no mention of it or its possible implications (captured, supplied by Iran, supplied by another government, purchased directly from Steyr). The scope looks like it was supplied by Steyr, directly from the factory.

    I believe that this is the first time that I have seen .50 rifles in ISIS media.

  • DPen says:

    Very impressive tanklike positioning of the mudpainted technical backed up in reverse on the hill so only the gun is exposed.

  • mju says:

    Any info on which UAV they used to get the overhead imagery for their operations order?

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    According to an islamic terrorist twitter account based in Syria, the eastern asian guy in the video is Abu Abdullah from China. Don’t know whether he is an ethnic Uygher or an ethnic Chinese Muslim, but I suspect it is the latter.

  • david says:

    Hey Bill,

    Great work as per usual! What drones are the IS using? Like… the ones I can buy from Blackstone? Thanks!

  • Daniel says:

    Who’s arsenal did that ATGM come from?

  • RT says:

    The Iraqi’s must be in bad shape if their headquarters are being attacked and eliminated.

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