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:
Preparing for the battle:
Firing an anti-tank rocket:
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