The Islamic State released footage showcasing recent fighting in the town of Karmah which sits just east of Fallujah. The video, which is over ten minutes long, is produced by the jihadist group’s Wilayat al Fallujah, its administrative division for the area.
The video features heavy gunfights between Iraqi Security Forces and jihadists. Several technicals are shown to have been used, as well as several rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s) and SPG-9’s. One scene features an Islamic State sniper firing on Iraqi military positions near the town. The video also shows the deployment of a suicide bomber identified with the moniker “Turkistani,” which usually denotes individuals of ethnic Uighur origin.
A large portion of the video is reserved for highlighting of the “spoils” gained in the fighting. Numerous Humvees, cargo trucks, fuel tankers, and US-made MRAPS are shown to have been captured by the Islamic State.
As the Islamic State was preparing to take control of the provincial capital of Ramadi, the group also launched a counteroffensive on the town of Karmah and surrounding areas. The Islamic State has claimed to have captured the Al Rufah district of Karmah and the cement factory just east of Fallujah, and released visual evidence backing it’s assertions. In a statement released by the Islamic State on May 13 and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, the jihadist group said that its forces “carried out a wide scale assault yesterday on the region of Al Rufah in northwest Al Karmah near Al Fallujah.”
The statement continued by saying the group was able to take “control of most of the region, and captured a tank, several vehicles, and heavy weapons as ghanimah (spoils).” A day earlier, the Islamic State said that a suicide bomber, identified as Saad Muhammad al Turkistani, seen in the video, detonated in the Al Subaihat district. According to some sources, the attack came from multiple directions and Iraqi forces has had difficulties in turning back the fighting in the area as it continued.
Clashes between the Islamic State and Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias have continued in the Karmah region. According to Anbar Daily, the Islamic State used eight car bombs on Saturday as it attacked the “HQ of 2nd Regiment of the 1stDivision.”
Screenshots from the video:
Fighters moving into position:
Photos from the fighting:
Suicide bomber Saad Muhammad al Turkistani:
Islamic State parading dead ISF personnel through the streets of Fallujah:
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.