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ISIS Ambushes Iraqi Army in Anbar Province

Updated on July 15, 2014
An M1 tank untouched off road
An M1 tank untouched off road
M113's on fire
M113's on fire
A captured M1
A captured M1
Captured M113's
Captured M113's

What is one to think? Whether American or Iraqi? Despite the millions spent and years of training the Iraqi Army, one might think there might be some "good" soldiers in it. Yet, in the past month, yes, the last month, over 90,000 of their 200,000 man army have defected or vanished. That is an astonishing number. The equipment that ISIS has captured is also startling, mostly American.

The ISIS advance through much Iraq has created three states-the Kurds, who have been left alone, ISIS, who controls much of Iraq north of Baghdad, and what is left of the Iraqi world, from Baghdad to Basra.

To show the Iraqi population and world that the Iraqi army can deal with the ISIS terrorists, who often operate in groups of 500 men in trucks, yet total, 7000, the Iraqi sent an armor column of APCS and M1 tanks into Anbar province, home to ISIS. It is a vast area with few roads. The column traveled on a road in Khalidiyah, 100 miles from Baghdad. The column of about 10 M113 APCs and five M1 tanks were planning a show of strength of the Iraqi government in attacking- conducting an offensive action instead of just waiting for ISIS. Khalidiyah, which was a bastion for al Qaeda in Iraq up until early 2007, is also halfway between the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. Fallujah, the nearby dam, and Karma and Abu Ghraib are currently under the control of the Islamic State and its tribal allies.

The area was formerly held by the Iraqi 1st and 7th Divisions (around 12,000 men), however, the success of ISIS and low morale in the units have made them a shadow of their former selves, probably less than 6000 due to desertions. In this attack, on a convoy of Iraqi armor, belonging to the 9th Armored Division, which is considered an elite unit of the Iraqi armed forces, several tanks and other pieces of equipment destroyed.

According to reports, the attack was classic-from the pages of what happened to the French and the US in Vietnam. The lead vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, halting the column. Then, a deluge of fire from ISIS in the surprise attack that quickly killed and routed the Iraqi soldiers. The firefight is just a presentation of the decay of the Iraqi army. If these soldiers were "elite", then, Iraq will be choked to death if ISIS cuts all roads to Baghdad. ISIS did recover a few M113 APC's and M1 tanks, adding to their arsenal of weapons.

The worse is yet to come. Where are the Russian SU-25 ground attack aircraft? Have they even been used? The Iraqi incompetence is unbelievable.


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