Sunday, 16 July 2017

Politics: Iraqi police paraded ISIS' favorite weapon around after recapturing Mosul

Vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by ISIS militants, at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul, Iraq.

US officials have said the weapons were "reminiscent of a Mad Max vehicle."

One of the most common and terrifying features of the close-quarters combat that has raged in Mosul since October was the suicide car bombs built and deployed by ISIS.

The car bombs — which were made of everything from Kia hatchbacks to bulldozers — were sent through city streets to target Iraqi positions, and ISIS often featured them prominently in propaganda videos.

This week, Iraqi federal police put 23 such vehicles on display.

The cars, mostly civilian models, had been equipped with thick metal armor and had small windows for drivers to see through. Most had been equipped with bombs, but one was rigged with a tank turret and gun that Iraqi officials said was meant to target military aircraft and ground troops.

Even as fierce pockets of ISIS resistance remain in the city, the Iraqi prime minister has declared victory. Below, you can see some of the improvised weaponry they faced in their nine-month struggle to recapture ISIS' last Iraqi stronghold.

"Heroes of the Emergency Rapid Division and the Federal Police seized these cars in successful night raids," Iraqi Federal Police Capt. Bassam Hillo Kadhim said.

Source: Reuters

Earlier this year, US officials said ISIS militants appeared to be forcing children and disabled people in the car bombs, which they said was a sign the terror group was running out of willing drivers.

Source: AFP

US officials have called the weapons "reminiscent of a Mad Max vehicle," and coalition strikes on them and the factories producing them often yielded massive explosions.

The suicide car bombs, also called vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, or VBIED, were a frequent target of coalition aircraft over Mosul.

Prior to the advance on Mosul, Iraqi officials believed ISIS constructed most of its car bombs around Fallujah. They went so far as to dig a trench around the city to force traffic onto a single road.

Source: Business Insider

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in Mosul on Sunday. The fighting intensified in its final days, as Iraqi forces pushed into ISIS' last redoubt in west Mosul's Old City. Iraqi forces killed a number of jihadis trying to escape the city in the days prior to al-Abadi's announcement.

Source: AFP, AFP

Fighting was still going on Friday, however. Iraqi helicopters continued to fly missions over the city, and videos have emerged purportedly showing revenge attacks on and abuses of people detained during the city's recapture.

Source: Reuters

The US has pledged an extra $119 million in humanitarian aid for Iraq. After three years of ISIS occupation and nine months of fighting, experts say it could take a decade or longer to remove munitions and explosives from Mosul, which is Iraq's second-biggest city.

Source: Reuters, The Washington Post

The recapture of Mosul brings other political and social divisions in Iraq to the fore, and the country must now grapple with post-war conflicts.

Source: Reuters

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