The Islamic State in Mosul has turned the process of creating devastating car bombs into one that has all the hallmarks of assembly line efficiency. Iraqi Army and counterterrorism units are encountering car bombs with frustrating regularity, so much so that they have developed tactics, techniques, and procedures more designed to mitigate the damage when one eventually rolls into their patrol, rather than to outright stop them.
The Los Angeles Times conducted an interview with Iraqi counterterrorism soldiers, who have encountered dozens of up-armored car bombs as the Battle for Mosul continues to rage. According to Iraqi Staff Lt. Col. Muntadhar Salem, “It’s the tactic they use the most.”
The use of the car bomb has been a hallmark for jihadi violence in Iraq and Syria for years. The prominence of the tactic led to the U.S. military’s ubiquitous phrase “VBIED,” or vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.