And Daesh, has not wasted any time in converting those vehicles into one of its deadliest and most nightmarish tools: Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED,) or suicide car bombs.
According to the Iraqi Prime Minister, Daesh controls about 2,300 armored U.S. HMMWVs. Most of those vehicles were seized after Daesh overran Mosul in June 2014.
In addition to being used in further attacks against Iraqi forces, these vehicles were sent over the border to Syria to help Daesh solidify its foothold there.
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa)
The HMMWVs were specifically created by the U.S. to be able to carry heavy loads and to sustain small-arms fire — qualities Daesh has found make the vehicles perfect for suicide bombings.
“There’s a simple reason the militants are using HMMWVs and other armored vehicles as rolling bombs,” Sean D. Naylor reports for Foreign Policy.
Their protective armored plating prevents defenders from killing the trucks’ drivers before the militants can detonate their loads, while the vehicles’ capacity to carry enormous amounts of weight means Daesh can sometimes pack in a ton of explosives.
Daesh has used these bomb-laden HMMWVs in waves of suicide bombings across both Syria and Iraq, targeting strategic locations including Syrian military bases and the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi The Kurds are increasingly concerned that they will face a wave as well.
According to The Soufan Group, Daesh used more than 30 car bombs in its Ramadi offensive. Many of these involved armored U.S. HMMWVs and some of the bombs were large enough to level an entire city block.
There is little defense against a multiton car bomb; there is none against multiple such car bombs … Daesh is able to overwhelm once-thought-formidable static defenses through a calculated and concentrated use of suicide bombers, The Soufan Group notes. Daesh has neither a shortage of such explosives nor a shortage of volunteers eager to partake in suicide attacks.”
Read More: Reuters
Featured Image – Daesh terrorists seen last year with a captured Iraqi Army High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV,) a checkpoint outside Beiji refinery. Beijij [Daesh] Iraq