The jihadists fighting in Iraq may be using U.S. military equipment to capture major Iraqi cities as they push their way toward Baghdad, a Pentagon official said.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group appears to be using Humvees and armored vehicles that the United States had given or sold to the Iraqi military, the unnamed official said, according to The Hill
Photos of armored vehicles and Humvees along with Blackhawk helicopters were posted on Twitter by members of ISIS and reposted by reporters and scholars who follow the jihadist group.
Charles Lister of the Brookings Institution said on Twitter that Blackhawk helicopters may have been seized when the group captured a portion of the airport in Mosul.
However, the Pentagon official said the claim that the group has control of a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter is not accurate.
"I don't have any indication that the reports of them getting Humvees from Mosul are false," the Pentagon official said.
"It's something that we are consulting the Iraqi government on, as part of our overall consultations with them to get a clear picture of what's happening," the official added.
The jihadist forces in Iraq have now captured Mosul, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Saadiyah, and Jalawla
President Barack Obama said that he is considering how the United States can support the Iraqi government against the Sunni Muslim insurgents.
He said Thursday that he doesn't "rule out anything" when asked if the United States would provide airstrikes, but U.S. officials later said that it would not be sending ground forces to fight the insurgents there.
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