Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | United Nations | War on Terrorism

Report: ISIS Has Firepower for Two Years of War in Iraq, Syria

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 08:00 PM

Islamic State (ISIS) militants have enough light-weapons firepower to wage war in Syria and Iraq for up to two years, a sobering new report for the U.N. Security Council warns.

Even if U.S.-led airstrikes knock out the terrorist group's vehicles and heavy weapons, they "cannot mitigate the effect of the significant volume of light weapons" the militants have, the report says.

The light weapons "are sufficient to allow [ISIS] to continue fighting at current levels for six months to two years," the report asserts – making ISIS not only the best-funded terrorist group but among the best-armed, The Guardian reports.

ISIS and the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaida affiliate, are sufficiently armed to threaten the region "even without territory," the report says, recommending new steps to cut off money and guns for ISIS fighters.

According to the report, the Islamic State arsenal includes T-55 and T-72 tanks; U.S.-manufactured Humvees; machine guns; short-range anti-aircraft artillery, including shoulder-mounted rockets captured from Iraqi and Syrian military stocks; and "extensive supplies of ammunition."

One member state, not named in the report, contends ISIS has a motor pool of 250 vehicles it seized, The Guardian reports.

Much of the weapons stocks — including those stolen from the Iraqi military — were "unused" before ISIS militants seized them, according to the report, which added, however, that some of the the more complex weapons "may be too much of a challenge" for the militants to either use or maintain.

Though there were fears about the militants' potential ability to produce chemical weapons after they seized Iraqi facilities that had contributed to Saddam Hussein's illicit weapons programs, the U.N. report casts doubt on the militants' ability "to fully exploit material it might have seized."

Nor does the U.N. report suggest ISIS can make its own weapons of mass destruction, The Guardian reports, adding, however, that one member state has provided information about "chemicals and poison-coated metal balls" placed inside the militants' homemade bombs to do maximum damage.

The Security Council is expected to take up consideration of the report on Wednesday, The Guardian says.

The report comes on the heels of an October report to the Security Council estimating that 15,000 fighters from 80 countries have joined ISIS and other militant groups.

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Islamic State (ISIS) militants have enough light-weapons firepower to wage war in Syria and Iraq for up to two years, a sobering new report for the U.N. Security Council warns.
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2014-00-18
Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 08:00 PM
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