Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | ISIS | takes | Ramadi | adapts | military | tactics

WSJ: New ISIS Tactics Responsible for Fall of Ramadi

Image: WSJ: New ISIS Tactics Responsible for Fall of Ramadi
(AP)

By    |   Monday, 25 May 2015 10:00 PM

Despite claims by Defense Secretary Ash Carter that the fall of Ramadi was the fault of Iraqi troops unwilling to fight, a report in The Wall Street Journal says much of the recent gain by the Islamic State (ISIS) is attributable to new war tactics.

An ISIS commander in late April put out a call for fighters to redeploy from Syria to the Ramadi area because his forces were prepared to launch an attack as the once-static front lines had begun to swing ISIS's way.

Just three weeks later, ISIS had taken control of Ramadi with suicide bombers.

Though ISIS was far outnumbered, it outwitted Iraqi and coalition troops through several adaptive methods, the Journal reported.

"It's very frustrating," Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Defense of Democracies think tank told the Journal. "These guys are showing a good degree of tactical awareness."

The fighters drove ordinary sedans to Ramadi rather than their usual Toyota pickup trucks. That helped them appear to be part of the regular population.

ISIS leaders sought fighters to take a "one-time assignment," meaning a suicide-bombing mission. Meanwhile, ISIS enforced a social media blackout of its operations near Ramadi, while continuing to post about its actions elsewhere.

An initial attack on May 5 was repelled by Iraqi forces, but ISIS was able to reposition snipers by May 13. On May 14, one armored bulldozer was deployed to remove concrete barriers from around the government building in the capital city of Anbar province.

The dozer worked uninterrupted for nearly an hour, and once it was finished a fleet of American-supplied vehicles captured by ISIS and loaded with explosives were driven through.

Another 20 such bombs were set off over the next 72 hours.

The government complex fell on May 15, and the entire city was in ISIS hands by May 17.

"They displayed admirable operational security," Charlie Winter of the London think tank Quilliam told the Journal. "They understand the element of surprise. And they understand how [the coalition] can track them."

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Despite claims by Defense Secretary Ash Carter that the fall of Ramadi was the fault of Iraqi troops unwilling to fight, a report in The Wall Street Journal says much of the recent gain by the Islamic State (ISIS) is attributable to new war tactics. An ISIS commander in...
ISIS, takes, Ramadi, adapts, military, tactics
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2015-00-25
Monday, 25 May 2015 10:00 PM
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