US Weapons, Never Fired, Only Dropped Once – Pentagon Sending Anti-Tank Rockets to Iraq

 In Foreign, Military

Last Wednesday Pentagon officials announced plans to send up to 2000 anti-tank rockets to be the Iraqi military.  The rockets are expected to arrive in early June.

anti-tank rockets

The US is sending 2000 anti-tank rockets to Iraq – photo: NRT TV

Suicide Bombers

ISIS is gaining ground every day.  Islamic State fighters now control Mosul, Fallujah and most recently Ramadi.   A proven tactic used by ISIS fighters is sending wave after wave of suicide car bombers to attack Iraqi positions.

Sooner or later there is going to be a shortage of virgins, but in the mean time there is no shortage of suicide martyrs lining up for the opportunity to meet the 72 young ladies.

The 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets, double the amount first announced, are to assist Iraqi military units in Baghdad combat the suicide car bombings used so effectively by ISIS in past attacks.

An anonymous State Department official noted the assault on Ramadi included over 30 suicide car bombers, at least 10 massive bombs that took out entire city blocks.  The anonymous official continued,

“You’d have to be delusional not to take something like this and say, what went wrong and how do you fix it? This is an extremely serious situation.”

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the anti-tank weapons would help Iraq defend against approaching suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives.  Warren said,

“This is a good counter to that (type of bombing).  The anti-tank weapons will allow the Iraqi forces to destroy approaching suicide car bombers at a distance. Currently using small arms fire requires disabling the engine or killing the driver, which can be difficult.”

To Win, You Have To Fight

After Ramadi fell, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sent over 3,000 Shiite fighters to join Iraq’s army troops and local Sunni militias to push back ISIS. Anti-tank weapons or not, all the extra fighters are meaningless if they won’t stand and fight. President has said,

If Iraqis won’t fight for themselves we can’t do it for them.”

Most Americans agree with the president.  As part of the U.S. program to arm and train Sunnis in Iraq, over 7,000 fighters have been retrained.  But their effectiveness is questionable. The fall of Ramadi, Iraq’s security forces crumbled under the sustained ISIS attack where reportedly many Iraqi fighters fled their position, abandoning their weapons.

Commenting on the fall of Ramadi, during an interview with CNN’s Barbara Starr, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said,

“What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight, they withdrew from the site, and that says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”

US Air Strikes

The Obama administration has consistently refused to commit ground troops to the Iraqi effort against ISIS.  Instead, US air strikes support the Iraqi ground effort.  First reported that ISIS utilized a sandstorm as cover to impede US air strikes during the Ramadi assault.  But at a Pentagon news briefing Colonel Warren said  U.S. air cover had not been impeded by the weather during the Ramadi assault.

Air strikes require knowing where to strike, and that takes people on the ground communicating their requests with proper radio calls and position identification.  Colonel Warren stated there is a continuing effort to train Iraqi forces to better communicate requests for air support.  ‘Requests’ only.

Warren stated there is no plan to train Iraqis to call in U.S. airstrikes themselves.  Only U.S. forces will operate as  “joint terminal attack controllers” or JTAKs. Colonel Warren said,

“If the (American) JTAK says, ‘Put a bomb there,’ no questions are asked.  That is not something we are going to delegate to anyone other than Americans. Period.”

Can’t Hold Ground From The Air

The limited air strikes launched by US forces have so far been ineffective in stopping ISIS.  Combined with an Iraqi Army as likely to drop their weapons and flee as fight for their country, ISIS has little to worry about.  ISIS will continue to advance and seize ground across Iraq and Syria.

So far, ISIS biggest concern is where to store all the ‘newly delivered never fired US weapons’ they collect.

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