In this Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, Iraqi army soldiers deploy in front of a court run by ISIS after a military operation to regain control of the town of Sadiyah in Diyala province, 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq.
When ISIS took the Iraqi city of Mosul last year, they seized an army’s worth of US-made weaponry and vehicles. The US air war against ISIS over the last nine months has centered in great measure on destroying that gear, while ferrying new gear to the Iraqi military.
Then Ramadi fell over the weekend, and it’s Mosul all over again. Despite the US downplaying the significance of the loss, the Pentagon is confirming that half a dozen tanks and significant artillery and armored vehicles, along with other gear, were abandoned by Iraqi troops fleeing the Anbar capital.
With the news, the Pentagon is also stepping back from its predictions of retaking Ramadi in a matter of days, saying it “will be difficult,” and insisting that they’re sticking to their existing strategy.
It also puts a different spin on Iraq rushing more tanks to the Ramadi line to try to take the city back, with the risk that these tanks too will eventually be abandoned to ISIS.