Despite continuous airstrikes and attacks from Kurdish and Iraqi forces, ISIS seems to be holding its positions and advancing its fighting techniques.
A typical example of the new methods ISIS is using against its opponents on the ground is the truck-based Improvised Explosive Device (IED). This new improvised attack system is a large truck, rigged as a suicide bomb and used against front-line enemy units.
“The suicide truck-based IEDs are basically ISIS’s “precision guided munitions”
Said Marine Corps Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, Chief of Staff of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. Although they are not as accurate as proper precision guided munitions systems, they are very cheap and effective. They are used by ISIS as missiles against Kurdish and Iraqi forces on the ground.
Over the last decade IEDs have been used mostly by insurgents in Iraq as booby traps. Today they have become a guided attack weapon used to disrupt or penetrate the positions of the Kurdish and Iraqi forces.
According to Weidley, allied forces are trying to destroy the sources of the IEDs with airstrikes, by bombing their production sites.
Furthermore the US government is equipping Iraqi security forces with weapons systems like the AT-4 84mm unguided, portable, single-shot recoilless smoothbore weapon, in order to help them to deal with the truck-based IEDs. The AT-4 can neutralize the truck-based IEDs at a distance of 300 meters, before they reach the lines of the Iraqi security forces.
Without a doubt the fighters of ISIS have shown great improvisation regarding their tactics, their psychological warfare methods and their weaponry. It seems that allied forces need to study ISIS and adjust their military operations against them accordingly.