Human Rights Group: ISIS Using US Weapons
A new report from a prominent human rights group has found that ISIS has built a substantial arsenal, including U.S.-made weapons obtained from the Iraqi army and Syrian opposition groups.
Amnesty International’s 44-page report, released late Monday, found that much of ISIS’ equipment and munitions comes from stockpiles captured from the U.S.-allied Iraqi military and Syrian rebels.
The findings come as President Barack Obama has recommitted to leaning on regional forces, including the Iraqis, Kurds and Syrian opposition, to try to wipe out ISIS rather than committing significant numbers of U.S. ground troops.
“The strategy that we are using now — airstrikes, (U.S.) Special Forces and working with local forces who are fighting to regain control of their own country — that is how we’ll achieve a more sustainable victory,” Obama said in a speech Sunday. “And it won’t require us sending a new generation of Americans overseas to fight and die for another decade on foreign soil.”
These local forces will receive assistance in the form of weapons, backup via coalition airstrikes and training from U.S. special operations forces.
The Amnesty International report, however, concluded that it was these local forces that had inadvertently contributed arms to ISIS.
After analyzing thousands of videos and images taken in Iraq and Syria, Amnesty determined that a large proportion of ISIS’ current military arsenal is made up of “weapons and equipment looted, captured or illicitly traded from poorly secured Iraqi military stocks.”