When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria began to dominate headlines in 2014, it was made out to be the most horrifying, ruthless terrorist group in existence—now any coverage the group receives tells a story of defeat, and the discovery of American weapons and equipment has gone virtually unnoticed.
ISIS was forced to withdraw from its last major stronghold in Syria on Thursday, after Syrian troops declared victory in Albu Kamal. A report from The Guardian noted that “Albu Kamal had long been crucial to the ferrying of jihadists from Syria into Iraq during the American occupation, and vice versa during the war in Syria.”
A statement from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights declared, “Forces loyal to the regime … have advanced in the Albu Kamal border city and established complete control after the withdrawal of the remaining [Isis] fighters to areas under their control in the countryside.”
This latest defeat is just one example in a series of clashes that have resulted in the Islamic State shrinking in size and power. As a result, Syrian forces have gained insight into the weapons and equipment the Islamic State fighters possessed.
When the Syrian Arab Army liberated another ISIS stronghold, Al-Mayadeen, in October, a report from Al-Masdar News noted that the terrorist group’s withdrawal “could not have been more disastrous, as they left a large amount of weapons and ammunition inside this city in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.”
“From machine guns to drones, the Syrian Army seized the large weapons cache Al-Mayadeen after liberating Al-Mayadeen from the Islamic State terrorists that once occupied the city,” The report claimed.A second report from Al-Masdar News noted that the Al-Mayadeen operation also resulted in the seizure of “up-armored tanks, Humvees, improvised armored personnel carriers and heavy artillery pieces” from the ISIS militants.