In a new video purportedly released by the Islamic State titled “Knights of Bureaucracy,” ISIS militants are shown attaching bombs to drones to carry out aerial attacks on Iraqi forces. The video was released on ISIS terrorist channels on January 24 from “Wilayat Ninawa,” ISIS’ name for the Nineveh Governorate of Iraq that includes Mosul.
English terrorist channels later released the video with the title translated as “The Knights of Dawawin,” instead choosing to use the Arabic word for “administrative bureau.”
In the 38-minute video, ISIS is shown conducting suicide bombings in Mosul. However, the highlight and premise of the video is the footage of Islamic State militants using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to carry and drop bombs on American coalition forces.
ISIS has been using “exploding drones” for months, however this is the first footage of them doing so. In October 2016, The New York Times reported that the Pentagon was struggling with a new aerial threat from ISIS.
The UAVs shown in the video have about 5-6′ wingspans and repeatedly take out soldiers and tanks.
According to Rita Katz, director of the terrorism watchdog SITE Intelligence Group, the explosions from the UAV are much smaller than those of VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) ops, but may be used to conserve the population of would-be suicide bombers in ISIS’ ranks.
Mosul is completely surrounded, reports CNN. Time magazine writes, “With roughly 600,000 residents remaining, Mosul is the largest population center under ISIS control, a key source of prestige and resources and a living advertisement for the group’s claim that it is building a state.”
According to the Pentagon, there are between 7,000-10,000 fighters stuck in Mosul proper with around 5,000 fighters in the surrounding suburbs.
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