The Islamic State group may be losing much of its territory in Iraq, but it has reportedly continued to stock up on weapons of war despite the other setbacks. The global terror group more commonly known as ISIS can “threaten aircraft” now, according to a tweet from a CBS News foreign correspondent. The tweet cited an unnamed “US military spokesman” as the source of the information.
— cbsMcCormick (@cbsMcCormick) 22 февраля 2017 г.
The extent of the new disclosure was not immediately clear since it has long been reported — but not proven — that ISIS had the ability to shoot down aircraft. In the summer of 2015, ISIS released photos of its fighters firing off surface-to-air missiles near Israel’s border in Egypt, the Daily Beast reported at the time. Still, there has not been a reported instance of ISIS actually shooting down a plane, be it a jet or low-flying aircraft.
ISIS has, however, been using of drones that have bombs affixed to them recently, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. The “Unmanned Aircraft of the Mujahideen” is what ISIS named its “fleet” of such drones that it said hit at least 39 Iraqi soldiers in one week, though it was not clear when those alleged attacks were supposed to have taken place.
While potentially stronger anti-aircraft weapons in the hands of ISIS were likely worrying to the efforts to fight the Islamic State, Iraqi security forces were being vigilant when it came to the drones, which have proven to be very destructive.
Some of the other ISIS weapons are equally, if not more formidable than the drones and apparent equipment that can “threaten aircraft,” according to Business Insider. They include but were not limited to Soviet era tanks and armored vehicles; Humvees; AK-47 machine guns; lightweight anti-tank rifles; rocket launchers; grenade launchers; shoulder-launched anti-tank weapons; and anti-aircraft guns.
While the latter can hit flying targets up to two miles away, the new report from CBS news likely refers to weaponry that can hit “aircraft” flying much farther away.