US-led coalition forces launched a second successful airstrike against a crucial Islamic State explosives facility Wednesday, continuing a trend of going after the group’s most devastating weapon.
The strikes destroyed a facility near Ar Rutbah, Iraq, which was being used to produce vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). These car bombs are one of the main weapons used by the Islamic State extremist group — also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh — to devastating effect across both Iraq and Syria.
“Every VBIED taken off the battlefield is one less insidious weapon that can be used by Daesh against the ISF and innocent Iraqis,” US Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea said in a statement. “The location of this facility was strategic for Daesh in funelling VBIEDs into Anbar Province.”
Anbar Province in western Iraq, which borders Syria, is currently the scene of intense fighting between the Islamic State and forces aligned with the Iraqi government. Iraq has pledged to retake the entirety of the province from militant control following the fall of the provincial capital in Ramadi in May.
The fall of Ramadi was largely facilitated by the Islamic State’s use of VBIEDs. These bombs are often advanced enough to produce even macabre amazement in their potential victims. One Baghdad police officer told Der Spiegel that these car bombs “were so sophisticated that they destroyed everything; there was nothing left of the car and nothing to investigate how the explosive charge was assembled.”
You can view a GIF of the coalition airstrike against Ar Rutbah below.
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