It is always a mistake to underestimate your enemy. This isn’t license for fear or timidity, but implies that a rational evaluation of what you are likely to face before entering a conflict is vital.
The Middle East is a land where deception and shifting alliances are endemic to the ongoing conflicts, especially when one is considering the various non-state actors that are belligerents in these conflicts. This is part of what makes pursing a strategy in Syria and Iraq so problematic.
Lest anyone think these groups lack resources, the Iraqi Army just discovered how dedicated ISIS is to accomplishing its objectives. They round a surprisingly sophisticated tunnel boring machine that the terrorist group has no doubt made good use of. So much for digging with picks and shovels.
“Red State Watcher reports that ISIS has managed to create, among other things, a tunnel-boring machine that has fortunately been retrieved by the Iraqi military. The Iraqi Army’s 9th Division uncovered the weapon and turned it over to Devin Morrow, a technical advisor with the group Conflict Armament Research.”
A representative of this group explains that “‘It’s quite unprecedented, the level at which ISIS is able to create its own ammunition and weaponry,’ Morrow told Fox News. ‘We don’t see this quality of production in other conflict zones,’ said Morrow, whose U.K.-based company traces and documents illegally diverted weapons in conflict zones like Iraq, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Yemen.”
It turns out that this is a very sophisticated machine and has served ISIS well.. “ISIS used the machine to build an extensive network of tunnels beneath the city of Mosul, Iraq, in order to hide and store munitions.”
That’s not all that has been discovered, either.
“Morrow’s group also studied an armored ISIS-made suicide vehicle. The armor protects the suicide bombers inside the vehicle so that they are able to deliver the deadly payload. ‘They’re taking these regular cars and trucks from civilian people in Mosul and doing extensive modifications on them to make them into suicide vehicles,’ Morrow explained.”