Iraq: Islamic State used overpowering new weapons — “Vbieds” — to take Ramadi


Date:                  May 27, 2015


By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service

Fighting unfolds in Ramadi Mark Ellis

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS -- May 27, 2015)-- Even though they were vastly outnumbered in the battle, Islamic State used dozens of formidable new weapons known as “Vbieds” in their stunning defeat of Iraqi forces in Ramadi.

Vbieds are vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. Islamic State converted captured U.S. military armored vehicles designed to be resistant to small-arms fire into megabombs, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Some of the Vbieds had explosive power equal to the force of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Over the three-day surge in Ramadi, Islamic State fighters used at least 27 Vbieds, which destroyed Iraq security forces’ defensive perimeters and crumbled multistory buildings, according to The Journal.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his forces were no match for the enemy’s weapons.

Devastation in Ramadi Mark Ellis

“They have the will to fight, but when they are faced with an onslaught by [Islamic State] from nowhere….With armored trucks packed with explosives, the effect of them is like a small nuclear bomb,” he told the British Broadcasting Corp.

Islamic State used a clever, sophisticated battle plan to take Ramadi, which unfolded over several weeks. That plan outfoxed a much larger force of Iraqi troops as well as a U.S.-trained special-operations force known as the Golden Division, which fought for months to defend the city.

How the battle unfolded

At the end of April, officials in Anbar reported a flow of cars crossing from Syria into Iraq from a border crossing controlled by Islamic State, according to The Journal.

Islamic State fighters started arriving in Ramadi in groups of two or three in nondescript sedans, instead of the Toyota pickup trucks they used formerly, to blend in with civilian traffic and stay clear of U.S. surveillance planes.

Photo captions: 1) Fighting rages in the city of Ramadi, May 16. 2) Devastation caused by Vbieds.


About the writer: Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and also the founder of, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.

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