In its initial raid on Ramadi, the Islamic State terror group (ISIS/ISIL) set off a string of 30 suicide car bombs that took out “entire city blocks,” a senior State Department official revealed.
In the first wave, the jihadis packed a bulldozer with explosives, which then successfully obliterated a security perimeter around an Iraqi government compound. Immediately after, about 30 vehicles flooded into the then-contested city, setting off another series of massive explosions, according to reports.
Ten of the thirty car bombs detonated resulted in such massive explosions that they packed enough comparable firepower to the 1995 Oklahoma City truck bomb, ABC News reports.
The State Department official told reporters that ISIS utilized vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDS) to breach the layer of security provided by Iraqi troops, leaving many fleeing for their lives. Before Iraq could properly reinforce the city, ISIS had already infiltrated Ramadi, and it was rendered defenseless from ISIS’s assault.
The State Department official said that the Iraqi troops, in their retreat, left behind U.S.-made weapons, according to the report.
The unnamed official refused to acknowledge that the Iraqi troops abandoned their posts, telling reporters that they have “regrouped” and “consolidated” while planning to retake the city. Similarly, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, also insisted that the Iraqi forces did not flee their posts, CNN reports.
In providing support for the effort to take back Ramadi, the United States has expedited 1,000 anti-tank missiles to the Iraqi forces in hopes that they will utilize the weaponry to fend off suicide car bombings. “We made the decision immediately while [Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi] was here to get 1,000 AT4 anti-tank systems to Iraqi security forces and those are going to be arriving fairly soon,” revealed a senior State Department official.
Analysts have described the fall of Ramadi as a devastating blow to U.S. and coalition forces’ strategy against the Islamic State. A State Department official said that the U.S. plans on taking an “extremely hard look” at the overall strategy moving forward.