(CNN) Several items of US military equipment displayed by ISIS in photos published over the weekend likely was either found or captured after recent battles in eastern Afghanistan, according to a senior defense official.
US forces, including many special operations forces, have been fighting in Afghanistan’s Nangahar Province, a stronghold of ISIS for the last several weeks.
The photos, distributed by ISIS’s media arm, depict ammunition, fabric packs and possibly a shoulder-fired rocket launcher of the type used by US forces.
While the Pentagon declined to confirm that the items in the photos belong to the US military, the official said, “We think much of the equipment was likely lost during recent operations.”
The official added, “We are still working to determine if all of the equipment in the pictures was lost during recent operations or at some other time in the past.”
It has been a typical practice of the Taliban for many years to scour the battlefield for US military gear and weapons, so it’s not known for certain where the items displayed came from. But the official said that some of the equipment shown “is used” by Special Operations Forces.