The Islamic State (ISIS) has deployed wooden replicas of tanks, Humvees, and even jihadi fighters in a bid to deceive aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition supporting the assault on Mosul.
Reuters reports the advancing Iraqi army captured some of these mockups from an ISIS training camp north of Mosul. The bearded mannequins intended for use as decoy jihadis were the most bizarre touch. (The training site also included two real armored vehicles.)
“As our troops advanced toward the areas we were charged with liberating, Daesh used tanks and vehicles made of wood to divert the military planes,” said Lt. Col. Abbas al-Azaji of the Iraqi military.
U.S. Air Force Col. John Dorrian seemed dismissive of these “tactical deception” supplies, noting the dummy tanks and jihadis were “not as troubling as a lot of the other things we’ve seen,” such as setting oil wells ablaze.
Also troubling, as the UK Sun points out, is the Islamic State’s use of roadside bombs, snipers, long-range mortars, civilian human shields, and suicide car bombs to hold back the Iraqi army’s advance.
Al-Arabiya reports that ISIS is also looking to Pakistan for fresh recruits, including Uzbek militants and “disgruntled Taliban fighters.”