Just a month after the German state announced it was going to deliver 10,000 hand-grenades to struggling Kurdish fighters, a video has emerged of ISIS fighters showing off new German grenades in their possession.
Germany’s €70 million donation also included over 16,000 rifles, eight million rounds of ammunition and a number of armoured military vehicles have now been delivered, but now questions are being asked about whether the equipment is going to the right people. A newly released video shows ISIS fighters unboxing grenades from their original military packaging in a crate, which has markings showing them to be an older model than presently used.
While theLocal.de reports a military source which insists the grenades sent to the Kurds were of the new type, that goes against what is known publicly about the nature of the shipment. The equipment donated was almost entirely made up of obsolete, second hand equipment no longer required by the German army, which otherwise would have been destroyed or kept in government warehouses, indeed many of the rifles sent to the Kurds were of a type that is over 50 years old.
There have been a number of errant airdrops in the conflict between Iraq’s Kurds and the ISIS militias, as aircraft struggle to distinguish between forces fighting at close range. Last month, an airdrop to a besieged group by what remains of the Iraqi air force accidentally fell on their attackers, ISIS, who used the equipment to destroy the Iraqi army position. Airdrops onto Kurdish positions in Kobane have also found their way into the wrong hands, and one recent drop that fell onto ISIS lines is thought to possibly be the source of the German grenades.
ISIS has made good use of captured equipment since the earliest days of the war, parading columns of American-made Humvee armoured trucks, and Russian-made tanks bedecked with black flags, captured from fleeing Iraqi forces. Civilians in Germany itself have also been caught sending non-lethal items of military equipment to fighters including 7,500 pairs of cold-weather boots, vital for the coming winter campaign.
Germany has been rocked by serious riots in past weeks, as its significant Iraqi population comes to blows over the ongoing conflict. 1,300 police were deployed to the streets of Hamburg two weeks ago to keep apart warring tribes of Kurds and Islamists who had come out with kebab skewers and brass knuckles to settle their differences. Some Germans have even gone to the length of fighting for the Kurds, with two members of a German motorcycle gang flying out to join the combat.