20% of ISIS’s ammunition is from U.S.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

According to a weapons-tracking organization called Conflict Armament Research, ISIS jihadi fighters have been using ammunition from 21 countries, including the United States.

NBC News reported the organization worked with Kurdish forces to recover more than 1,700 cartridges used by the militant group.  A report released stated that more than 20 percent of the ammunition was U.S.-made.

“ISIS appears to have acquired a large part of their current arsenal from stocks seized from, or abandoned by, Iraqi defense and security forces,” it said. Most of the U.S. bullets was manufactured during a period in which the U.S. was strengthening Iraqi forces after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

According to Yahoo News, the ammunition was recovered from four locations in northern Iraq and Syria in July and August with most of it originating from China, Serbia and the Soviet Union in the 1970s and ‘80s. The organization also recovered Iranian ammunition that, “if transferred deliberately,” violates a U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits Iran’s export of ammunition.

The analysis was limited to bullets from self-loading pistols, machine guns, submachine guns and assault rifles.  The production dates of the ammunition recovered range from 1945 to 2014.

The report stated that during an assault on IS forces in northern Iraq’s Sinjar Mountains in early August, for example, the Kurdish forces “captured 5.56 x 45 mm ammunition loaded into the magazines of 11 M16A4 assault rifles and 9 x 19 mm ammunition found in the magazine of a Glock G19 semi-automatic pistol.”  The 5.56 x 45 mm ammunition was manufactured between 2005 and 2007 at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, the report said.

Since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been concerns of U.S.-manufactured arms winding up in the hands of terrorists.

In 2009, it was reported that ammunition from the United States provided to Afghan government forces had somehow made it way to Taliban insurgents fighting near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.

“Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces,” the report stated.


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