BAGHDAD – In a further setback to the faltering American and Iraqi campaign to retake Anbar Province from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, two Iraqi generals were killed in a suicide attack by the group Thursday morning outside Ramadi, the provincial capital.
Two explosives-rigged U.S.-made Humvees, presumably seized on the battlefield from the Iraqi army some time in the past year, exploded near the generals’ convoy, said Gen. Noman al-Zawbawy, an Iraqi army commander stationed in Anbar.
ISIL’s methodical seizing of large stores of ammunition, equipment and vehicles that the U.S. government had provided to the Iraqi army has given the jihadis a powerful edge on the battlefield over the past year.
The use of U.S. Humvees, in particular, has allowed ISIL members to appear as Iraqi soldiers, as they did Thursday, to get close enough to high-level officers to unleash suicide attacks to devastating effect. The attack on Thursday killed Maj. Gen. Abdulrahman Abu Ragheef, the deputy head of the Anbar Operations Command — who was in charge because the head of the command was wounded a few days ago — and Brig. Gen. Safeen Abdulmajid, the head of the Iraqi army’s 10th Division.
By the afternoon pictures of the generals’ coffins at a funeral procession in Baghdad, attended by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, were shown on state television. It was a further reminder to the Iraqi public of the great costs of the campaign for Anbar Province, which has been continuing for months now with the support of U.S. air power.
New York Times