After two years of holding territory in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State’s ability to produce its own weapons has become so sophisticated that its production lines almost mirror those of national militaries, according to a new report by a weapons research group.
The report, authored by the United Kingdom-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR), focuses primarily on weapons production in and around the Iraqi city of Mosul. A team of researchers from the group visited the eastern reaches of the city early last month as Iraqi forces attempted to push toward its center. Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul has been held by Islamic State forces since June 2014, and the group has fought doggedly to hold it.
CAR visited six weapons production facilities on the outskirts of Mosul for its report, documenting a range of munitions, production methods and raw material used to power the Islamic State’s war machine. In total, CAR has spent roughly 30 months assessing the Islamic State’s weapons and munitions along various fronts in Iraq and Syria. […]