A video posted by Iraqi pro-government militias fighting the Islamic State in Mosul claims that the extremist group is tying stray dogs with improvised explosives to use them against advancing security forces in western Mosul.
The video shows three members of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) crouching near a small dog which Islamic State, according to the men featured in the clip, wired with three bottles filled with explosive materials.
“This is the latest from Daesh (Islamic State), abusing an animal,” one fighter said, pointing to the dog. “What sin did it commit?,” another one wondered.
The authenticity of the video, published by PMU’s media, could not be verified.
Iraqi government forces, backed by PMU and U.S.-led troops and advisers, began a major offensive on February 19th to clear western Mosul from Islamic State militants. The government declared late January its forces had recaptured the eastern section after three months of fighting.
Islamic State has largely relied on booby-trapped vehicles, landmines, weaponized drones and human suicide bombers in facing Iraqi troops, but it has also resorted to other extraordinary deceptive tactics such as using decoy military equipment and camouflage-dressed mannequins, and lately, booby-trapped animals. Some local observers believe the tactics signal desperation and the waning combat resources on Islamic State’s behalf.
ِA few days after the western Mosul offensives launched, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said IS fighters booby-trapped sheep to hinder assaults by PMU troops on Ein al-Tallawi village, which is near to the group’s stronghold town of Tal Afar.