PENTAGON — The Pentagon has received intelligence reports that ISIS militants are now wearing reflective belts left over from the U.S. occupation of Iraq, which officials fear could extend the lifespan of militants and delay a coalition victory in the region.
“This could be a major turning point in the fight against ISIS,” said Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. John Dorrian. “We calculated that 35 to 40 percent of all ISIS fighters would die by accidental deaths, but now reflective belts have dramatically reduced those numbers. It’s only a matter of time before they realize how effective these belts really are.”
The report includes a statement made by Peshmerga soldiers who claim that reflective-belt-clad ISIS fighters are almost impossible to kill.
“The belt of invincibility,” as it is called, has allowed the ISIS fighters to survive small arms fire and numerous street crossings without a scratch. Later in the report Peshmerga leadership expressed frustration with the U.S. for leaving behind such formidable protection equipment, and requested a plan of action.
“Let me be absolutely clear,” Dorrian said. “We have to mitigate the risk of them mitigating the risk, so we don’t risk the risk of them not having risk.”
Plans to counter ISIS’s new tactics are already being discussed by top leaders.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey’s suggestion to track reflective belts as sensitive equipment with serial numbers has received unanimous praise among the other senior enlisted advisors. While the Joint Chiefs remain optimistic, most are hoping ISIS doesn’t start using risk assessments.