MOSUL, Iraq — Just days after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized control of Iraq’s northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit, the group’s lightning offensive has reportedly ground to a halt after ISIS unsuccessfully attempted to use dozens of captured U.S. M1114 Humvees.
“We were considerably more mobile with Toyota Technicals,” complained ISIS cell leader Ibrahim ibn Abdullah ibn Sabah Al-Rahman. “But once we captured these unreliable monstrosities, our leadership started worrying about our safety.”
“Now we can’t even leave our base without at least four up-armored Humvees and an RPG team, plus we have to have three ground guides with reflective belts every time we are backing out of our parking spot,” Al-Rahman said as he angrily gestured towards a dilapidated Humvee. “And don’t get me started on all the protective gear we have to wear. Even the suicide bombers were told they wouldn’t be getting into paradise if they were caught in one without a helmet, flak, gloves, and flame retardant clothes!”
During the course of the interview, Al-Rahman was interrupted by at least one angry phone call from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, demanding to know why none of the Humvees had their drip pans and chock blocks in place.
The M1114 HMMWV, known to the public as the “Humvee” and to the American soldier as “the fucking Humvee,” is the U.S. military’s all-purpose mobile field kitchen, capable of cooking up to six soldiers alive in as many minutes. During the Iraq War, the U.S. discovered that they were also extremely effective at uncovering IEDs, leading to the war-winning strategy of driving over them as frequently as possible.
At the end of the Iraq War — in a gesture of revenge — the U.S. abandoned thousands of Humvees in Iraq, an act compared to the Soviets seeding millions of land mines in Afghanistan, and with similar results once the Iraqis began to drive them.
The Humvees were captured by ISIS on Tuesday after being abandoned by Iraqi soldiers unable to locate the vehicles’ keys, which they claimed the U.S. advisers who alerted them to this feature had never provided. Although ISIS attempted to use the vehicles immediately, they were unable to properly employ them because of the Humvee’s incredibly poor fuel consumption, as well as unsuccessful attempts to obtain spare parts from manufacturer A.M. General in Indiana.
To make matters worse, in an almost-kharmic act of retribution, retreating Iraqi soldiers have begun emplacing landmines and other ordnance along the roads, easily blowing up the few ISIS Humvees that have ventured south of Mosul.
“In the name of the Blessed Prophet, these things are death traps!” exclaimed one of Al-Rahman’s fighters. “How the hell could anyone drive these things around a parking lot, let alone into a combat zone?”
Al-Rahman then reminded him that you go to jihad with the mujahideen you have, not the mujahideen you wish you had.
Following a 35% increase in casualties caused by repeated Humvee rollovers, Al-Baghdadi called a halt to offensive operations, pending a series of mandatory safety classes for ISIS fighters. ISIS sources have vowed that the offensive would resume as soon as the classes had achieved 100% attendance, which would also give them time to capture some wreckers so they could at least tow the Humvees into battle.
ISIS has also apparently captured a dozen U.S.-made MRAPs from the Iraqi Army, but after two days had still not figured out how to drive them out of the motor pool.
Check out After Action with Max & Paul, an awesome new podcast featuring the creators of Terminal Lance and Duffel Blog.