BAGHDAD — The Pentagon came under sharp criticism from veterans today, after ISIS released a propaganda video following the seizure of Ramadi that showed its fighters entering the dining facility wearing dirty gear.
At what was once Camp Corregidor — the former home of thousands of American and Coalition troops during the 2003-2012 Iraq War — ISIS fighters are seen entering the DFAC wearing filthy and sometimes bloodstained combat gear. Many others are are also seen without fresh shaves.
Veterans took to Twitter to express their outrage, with angry comments and outpourings of frustration by active duty and retired service members. Instead of being turned away at the door for their lack of proper hygiene in a combat zone, as was common practice during the American war, the video shows soldiers being greeted warmly and welcomed in for a hot meal.
One user, @10thMTNWarHero, wrote:
Twitter user ArmyBillW added:
Although the primary language of the video is Arabic, viewers can also clearly understand that the man assigned as head-counter for the facility is acutely aware of his status as a service support member, and treats those assigned to combat units accordingly.
Anonymous Pentagon sources responded by defending its hygiene and administrative practices at dining facilities in war zones by noting, “The number one killer of soldiers historically hasn’t been battle, or bombings. It’s been disease. Our policies have been proven to stop the spread of disease in its tracks.”
An apparent Air Force veteran found the Pentagon’s response less than compelling:
Several Democratic and Republican Senators, seeing this issue as low-hanging political fruit for a bipartisan bill, have called on the DoD to reevaluate its policies regarding DFAC hygiene and access restriction.
Editor’s Note: At the time of this publication the Pentagon has scheduled another press briefing in response to fresh outrage, after ISIS released a video allegedly showing its fighters entering the gym wearing the same shoes they arrived in.