What do you do when your being destroyed by land, sea and air and you don’t have any way to buy heavy armor? Well if you are the terrorist government of The Islamic State, AKA ISIS, you turn to anything you can find and adapt it to fill your needs.
That is exactly what the terrorist group did in Mosul, Iraq over the last three years. Now that the city has fallen to U.S. Backed forces, some of the dozens of captured cars, modified “Mad Max-style” have been put on display by the army. Many of the vehicles were converted by Islamic State terrorists into suicide bombs on wheels, but others were turned into makeshift tanks and even one camouflaged tank turret that would likely have been used as an ambush for advancing government troops.
The captured vehicles have been put on display by Iraqi security forces in the liberated city of Mosul. The exhibition show was launched at the Federal Police Headquarters in Hamam al-Qalil neighborhood in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Most of the cars appear to be standard SUVs that have been plated with crude metal sheets as means of improvised armor.
Most of the passenger cars were turned into rolling suicide bombs, the passenger compartments of the cars have been ripped off and were packed with explosives.
Some cars have improvised rail systems on their roofs, presumably for improvised rocket-assisted munitions (IRAMs).
One suicide car was still in the “production” stage as it has its body parts in the front stripped off, ready for sheet metal attachment directly to the frame.
Some cars appear to be combat vehicles, rather than bombs on wheels. Those vehicles feature more elaborate armor plating and gun mounts.
Several of the improvised tanks, appear to be armored bulldozers, also plated with sheet metal and having windows made of reinforced glass.
One especially peculiar vehicle is a truck trailer with a turret inside, salvaged from a T-55 tank. While this system obviously lacks protection or flexibility of a real tank, it appears to be quite well-disguised and survived the US-led coalition airstrikes long enough to get into this trophies exhibit.
All photos © Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters