US military spokesman Gen. Charles Cleveland confirmed the authenticity of recently released ISIS photos showing that they’d captured a cache of US weapons, saying the loss happened during fighting in July, and that the US troops had abandoned their equipment when they came under fire.
Gen. Cleveland says the US troops had set up the site to deal with casualties from the Afghan military, which was fighting ISIS at the time, but when the site came under fire, they left their gear and took off for a “safe location.” The loss included at least one rocket launcher and US radios.
The fighting, which spanned July 24 and 25, saw five US soldiers wounded, and officials say two of them have already returned to duty, with the other three expected to eventually make a full recovery. Gen. Cleveland insisted the equipment lost would not have any “measurable operational impact” on the war.
Still, it’s an embarrassment, and part of a running trend of ISIS forces getting their hands on US equipment. Historically that’s happened in Iraq, where US-armed Iraqi troops abandoned their gear and ran, but apparently that sort of loss is not restricted to Iraq, and ISIS was able to get at least this limited amount of gear in Afghanistan.