Coalition airstrikes destroying abandoned vehicles in Ramadi

Coalition airstrikes destroying abandoned vehicles in Ramadi
© Getty Images

The U.S. military has begun destroying equipment abandoned by thousands of Iraqi forces in Ramadi who withdrew from the city after an advance by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Between Thursday and Friday, five coalition airstrikes in and around Ramadi took out various targets, including nine abandoned vehicles. 

The vehicles included five abandoned tanks, two abandoned armored personnel carriers and two abandoned armored vehicles. 

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It is the first time in the nine-month campaign that the coalition has intentionally announced the destruction of abandoned vehicles.  

The Pentagon said this week that "hundreds" of pieces of equipment were left behind as Iraqi security forces withdrew from the Anbar provincial capital last weekend. Those included dozens of tracked vehicles, about a hundred wheeled vehicles and a handful of artillery pieces.   

The Pentagon announced on Thursday it is surging more weapons into Iraq, including 2,000 anti-tank weapons, which will be useful against the vehicle bombs that have become ISIS's weapon of choice. 

The destruction of U.S.-provided equipment could add to the growing U.S. costs of the military campaign against ISIS.  

The cost of the effort so far is $2.44 billion since Aug. 8, and the average daily cost is $8.9 million, according to the last Pentagon figures updated on May 7.