ISIS released a video depicting one of its tanks deployed to Iraq, in the vicinity of Mosul, being destroyed by an anti-tank guided missile which the video shows to be a Kornet laser-guided missile. These Russian-manufactured weapons were initially supplied to the Iraqi army before falling into ISIS hands during the Islamic State’s advance into Iraq. The vehicle itself is a US-made M60-series tank, modernized by Israel to the Sabra standard, known in IDF service as Magach-7. The Turkish military reported one of the tank’s crewmen was wounded, which indicates the tank’s armor was in fact penetrated, but did not provide additional details.
Preliminary analysis of the damage (photo original here) suggests the tank can probably be returned to action after suitable repairs.
The implications of this incident are not yet clear. ISIS, in general, has not targeted Turkish forces which, after all, are an ally. It may be that Ankara has been pressured by the US to take a harder stance on ISIS as US-backed Kurdish and Iraqi forces are preparing to retake Mosul, and the destruction of the tank is a reflection of its displeasure.
Another possibility is that Turkey is looking for an excuse to intervene in Iraq in order to prevent Iraqi forces from re-establishing their presence in Mosul and ultimately destroy ISIS in Iraq. The fact that there is no evidence the vehicle had any crew members in it (who surely would have attempted to bail out), that it did not catch fire in spite of the obvious damage it sustained, and that, as the photo above shows, it was left parked in a puddle of water leaves open the possibility Turkey simply arranged for ISIS to stage the incident. It would give Ankara the casus belli against ISIS it would need to intervene in Iraq. After all, the US would not ever permit it to send troops against the Kurdish fighters in Iraq, but ISIS provides a better cover story. And once Turkish troops are in Iraq in force, when would they ever leave?
This incident contains the same ingredients as the downing of the Russian SU-24; planned ahead with a set goal.
Indeed. Guess everything happening around Turkey should indeed be scrutinized for a possible ‘false flag’.