The U.S. is supplying armored tractors and bulldozers to Kurdish militants to mitigate the IED threat as they fight to liberate Raqqa, Syria, ISIS’ de facto capital, according to officials at Operation Inherent Resolve.
U.S. backed Kurdish fighters just completed the second month of their campaign to drive ISIS out of the beleaguered city. After early rapid advances, the intensity of the conflict has picked up as the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces push closer to the city center.
Improvised explosive devices have been exceptionally pervasive in Raqqa. Approximately 80 percent of the attacks carried out by ISIS fighters holed up in the city have been by IED, according to Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.
There’s “been tough fighting in tight quarters with a lot of these IEDs,” Dillon said.
The armored bulldozers and tractors are expected to help counter that threat.
During the battle for Mosul, armored dozers played a significant role in countering IEDs and assisting fighters as they moved block to block in dense urban fighting, according to the Washington Post.