(Above) A weapons investigation team found molds for 119.5-mm mortars in the abandoned Tal Afar bazaar, where tightly packed shops and metal roofing had helped keep the ISIS weapons factories hidden. Photo by ANDREA DICENZO
In addition to the report released by Conflict Armament Research, many news outlets published articles covering the findings. One article published by WIRED was a particularly good read and offered excellent insight into what it is like for the investigators working on the ground throughout Iraq and Syria. The article closely follows lead investigator Damien Spleeters, head of operations in Iraq and Syria for Conflict Armament Research. You can read that article here.
(Above) Spleeters inspects mortar projectiles in a building that ISIS abandoned when it lost control of Tal Afar. Photo by ANDREA DICENZO
The New York Times published a detailed article covering the industrial production and widespread use of explosive devices and weapons as discovered by Conflict Armament Research. It included interviews with several other experts actively working to defeat the deadly remnants left behind by ISIS. The article contained a good amount of input on the current status of demining operations and exploitation of the ongoing situation. This article can be found here.
Conflict Armament Research has published the following reports:
“Tracing the Supply of Components Used in Islamic State IEDs”
This report examines more than 700 components used by IS forces to manufacture IEDs, identifies their provenance, and traces their chains of custody. The report presents findings from field investigations in Iraq and Syria conducted over a period of 20 months from July 2014.
“Standardization and Quality Control in Islamic State’s Military Production”
This report is the result of field investigations during the initial phases of the assault on IS forces in eastern Mosul. It provides clear evidence of IS ability to manufacture weapons on an industrial scale, with output running into the tens of thousands.
“Weapons of the Islamic State”
This report is the result of more than three years of field investigation into Islamic State supply chains. It presents an analysis of more than 40,000 items recovered from the group between 2014 and 2017. These items encompass weapons, ammunition, and the traceable components and chemical precursors used by the group to manufacture improvised explosive devices.