An interesting article appeared yesterday in The Australian on the recent fighting in Mosul. Titled “Iraq tanks crush suicide cars on bloody road”, the article tells the story of an Iraqi M1 Abrams tank battling Isis suicide bomb trucks. The one odd part of the story is the bit about the gun “jamming.” Any comment regarding this from current or former Abrams crew would be much appreciated. The full article can be read here.
The Isis suicide bomber raced down a potholed road at the wheel of a home-made armoured car with bolted-on sheets of metal. Manoeuvring the main gun on a US-made M1 Abrams tank, Captain Mustafa Khaleel, a commander in the Iraqi army’s 9th Armoured Division, watched calmly as the vehicle flew towards him at full speed. Exhaling slowly, he aimed at his target and pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened. The gun had jammed. Stiff with panic, Khaleel, 29, watched as the car carried on towards him. The impact, when it came, threw him against the tank’s white-painted metal interior — the explosion so loud it deafened him.
After coming to, Khaleel looked through the sights again. The car was gone, crushed beneath the tracks of the tank, which itself was barely damaged. Climbing out of the hatch he saw burnt pieces of the Isis fighter’s body scattered around him on the road.
“We were scared for a second,” he grinned, leaning back in the commander’s seat. “But I’ve destroyed 200 of these suicide cars. They can’t touch us. In Mosul I’ll make it 300.”
The pride of the Iraqi army, the 9th Armoured Division, has played a vital role in the liberation of the cities of Tikrit, Ramadi and Falluja from Isis since early last year, smashing through the waves of suicide vehicles that protect the Islamists’ front lines.