Terror Group ISIS Armed with North Korean Tanks and Missiles
luvsmiling, Dec. 5, 2014, 8:45 a.m.
The terror group ISIS that is effectively in charge of vast swathes of Syria and Iraq is using North Korean-made tanks and portable missiles, the website NK News claimed Monday. It cited intelligence sources as claiming tanks used by ISIS in an attack on a Kurdish region in northern Iraq in September were Soviet T-55 tanks upgraded in North Korea, and portable missiles used by militants are of a type manufactured in the North.
Earlier, German intelligence told lawmakers that ISIS has portable surface-to-air missiles that are capable of shooting down civilian aircraft. A photo of an ISIS militant brandishing the weapon was posted on Twitter. At the time, German intelligence believed the weapon was Russian, Bulgarian or Chinese in origin.
But NK News said ISIS got its hands on North Korean-made weapons by capturing them from government forces in Syria. The two countries maintained close ties since the 1970s and the North exported various weapons to Syria, including the upgraded T-55 tanks and portable surface-to-air missiles.
The Washington Post reported that ISIS got its hands on portable surface-to-air missiles when it attacked a Syrian air force base in Raqqa in the northeastern part of the country in August. "Whatever effect they may have on the ultimate course of the war, it is certain that even today the influence of [North Korea] on conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere is not to be underestimated."