ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - also Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant = ISIL) took regional military observers and governments by surprise when it worked its way from individual terrorist groups into a singular, effective fighting force. Since then, the group has captured swaths of land in both Iraq and Syria, attempting to recreate an Islamic kingdom old world ideals. Iraqi and Syrian government forces have accomplished little to stem the tide of lost territory and the vacuum left by American forces has been apparent.
While ISIS lacks any sort of air power (for the moment), it has laid claim to many Iraqi stocks of Soviet-, Chinese-, and American-originated equipment. The result is a ragtag group of fighters with an equally rag-tag collection of weapons offering increased tactical flexibility against their organized foes. Despite coalition air strikes against their positions and money-making sources, ISIS remains a great threat to the stability of the region and its war may pull in even more powers before it is all decided.
There are a total of (45) Weapons of ISIS in the Military Factory. Flag images indicative of country of origin. The entries displayed below have been identified through available ISIS imagery and video. Numbers in their possession remain largely unknown as does running condition, available stocks of ammunition and fuel supplies, and ISIS know-how as to the particular operation and skill level concerning these weapon systems.
Reports suggest that captured Syrian MiG-21 fighters were being used in training of ISIS pilots with instruction being headed former, pre-Iraq-invasion airmen who have joined ISIS.
The Soviet MiG-23 is also mentioned along with the MiG-21 as possibly being used in the training of ISIS pilots.
The speed of the ISIS conquests against Iraqi forces has meant that some American-made "Black Hawk" transport helicopters have fallen under enemy control - though their usefulness is in doubt.
An evolved version of the earlier classic T-54 / T-55 Soviet Main Battle Tank, the T-62 found its way into the Iraq Army inventory and an unknown number are now operated by ISIS.
Another Soviet mainstay of the Iraqi Army became the T-55 - again captured examples being reconstituted by ISIS forces for their own gain.
A handful of these Soviet-era self-propelled tracked howitzers are known to have entered the ISIS inventory.
Worldwide circulation of this American classic - coupled with a rebuilding, post-invasion Iraqi Army - means that the M113 has found its way to Iraq - and now ISIS.
The large Iraqi Army of the pre-war period relied upon thousands of armored vehicles including the Soviet-originated BMP-1.
The Iraqi Army also procured the then-modernized version of the BMP-1 in the Soviet-era BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
With over 12,000 of its kind produced during the Cold War, the Iraqi government was sure to procure the Soviet MT-LB for its mechanized forces.
The Soviet-era ZSU-23-4 can still cause considerable damage to low-flying aircraft - ISIS forces have been seen parading these vehicles around.
At least one SA-6 Gainful surface-to-air missile carrier vehicle is known to have fallen into ISIS hands.
What appeared to be a SCUD missile was paraded through a Syrian town on a flatbed section of a tractor trailer suggesting ISIS may have gained something of a limited ballistic missile capability.
The Iraqi Army and local security forces took on stocks of the American M1117 Armored Security Vehicle - some now under ISIS control.
Developed for the U.S. Army specifically for actions in Iraq, MRAPs also formed a portion of the American "parting gifts" to the Iraqis following the U.S. troop drawdown.
Stocks of the Polish AMZ Dzik Infantry Mobility Vehicle are also known to have passed from Iraqi Army control to ISIS forces.
The United States committed large quantities of its multi-purpose HUMVEEs to the Iraqi military and security forces. They are now in use against the local government by ISIS.
An unknown number of "Up-Armored Humvee" vehicles have also been taken over by ISIS forces during their various conquests.
The versatile "Technical" improvised fighting vehicle remains the backbone of ISIS forces, allowing for fast-attack and overwhelming actions against its foes.
American forces left hundreds of their tactical trucks in the employ of the Iraqi Army - some having fallen to ISIS forces during the various Iraqi retreat actions.
Another American weapon to have fallen into ISIS hands is the effective 155mm M198 towed medium howitzer system providing much-needed ranged firepower.
This Chinese entry is a copy of the Soviet-era M-46 130mm field gun - made cheaper and more readily-available to discerning foreign customers such as Iraq.
While generally outclassed as an AA gun, the ZPU-1 series is still an effective performer against unprotected targets and as an anti-armor / -personnel weapon.
The 23mm cannons of this anti-aircraft weapon system make it an ideal weapon against low-flying aircraft. Like the ZPU-1, it can also be brought to bear against light-armored vehicles.
An unknown number of FIM-92 "Stinger" man-portable surface-to-air missile systems have been captured by ISIS - a serious threat to low-flying coalition aircraft.
Yet another Soviet-originated weapon that proliferated the region is the timeless RPG-7 - a still-effective anti-armor solution requiring little training to use.
Numbers of this Yugoslavian product have been witnessed and form a perfect ambush weapon against unsuspecting enemy tanks.
This tank-stopper has been passed on to Free Syrian Army forces which, in turn, means some may have been acquired by ISIS forces providing them with an effective means of combating armor.
Another ISIS weapon courtesy of Chinese factories is the NORINCO HJ-8 series of Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) systems.
The Soviet influence in the Middle East ran for decades meaning that many of the available arms seen today with ISIS are Soviet in origin.
This pre-World War 2 Soviet heavy machine gun still permeates regions of the Middle East - thus making it readily accessible for ISIS.
With over 1 million examples produced, the Soviet-made PKM also found a home in the Iraq Army inventory.
The RPD appeared at the close of World War 2 (1939-1945) and has somehow managed to maintain a presence on the battlefields of the Middle East.
For portable firepower and general suppression of enemy forces, look no further than the RPK of Soviet-era design. Such weapons still hold a battlefield role in the region.
Another American military mainstay thought to be in ISIS hands is the M249 SAW machine gun.
The storied Soviet AK-47 proliferates the Middle East in large numbers (and variants) which makes them easy to obtain in numbers required.
Stocks of the classic American weapon were captured from retreating Iraqi forces.
Popularity of this Belgian long gun in the Middle East has meant widespread use of it by ISIS forces.
Like the AK-47, the Dragunov SVD became available in large numbers to Soviet allies during the Cold War with local copies following in some countries (like Iraq).
The "Romanian Dragunov" has also found its way into the hands of ISIS fighting forces.
ISIS has reportedly earned itself an unknown number of newer weapons like the Mk 14 EBR DMR from the United States.
The local production copy of the Soviet SVD semi-automatic sniper rifle became the Al-Qadissiya Tabuk Designated Marksman Rifle.
A century of exposure has not dampened the respect earned by this classic Russian Empire-era bolt-action service rifle.
By way of Croatia, the RBG-6 is the local Croatian copy of the South African Milkor MGL Y2 six-shot 40mm system.
John Browning's last pistol design can still be found in far-off parts of the world today.