Brutal ISIS terrorists resemble trained army - CBS 5 - KPHO

Brutal ISIS terrorists resemble trained army

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ISIS militants are improved fighters and better trained than past terrorist groups, experts said.  (Source: CNN) ISIS militants are improved fighters and better trained than past terrorist groups, experts said. (Source: CNN)
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(CNN) - ISIS forces have quickly seized control of large amounts of Iraqi territory by using disciplined military tactics and brutality.

They're ferocious and relentless, capturing huge swaths of territory at a time.

ISIS is unlike any other terror group on the battlefield.

"This is not your father's al-Qaida,” said Iraq combat veteran Douglas Ollivant.

The old militant tactics: Hit-and-runs, ambushes, roadside bombs.

When other terrorist groups went to battle against well-trained armies they were often wiped out.

Ollivant says ISIS is much more disciplined than militant forces of the past, with good unit-commanders, better tactics.

"But for the black flags, this could be a platoon of American Army soldiers or Marines circa 2004 or 2005. Moving in formation, soldiers throughout the column. We can see the crew-served weapons, the machine guns in the vehicles that they can use to establish a base of fire,” Olivant said.

Training is a big difference with ISIS, analysts say.

They're getting help with that from outside.

"They also now have been bolstered by a significant number of Chechen fighters who have joined their ranks. Also foreign fighters from across the Arab world, some with significant experience in urban warfare,” said Paul Cruickshank, a terrorism analyst.

What also makes ISIS dangerous on the battlefield: The way they get the most from their arsenal.

"Some of it is more primitive like this tank. But perversely the more primitive the equipment they capture, the more likely they are to be able to use it, to maintain it. Simpler is better in their case. Mobile artillery pieces, other pieces of captured armored vehicles. We see several of them here,” Olivant said pointing to a video. 

A warning: You're about to see some disturbing video.

ISIS units often win before they get to the battlefield because of this.

Horrific propaganda videos show ISIS militants summarily executing captured opponents - shooting them in ditches.

Displaying the severed heads of their enemies on poles, in the middle of city circles.

"When it comes to ISIS, it's not about what they're capable of, but it's what people fear they're capable of which gives them this advantage and they've had a very deliberate strategy of terrorizing the Iraqi military,” Cruickshank said.

Experts say Iraqi soldiers who've seen these videos often quit, and run, before the battle starts.

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