During 2008’s U.S. military “surge” in Iraq, U.S. troops defeated insurgent forces in Diyala Province. One of the items captured from the battle was the flag we now know today as that of the Islamic State aka ISIS.
The soldier pictured is Lt. Col. Rod Coffey and in his other hand is his signature cigar.
“There is little doubt in our minds that the enemy our unit fought and defeated that winter would eventually become part of the Islamic State.” he told the New York Times
This is fascinating since ISIS, which began as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) back in 2003, never gained much prominence or power until the U.S. withdrew from the area in 2011.
That being said, it is worth noting that the ruthless streak that ISIS has become known for was prominent within AQI – So much so that Al-Qaeda had them officially removed from their organization due to their unease at the amount of heinous bloodshed they sought.
This photo is now going viral and may go down in history as one of the most iconic images of the war on terror.
From Business Insider:
An ominous photo that an American soldier took during the Iraq War is shaping up to be one of the conflict’s most iconic images for the members of one US Army squadron, according to two veterans writing in The New York Times.
The photo shows Lt. Col. Rod Coffey holding a flag his unit captured after clearing insurgents from a location in Iraq’s Diyala Province.
Should we have caught on sooner to the rise of ISIS? Who is to blame? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!