(Comic in the cosmic sense. Not for the people affected in Iraq.)
ABC News reports that hundreds of ISIS fighters walked into a city that days earlier had had thousands of Iraqi troops: “Ramadi Fell to ISIS Fighters Even Though They Were ‘Vastly Outnumbered’ by Iraqi Troops”
The pullout of the Iraqi counterterrorism unit from Ramadi first appeared in the Kurdish news agency Rudaw. The departure of that elite unit led other Iraqi military commanders in the city to order the departure of their troops even though they held a significant numerical superiority, the U.S. official said.
According to the anonymous Kurdish commander interviewed by Rudaw (linked above), the well-armed, American-created Special Ops unit began disappearing from Ramadi in the lead-up to the ISIS takeover. The Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq had not ordered the withdrawal and was not informed of it until the other units began calling it in and asking what was going on.
And in an eerie echo of the fall of Mosul 11 months before:
They pulled out so fast that in most cases they left their vehicles intact with their weapons and ammunition inside. […] By the evening of that day, most of the soldiers of the Special Operations had fled. Even the personal guards of the commander took with them their six Humvees and left the commander alone.
All the other units that remained were vastly less well-equipped to withstand an ISIS assault and felt they had little choice but to retreat hastily.
We torched what we couldn’t carry to prevent it from falling to ISIS. […] At 6pm, I was still inside the city stadium. When I realized it was all lost we pulled out, too. Along the way out of Ramadi I caught up with the force that had withdrawn earlier. There were 600-700 vehicles filled with soldiers, police officers and their families.