Starving ISIS defenders who have surrendered or been captured in the siege of Raqqa have shown signs of using amphetamines to stay in what is described as a “brutal fight” for the Syrian city, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday.
The ISIS fighters taken into custody recently by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and questioned by “coalition” advisers have been malnourished and emaciated, with track marks on their arms.
The SDF, a mix of Arab and Kurdish fighters, and advisers who have seen detainees with “pocked needle marks” on their arms have concluded ISIS fighters are using amphetamines to boost their “murderous fervor,” said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
“Those are the signs we assessed to be amphetamine,” he said.
In a phone briefing to the Pentagon from Baghdad, Dillon said the initial reports from Raqqa, the so-called capital of the ISIS caliphate, are the first he has heard of ISIS fighters “using some sort of drugs to keep them alert and keep them going.”