US warplanes have dropped 36 tonnes of explosives on an island in the north of Iraq they say was “infested” with ISIS fighters.
The joint operation between US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service targeted Qanus Island yesterday.
In a statement, the Operation Inherent Resolve joint task force said the island was a “major transport hub” for ISIS members moving from Syria and the Jazeera desert into Iraq.
The coalition released footage of the bombardment in a tweet.
VIDEO: Here’s what it looks like when @USAFCENT #F15 and #F35 jets drop 36,000 Kg of bombs on a Daesh infested island. 🛩💥 هكذا تبدوا الجزيرة الموبوءة بداعش بعد أن أسقطت عليها الطائرات المقاتلة #أف-15 و #أف-35 36,000 كغم من الذخيرة pic.twitter.com/2v6FAEL9Rn
— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) September 10, 2019
The footage shows aerial views of the mile-and-a-half-long island as dozens of bombs landed leaving huge plumes of fire and smoke.
Major General Eric T Hill, the joint task force commander, said the attack aimed to deny ISIS “the ability to hide on Qanus Island.”
“We’re setting the conditions for our partner forces to continue bringing stability to the region.”
The footage shows no sign of any buildings or habitation on the island; however the joint task force said the 80,000 pounds of bombs would affect fighters’ ability to hide in thick vegetation.
It said coalition forces would continue with ground clearance operations to destroy and remaining ISIS targets on the island.
The terror group has been tied to a number of attacks in Iraq since US President Donald Trump said coalition forces had “liberated virtually all of the territory” it previously held.
Yesterday’s bombardment came as President Trump said he had sacked his National Security Adviser John Bolton. Mr Bolton said he had resigned.