United States warplanes have dropped 40 tonnes of explosives on an island in northern Iraq to wipe out a hideout believed to be occupied by members of the Islamic State (IS).
F-15 and F-35 fighter jets were used in the joint operation which targeted Qanus Island in the Tigris River which was carried out by US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service.
Footage of the attack on IS which is also known as Daesh and ISIS was released by the coalition in a tweet, saying: “Here’s what it looks like when @USAFCENT #F15 and #F35 jets drop 36,000 kg of bombs on a Daesh infested island.”
A video footage of the onslaught showed the island lit up as several dozens of bombs were dropped in quick succession, creating large explosions which unleashed huge plumes of fire and smoke into the sky.
Soldiers and military vehicles could also be seen on the ground.
Based on the footage, the island did not appear to be inhabited, but areas on either side of the river, on the mainland, appeared to be settled. It is however not clear if civilians were moved before the attack.
Follow-up ground clearance operations are currently being led by the 2nd Iraqi Special Operations Forces Battalion to destroy a major transit hub for IS fighters who are moving from Syria and the Jazeera desert into Mosul, Makhmour and the Kirkuk region.