US carpet bombs 'Daesh-infested island' in Iraq

US carpet bombs 'Daesh-infested island' in Iraq
The US has used hundreds of kilos of explosives to destroy an island in Iraq, allegedly used as a hideout by IS.
2 min read
14 September, 2019
Qanus Island was targeted on Tuesday [US Air Force]

The US dropped 40 tonnes of bombs on a river island in Iraq this week, to flush out the last remnants of the Islamic State group that allegedly had established a base in the area.

IS militants had used the dense foliage of Qanus Island, an island on the Tigris River in Saladin province, as a launchpad for repeated attacks on Iraqi troops.

On Tuesday, US F-15 and F-35 fighter jets carpet struck the island, north of Baghdad, firing 40 one-tonne of precision-guided missiles in succession.

"Here's what it looks like when @USAFCENT #F15 and #F35 jets drop 36,000 Kg of bombs on a Daesh infested island," US-led Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III tweeted on Tuesday.

The video shows a densely forested island from the air, with a series of explosions ploughing through the trees and bushes.

Ground view footage also features, with Iraqi army officers watching over the strikes from a distance.

"We're denying Daesh the ability to hide on Qanus Island," Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill from Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release. "We're setting the conditions for our partner forces to continue bringing stability to the region."

Iraqi commandos crossed the river by boat to mop up after the air raids, but the lack of casualty reports indicate that the IS militants were few in number or had fled the island earlier, the Daily Beast suggested.

The website estimated that the assault cost around $1 million, with the planes flying out from a US base in the UAE to launch the strikes on the island.

IS launched a lightening offensive across Syria and Iraq in 2014, capturing key cities in the north of Iraq such as Mosul and moving close to Baghdad.

US-backed Kurdish and Iraqi government forces pushed the militants back, leading to their military defeat in the country late 2017.

Pockets of IS militants are thought to still exist in remote areas in Iraq and the Syrian Desert.