Daesh remnants had been using the bombed island as “a hotel” or transit hub on their way from Iraq to Syria and back, according to US and Iraqi military officials.
Satellite images of Qanus Island in the Euphrates River, Iraq taken by the company Planet Labs have surfaced online, revealing that the majority of its vegetation was wiped out in a recent carpet bombing conducted by US F-16s and F-35s. Judging by the photos, around 70% of the so-called “Daesh*-infested island” was annihilated in the air raid targeting terrorist base.
#PT: there the @planetlabs image of the post-strike site at Qanus/Ganus island in #Iraq, clearly showing the burning of bushes in the northern part after the strike, and old and new impact craters. Areas has been targeted before going by historical images pic.twitter.com/3w7PzKrVQH
— Wim Zwijnenburg (@wammezz) September 10, 2019
However, senior researcher at the Dutch NGO PAX, Wim Zwijnenburg, said in an interview with Fox News that images of the island taken before the bombing don’t indicate the presence of any structures, either on the surface or underground.
The island received its nickname because it was used by Daesh* fighters as a transit hub or as a “hotel” when they were travelling to Syria from Iraq and back, according to a spokesperson for the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service. The bombing claimed lives of around 25 terrorists, to the spokesperson said.
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
Earlier, the official Twitter account of the US anti-Daesh* coalition (Operation Inherent Resolve, or OIR) released footage showing the carpet bombing of Qanus Island. According to a statement by an OIR spokesperson, some 36,000 kilogrammes of bombs were dropped on the island.
The US declared victory over Daesh* in April 2019 after the terrorist group, which once threatened the entire region, lost its last sliver of land in Syria. Despite this, however, American troops remain in the region and are continuing operations against the remnants of the group.
The US military coalition has been fighting Daesh* since August 2014 in cooperation with some regional militant groups, consisting primarily of Kurds. Russia launched its own campaign against terrorist groups in Syria in cooperation with the Syrian government in Damascus in September 2015, eventually helping the authorities drive them out of most of the country’s regions.