How ISIS is using scorched earth tactics as it retreats

The Washington Post reports: Satellite imagery of the current operations by Iraqi forces to retake Mosul reveal how the Islamic State can inflict damage even when the militant group is on the run.

Iraqi forces began the operation to retake Mosul on Oct. 16, with forces advancing from the south along the Tigris River and from the east with the goal of retaking the outskirts of the city before beginning a block-by-block clearing of the largest city still held by the Islamic State in Iraq.

Imagery from the past week reveals front-line fires near the city as well as two large industrial fires that were set off by the Islamic State as the militants retreated from those positions. The black smoke is from the Qayyarah oil field, which burned for over four months, and the white smoke that begins on Oct. 20 is from a sulphur plant in Mishraq that was retaken by Iraqi forces within days of the start of the operation. [Continue reading…]

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