Apocalyptic scenes as fleeing ISIS fighters bomb Iraqi town’s pipelines leaving rivers of oil and streets on fire

A boy stands near oil spill from wells, set ablaze by Islamic State militants before fleeing the oil-producing region of Qayyara, in Qayyara, Iraq
A boy stands near oil spill from wells, set ablaze by Islamic State militants before fleeing the oil-producing region of Qayyara, in Qayyara, Iraq

The Islamic militants are being pushed further and further back by Iraqi soldiers, but are leaving a trail of destruction as they retreat

Fleeing ISIS fighters tried to raze an Iraqi town to the ground by flooding the streets with oil and setting it alight.

A member of the Iraqi security forces stands with his weapon as fire and smoke rise from oil wells
A member of the Iraqi security forces stands with his weapon as fire and smoke rise from oil wells

The murderous jihadists had been forced to retreat from Qayyara by Iraqi soldiers, in the latest US-backed push towards Mosul in the north of the country.

But as they fled, ISIS bombed pipelines and set fire to nearby oil wells, creating an endless cloud of black smoke that blocked out the sun and left the town shrouded in darkness.

Fire rises from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants before fleeing Qayyara.
Fire rises from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants before fleeing Qayyara.

The Iraq military’s official Twitter account posted images of the aftermath, showing the streets of flooded with black oil, some of them on fire.

The apocalyptic scenes brought back imagery from the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when Iraqi military forces torched Kuwaiti oil wells while retreating from advancing coalition forces.

Smoke billows from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants before fleeing the oil-rich region of Qayyarah.
Smoke billows from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS militants before fleeing the oil-rich region of Qayyarah.

ISIS’ defeat in Qayyara and the burning of oil is significant, as the militants have relied heavily on controlling oil wells to finance their brutal military campaign.

The group used to ship at least 50 tanker truckloads a day from Qayyara and nearby Najma oilfields to neighboring Syria, Reuters reported.

The US-led coalition supporting Iraqi soldiers is aiming to recapture Mosul by the end of the year, effectively exterminating ISIS’ existence in Iraq.

However, some officials think the time frame is unrealistic.

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