The US has released a video of a devastating airstrike against an ISIS target in Iraq’s second-largest city.
In a press release on Wednesday, US Central Command said that the video depicted a May 4 coalition strike against “ISIS fighting positions” near Mosul, the most populous city in ISIS’s self-declared caliphate.
The strike on Mosul comes during an ambiguous stretch in the now-9-month-old coalition military operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS has attempted to make advances in the face of aerial opposition. ISIS is threatening to take the Baiji oil refinery, one of the most important oil facilities in northern Iraq. In April, the group mounted an offensive on Ramadi, just outside of Baghdad.
Despite CENTCOM’s February claim that there would be an attempt to take the city sometime this spring, there’s also little indication that a ground assault against ISIS in Mosul is coming anytime soon.
At the same time, ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reportedly injured in a US airstrike, while second-ranking ISIS figure Abu Alaa al-Afri was reportedly killed earlier this week (although CENTCOM has stated that they cannot confirm this).
ISIS may have just opened a luxury hotel in Mosul, but the group is increasingly vulnerable after losing both its top leadership and its hold on a number of cities, including recently liberated Tikrit.
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