US jets smashed an island ISIS was using 'like a hotel' and troops found rockets and bombs stashed in caves

F-15E Strike Eagle Iraq

  • A September 10 strike on Iraq's Qanus Island killed an estimated 25 Islamic State (ISIS) fighters, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) told Insider.
  • The fighters were using the island "like a hotel," stopping for one or two nights on their way from Syria to Iraq, a CTS commander said.
  • US Air Force F-35 Lightning II and F-15 Strike Eagles carried out the attack, dropping 80,000 pounds of ordnance on the island. Iraqi CTS soldiers then swept the island, finding a weapons cache that included rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPGs), several rockets, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
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On September 10, US Air Force F-15 Strike Eagles and F-35 Lightning II aircraft dropped 80,000 pounds of ordnance on 37 targets on Qanus Island in Iraq's Tigris River. Approximately 25 Islamic State (ISIS) fighters were killed in the operation, according to Sabah Al-Numaan, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS).

Al-Numaan told Insider that US aircraft hit 37 targets, "trenches and caves," on the island ISIS fighters were using as a stopoff on the way into Iraq from Syria. The island, which has thick vegetation, was "like a hotel for Daesh," Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi, commander of the Iraqi CTS told Insider, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. Advertisement

Lt. Gen. Al-Saadi said that US drones had provided surveillance data for the secret operation, and that there were no civilians on the island.

Read more: Trump wants US troops out of Afghanistan. The biggest winner may be ISIS's surging, bloodthirsty faction there
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Qanus air strikes

Part of Qanus Island was destroyed in the airstrike, Al-Numaan, the CTS spokesperson told Insider. "The important [thing is] that Daesh lose this area and they cannot use [it]."Advertisement

ISIS has ramped up its presence in Iraq and Syria since the US drew down troop presence in Syria and decreased its diplomatic presence in Iraq. Although President Donald Trump proclaimed that ISIS's caliphate was completely defeated at a July cabinet meeting, there are still an estimated 14,000 to 18,000 ISIS fighters. Combatants in Iraq and Syria continue to carry out suicide bombings, crop burnings, and assassinations.

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