Apocalyptic scenes as fleeing ISIS fighters bomb Iraqi town's pipelines leaving rivers of oil an

The Islamic militants are being pushed further and further back by Iraqi solders, 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.

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.

The Iraq military's official Twitter account posted images of the aftermath, showing the streets of Qayyara 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.

Abdel Aziz Saleh, a 25-year-old Qayyara resident told Reuters: "They are suffocating us.

"The birds, the animals are black, the people are black. Gas rains down on us at night. Now the gas has reached the residential areas."

Some have claimed the oil has seeped into the nearby Tigres River, although the Iraq oil ministry denies this.

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 neighbouring 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.

( Source )

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