With US and Iraqi officials having spent a solid year hyping the eventual invasion of the major city of Mosul, ISIS has had ample time to prepare, and to set up obstacles around the area. A complex system of moats already looked to be a hassle, and now Pentagon officials say ISIS is filling it with oil to set on fire.
Col. John Dorrian, a Pentagon spokesman, claimed ISIS is preparing “hell on earth” in Mosul, The fires would not only complicate an offensive by an Iraqi military with limited experience, but would obstruct the views from US spy planes over the area.
The oil fires to come are just part of the problem, however, as the current oil fires burning in the area around Qayara, which US and Iraqi forces are trying to set up as the base of operations for the offensive, are already such a problem that they threaten to derail the fall offensive on their own.
Officials are accusing ISIS of having set the fires around Qayara, filling the air with smoke and posing health risks for the troops deployed there. Until it’s under control, the planned 350,000 refugees Qayara is supposed to absorb won’t be able to go there.