The Black Skies of Al Qayyarah
December 15, 2016
by Paolo Pellegrin
After the recapture of Qayyara by US backed Iraqi military forces last summer, ISIS fighters have been setting oil fields ablaze leaving a vast toxic cloud over Mosul and surrounding towns.
Engineers estimate that 5,000 barrels of oil are burning every day in an attempt by ISIS fighters to defend Mosul from advancing Iraqi forces by obscuring the view from the sky for Coalition warplanes.
As a result of this strategy by the Islamic State to defend Mosul, the largest city it controls, thousands of families are left suffering from fumes damaging lungs and throat.
Paolo Pellegrin photographed the burning landscapes.
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