A suspected ISIS fanatic was blown up in a massive airstrike – for wrenching an Iraqi flag out of the ground. Aerial footage shows a man walking towards a flag in the desert outside war-torn west Mosul, the front line in the battle between the terror group and government forces. As he attempts to lift it out of the ground, a huge explosion destroys a truck parked nearby, sending a huge cloud of black smoke into the air.
According to Al Arabiya, which obtained the video, the suspected militant is then targeted in a second strike not shown in the clip. It is not yet clear when the footage was captured or who exactly launched the strike.
But a source told the website that a jihadist had tried to remove the flag close to an area controlled by the Iraqi Army. Other militants were afraid to approach his body amid fears they too would be targeted, Al Arabiya reports.
Separate footage appears to show a man lying next to a weapon in the desert before he too is taken out in a blast.
It comes just days after ISIS shot down an Iraqi helicopter operating over Mosul and as security forces announced they had recaptured another neighbourhood in their nearly six-month-old offensive against the jihadist stronghold.
The operation to retake west Mosul – which the helicopter was supporting when it was downed – has become a slow, grinding battle that has taken a heavy toll on civilians and pushed more than 200,000 to flee.