The Pentagon released a video Tuesday highlighting continuing anti-ISIS operations in Iraq at a time there's a major push gaining momentum in Iraq's parliament for American forces to finally exit the country.
After multiple alleged Israeli airstrikes on pro-Iranian paramilitary bases in an around Baghdad over the past months, tensions within the US-Iraqi coalition are at a boiling point, especially as the US command stands accused of "looking the other way" while its close ally Israel mounts unprecedented drone operations over Iraq's sovereign airspace.
So the Pentagon is desperate to show it's presence can be justified at a moment of the coalition's most intense scrutiny in years, also as some US politicians question the continuing military presence there.
It announced Tuesday American warplanes dropped 40 tons of bombs on an ISIS "infested" island in the Tigris River, and released video of the massive carpet bombing operation:
"Here's what it looks like when USAF CENTCOM F15 and F35 jets drop 36,000Kg of bombs on a Daesh infested island," the US coalition announced on twitter, publishing a highly edited, slick video set to dramatic music.
The video crucially showed Iraqi officers and coalition partners looking on the mass bombing of the island approvingly. Again, this was no doubt meant to signal Baghdad officials and the Iraqi population just as much as it was meant for the West.
Specifically, the bombing took place on Qanus Island in the central province of Salaheddine, which lies just north of the capital Baghdad.
While ISIS sleeper cells are still active in Iraq and semi-frequently mount small-scale bomb attacks on Iraqi forces, the Islamic State is ultimately considered annihilated and now a completely "underground" insurgent entity.