We recently came across this interesting article on Bellingcat which is about the use of environmental damage as a weapon of war in Iraq. As the Islamic State (IS) is being pushed back, they are setting light to oil wells, pouring oil on the streets and in trenches and setting light to it and also setting light to other industrial products such as sulphur.
The article features some Landsat imagery showing the plumes of smoke. Landsat imagery is freely available, and we have in the past created a KML file that can make animations with Landsat imagery. If you download the KML file and view the animation for the area around Mosul, Iraq, you can clearly see the smoke in the last few images. Also of note, you can see some smoke from a previous event in an image from August 2014 to the north west of Mosul. We have also created animations using Sentinel 2 imagery, which you can download here.
The animations above are created using low resolution thumbnails provided on Amazon Web Services (AWS). To see some high resolution imagery, we downloaded the most recent Landsat-8 image and processed it with GIMP using a method similar to the one described here and here.
The result can be seen below:
Landsat 8 image from October 20th, 2016. Note the sulphur fire marked with an arrow. The black smoke is from oil fires.
For comparison, we also downloaded a Sentinel 2 image from September 14th 2016.
Sentinel 2 image from September 14th 2016. This is before the sulphur fire was started. Copernicus Sentinel Data, 2016.
See the above images in Google Earth, download this KML file.
The Bellingcat article also features an image of the sulphur fire from Planet Labs.