MOSUL, Iraq, May 7 (UPI) -- The Islamic State is apparently operating a luxury hotel previously known as the Ninawa International Hotel in Mosul, Iraq.
Two black Islamic State flags are presented outside of the multi-story, 262-room hotel, according to images circulating around social media accounts affiliated to the militant group.
In the images, men are seen performing maintenance tasks such as gardening and polishing floors. The Ninawa International Hotel had positive reviews on the website TripAdvisor before the city and hotel were overtaken by the Islamic State.
Mosul is Iraq's second-largest city. The hotel has two restaurants, two ballrooms, a gymnasium and a pool. There are also images showing an apparent grand-opening event held May 1. The event was free for Muslims and images show people gathering around pools and a night-time fireworks display.
The opening of the hotel could be a propaganda tool used by the group to suggest the bombing campaign led by the United States has not destabilized the group.
"I think the message the propagandists are trying to portray is that if the coalition is really causing damage then Isis wouldn't be able to host gala dinners with fireworks at a luxury hotel," Charlie Winter, researcher for the Quilliam counter-extremism think tank, told The Independent.
The U.S. Department of State is offering rewards of up to $20 million for information regarding four key leaders of the Islamic State. The militant Islamist group reportedly executed as many as 600 Yazidi people near Mosul on Friday in group's latest show of force.