ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A US military official said on Saturday that the Islamic State (IS) had built a “hell on earth” around themselves to prevent the advance of the Iraqi security forces in Mosul, northern Iraq.
The spokesperson for the US-led coalition Col. John Dorrian stated the jihadist group had dug trenches and put “T-walls” around Mosul to slow down the advance of the Iraqi security forces toward the city.
“Essentially, they’ve built a hell on Earth around themselves, and they’re going to be in that whenever the Iraqi security forces come in there and push them out,” Dorrian said.
He also mentioned the extremist group had poured oil inside and around the city with the intent to start a fire when the Mosul offensive begins.
The coalition warplanes often target IS bases in different parts of Iraq, particularly in Mosul.
The group burns oil and tires to create thick black smoke over the city to block the view from overhead, making it challenging for coalition jets to identify the insurgents’ movement and locations.
IS occupied Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in June 2014 after the Iraqi army abandoned the city and fled to the Kurdistan Region, leaving their weapons behind.
The city has become the capital of IS’ so-called caliphate and Iraqi security forces along with Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers, with the support of coalition warplanes, aim to launch a military operation by the end of 2016.
Recently, the Secretary-General of the Peshmerga Ministry Jabar Yawar told Kurdistan24 preparations for the Mosul offensive are nearly complete, including military, advisory, logistical, and aerial support.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany