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Erbil, Kurdistan Region – The Islamic State radical group (IS/ISIS) continued Friday with the construction of its fortifications on the outskirts of Mosul city, in northern Iraq.
The group has started earlier this month with a project of fortifying the city of Mosul, where their main headquarters are based, under the banner “Caliphate’s Wall”.
The so-called “Caliphate’s Wall” includes digging a deep trench around the city, in preparation for sudden ground attacks by the Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army.
Local sources inside Mosul told ARA News (on the condition of anonymity) that the group is facing tremendous difficulties for completing this work, “as the Peshmerga forces constantly bomb the IS-manned vehicles used by the group for digging the trench around the city”.
“The Kurdish Peshmerga forces are targeting the group’s vehicles in order to hinder their work on the so-called Caliphate’s Wall, after receiving information about the project,” the sources mentioned.
Local construction workers from the city of Mosul have been forcibly engaged in the IS-led project, under the pretext that such a fortification is aimed at protecting civilians living under the rule of the extremist group in Mosul.
Speaking to ARA News in Mosul, Samir Watban, a human rights activist, said that the group is mainly working at night on the digging of the trench in the suburbs of Mosul, “after the workers faced mounting difficulties when their construction vehicles were working in the daytime, as the Peshmerga artillery repeatedly targeted them and destroyed at least three vehicles last week”.
“The work on the IS-led project is being conducted in coordination with the group’s local leaders who utilized convicted people for the work,” Watban said.
“The prisoners, who were detained on charges of smoking or quarrels, spend part of their sentences under the supervision of engineers and former employees working in the IS-led trench,” the source told ARA News.
On February, 2015, the Peshmerga forces arrived to the outskirts of the city of Mosul, in northern Iraq, which is under the Islamic State’s control, amid preparations for storming the city with support of the U.S.-led international coalition. However, the zero-hour has not been specified yet by the joint forces to storm the city of Mosul.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News