ERBIL – The radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) started a project on the Syria-Iraq border aimed at opening a highway linking Mosul in northwestern Iraq to Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa in northeastern Syria, local sources reported on Saturday.
The move comes after the Kurdish Peshmerga forces took over the strategic Yezidi region of Sinjar (Shingal), cutting-off the supply lines between ISIS-held areas in Syria and Iraq.
Speaking to ARA News in Mosul, journalist Abdullah al-Mulla said that ISIS has moved dozens of workers, engineers, technicians and engineering vehicles from the municipalities of Mosul and Tal Afar to the district of al-Baaj on the Syrian border.
“ISIS wants to renovate the road connecting the district with Sufuk police outpost, after losing the road between Sinjar in northern Iraq and Syria’s al-Hawl and Raqqa to the Kurdish Peshmerga and allied local fighters,” he added.
Al-Mulla pointed out that Mosul is experiencing an acute shortage of food amid unprecedented rise of prices as a result of the Peshmerga’s control of the highway.
Last week, warplanes of the U.S-led coalition targeted some 116 ISIS oil tankers coming from the Iraqi province of Nineveh to al-Bukamal and al-Mayadeen east of Deir ez-Zor in Syria, paralyzing traffic in the area.
“The new ISIS-held highway is also expected to connect the group’s major stronghold Raqqa with Deir ez-Zor. The trucks take their way from Deir ez-Zor to Hasakah reaching al-Sour down to Sufuk outpost on the border with Iraq, and finally reaching al-Baaj and Tal Afar,” an ISIS-linked informed source told ARA News on the condition of anonymity.
The source concluded that the trapped people in Mosul and other districts in northern Iraq receive fuel and medicines that come from Turkey and Syria.
“The gas comes from the Syrian regions, while food products and clothing come from Turkey,” the source added.
ISIS took over Mosul in mid-June 2014. Since then, the northwestern Iraqi city has been besieged by the Kurdish forces and Iraqi government troops. Mosul currently depends on the goods and basic supplies that enter from Syria and Turkey.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News
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