Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State is blocking escape routes to Syria for its fighters and have imposed new taxes on civilians in Mosul to finance its fights against security forces, according to local sources.
A local source told Alsumaria News that Islamic State militants were “surprised” to find they were being denied exit from Mosul to the group’s Syria stronghold town of Raqqa. “IS has issued a surprise decision totally halting departures by its elements from mosul to Raqqa for whatever reason,” said the source, who attributed the measure to an increase in members fleeing to Syria.
Another source told the network that the extremist group imposed new monthly taxes on cab drivers at regions under its control as means ensure extra financial resources to pay the delayed salaries of its militants group. The source revealed that violators were threatened with punishment.
Operations by Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led international military coalition, have managed, since mid October, to drive IS out of the whole of the eastern section of Mosul. Troops are awaiting orders to start a ground invasion of the IS-held west, which is close to the group’s pockets in Syria.
Islamic State has reportedly suffered severe losses in personnel and finances over the past few months of battles, and reportedly punished delinquent fighters with either demotion or execution.