(IraqiNews.com) Nineveh – Mosul residents revealed that ISIS dug a trench around the city, in preparation for an expected attack from the Iraqi army and the US-led coalition forces, and surrounded the city with oil tanks, to be set on fire and halt the advance of the Iraqi army.
ISIS is also digging tunnels underneath Mosul to stop the army’s advance and shut down some neighborhoods, in addition to planting bombs and improvised explosive devices.
The attack on the city, which ISIS captured two years ago, is planned for next month. It would mark a major turning point in the fight against ISIS.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US-led coalition General Joe Dunford said, “We assess today that the Iraqis will have in early October all the forces marshaled, trained, fielded, equipped that are necessary for operations in Mosul.”
Meanwhile, an Iraqi army official told media, “Suicide attacks are possible during the push into Mosul,” adding that, “ISIS are prepared to fight to the last man in order to keep control over Mosul and that the preparations they are making will make the clash challenging.”
“Besides challenging, it’s likely to take its toll on the civilian population of Mosul, which was around two million people at the time ISIS took over,” he added.
Earlier this week the Iraqi forces launched an offensive to liberate Sharqat from the ISIS control, which is seen as an important step before launching the liberation battles of Mosul.