Mosul completely surrounded by Iraqi-led troops, paramilitary forces say

Updated 4:49 AM EST, Thu November 24, 2016

Story highlights

ISIS video propagandist killed in airstrike

Supply route to Raqqa in Syria cut off

Irbil, Iraq CNN —  

Mosul is now entirely surrounded by Iraqi-led forces, an alliance of paramilitary groups said Wednesday, more than a month since the operation was launched to seize control of the key city from ISIS militants.

The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) made the announcement in a statement that was also distributed by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.

Iraqi troops entered the city of Mosul on November 3.
AFP
Iraqi troops entered the city of Mosul on November 3.

The development marks the tightest chokehold the Iraq-led coalition has had on Mosul so far, cutting off crucial supply routes and containing ISIS fighters.

At the same time, Iraqi forces are in Mosul in a bloody street-by-street offensive to retake the group’s last significant stronghold in Iraq. They entered the city proper on November 3.

The PMU said the crucial Mosul-Raqqa route had finally been shut.

ISIS had been able to send resources from its heartland, Raqqa in Syria – including fighters, suicide squads and explosives – to Mosul through this route. It was also used as an escape route for senior ISIS members and their families, who fled Mosul for Syria, civilians have told CNN.

ISIS propagandist killed

Meanwhile, the purported ISIS minister of information for the province of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, was killed in an Iraqi airstrike Tuesday, according to a statement by Iraq’s Joint Operations Command on Wednesday.

The statement said the so-called minister, Ziyad Kharufa, was responsible for all of ISIS’ propaganda videos and images in the province. Kharufa’s funeral procession was held Wednesday in western Mosul under very restricted security measures, the statement added.