With No food or fuel reaching distressed Mosul in nearly a week and the onset of rain and cold weather threatens a tough winter for more than a million people still in areas of the city still held by terror group ISIS, residents said on Saturday.
A trader in Mosul, speaking by telephone, said no new food or fuel supplies had reached the city since Sunday.
“We’ve been living under a real state of siege for a week,” said one resident of west Mosul, several kilometers from the frontline neighborhoods on the east bank of the Tigris river.
“Two days ago the electricity generator supplying the neighborhoods stopped working because of lack of fuel. Water is cut and food prices have risen and it’s terribly cold. We fear the days ahead will be much worse.”
Iraqi troops waging a six-week-old offensive against the militants controlling Mosul have advanced into eastern city districts, while other forces have sealed Mosul’s southern and northern approaches and 10 days ago blocked the road west.
But advances have been hampered by waves of counter-attacks from the ultra-hardline Islamists who have controlled the city since mid-2014 and built a network of tunnels in preparation for their defense of north Iraq’s largest city.
The slow progress means the campaign is likely to drag on throughout the winter, and has prompted warnings from aid groups that civilians face a near complete siege in the coming months.