Mosul braced for attack as Islamic State cut off city’s communications

The destroyed 14th century mosque to the Prophet Jirjis in central Mosul, Iraq Photo: AP Photo

Islamic State jihadists in the Iraqi city of Mosul are preparing for an assault from government forces by cutting phone lines and banning residents from fleeing the city.

Residents and refugees from Iraq’s second-largest city have told the Daily Telegraph how conditions have deteriorated, as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant comes under increasing pressure from a government fightback.

“You have to bring a guarantor to say you will come back in ten days,” said Ghazwan, a Mosul resident recently arrived in Baghdad. He asked for his full name to be withheld. “If you don’t come back, they are punished.”

He said he discovered this new rule when a friend could not bring his mother to Baghdad for an operation and she died. “People are trying to leave Mosul,” he said. “They closed the hospitals because they have no electricity or water.”

The decision to impose restrictions on residents who wish to leave the city has not been explained but appears to be an attempt to stop mass flight…