e net is closing on Islamic State in Mosul. Iraqi forces and allied militants claim they've now cut off the city from other territory held by IS.
e coalition further tightening their grip Thursday, announcing that Kurdish and Shiite forces will now coordinate movements.
t Islamic State are still making their presence known, smoke blotting out the sun 60 kilometers south of the city.
As Islamic State retreated from this oil well in Qayara they set it on fire. Reuters correspondent John Davison is there amidst attempts to extinguish it.>> So these fires have been burning now since August. Now mechanical engineers have come to try and put the blazes out. They've already capped off a number of the wells but the work is very, very dangerous, partly because of the fires and the smoke that they're inhaling, and also because ISIS have actually sowed the area with land mines.
> It's a taste of the fight to come. This video claims to show Islamic State fighters seizing tents, ammunitions in a town north of Mosul. But Iraqi forces backed by US air power, now say they control the main approaches to the city. Thousands of Iraqi civilians are fleeing the town of Tal Afar, 60 kilometers to the west of the city, as Shiite militias close in.
The residents are Sunni Muslims so there are fears of sectarian violence. Humanitarian groups are particularly concerned about the people of Tel Afar. About half of the 3,000 families that have left have fled towards insurgent territory in Syria, beyond their help with no camps to be found. Nearly 70,000 people are registered displaced by the Mosul campaign.
Even in now freed territory, the cost of liberation is leaving its scars.