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Air raid silences IS radio station in Iraq's Mosul Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Air raid silences IS radio station in Iraq's Mosul

Iraqi forces this week reached Mosul's southernmost bridge [Twitter]

Date of publication: 28 February, 2017

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An air raid has destroyed an IS-operated radio station in Mosul as security forces advance into the west of the flashpoint Iraqi city.

An air raid has destroyed an Islamic State group-run radio station in Mosul as security forces advance into the west of the flashpoint Iraqi city.

Al-Bayan radio suddenly fell silent on Saturday after its office was hit by an air raid, Iraqi security sources and an anti-IS activist told The New Arab.

"The radio station's transmitter was struck, rendering it completely out of service. This means IS has lost its last media outlet in the city," activist Qusay al-Mosuli said.

Al-Bayan ("The Statement") was launched in Iraq and Syria in early 2015 to broadcast news bulletins about IS victories, world news regarding the war against the group and the sermons of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It aired programming to Mosul citizens in Arabic, Kurdish, English, French, and Russian.

Last October, the radio station was bombed out of operation after Iraqi warplanes targeted the media outlet's headquarters.

It is believed that the station went back on air before being targeted again.

Security specialist Jasim al-Shammari explained that IS had used the station as a tool to "brainwash" people in Mosul after the extremists banned access to satellite television and the internet.

"IS tried to isolate locals from the outside world by banning other sources of information in order to prevent dissent," Shammari said.

Also this month, US air raids destroyed IS' "Voice of the Caliphate" radio in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan.

Iraqi forces reached Mosul's southernmost bridge on Monday, a key strategic location in the city, as they continue to battle IS militants positioned on the west bank of the Tigris River.

Iraqi forces took control of the east bank of the city in January, with operations combatting IS in the city beginning in October 2016.

Current offensives follow on from Iraqi forces' liberation of the Mosul International Airport on Friday, during operations that facilitated current pushes into the west of the city.

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