News Column

A look into life in Mosul under ISIL's control

June 14, 2014



Mosul residents talk about their fears for the future.

By Hajer M'tiri & Kheder Khalat 

MOSUL, Iraq 

Three days have passed since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters captured Mosul, as the residents of the city are unable to hide their fears for the future amid rising commodity prices and poor services.

On Tuesday, ISIL militants along with other armed groups captured Mosul as the Iraqi army withdrew hours before. The scenario was repeated in the city of Tikrit --140 kilometers northwest of Baghdad -- and other cities.

Since then, more than 300,000 Mosul residents have fled the city, mostly to the Kurdish-populated parts of the country, where they are hosted in refugee camps.

Sarah, a resident of Mosul who works at a state-owned bank, describes the situation in the city as "mysterious," adding: "The security situation is stabile for the moment. There have been no acts of looting, but everyone awaits the subsequent days."

Sarah, who just returned to her home on Friday after she left for two days to one of the neighboring towns, said: "We began to notice an increase in the prices of goods such as fuel, cooking gas, vegetables and bread. Prices of other daily goods are expected to increase as well."

She said that drinking water and electricity were absent in some neighborhoods, despite adding that the situation was "generally acceptable."

"The shops are open, the selling and purchase is almost normal, daily needed merchandise are available, and militants are warning the sellers and traders against manipulating the prices or they will be punished," said Sarah

Ammar, a shopkeeper in the Tahrir neighborhood northwest of Mosul, says that Mosul residents have developed "mixed feelings" since ISIL militants took control of the city.

"Since they came, we have never heard any sound of explosions, car bombs or shotgun unlike before (...) All the roads are open now as the militants lifted all concrete blocks placed by Iraqi troops in the past," said Ammar.

"We can now have access to any place easily unlike the past when the Iraqi army hindered our movements in a suffocating way under the pretext of fighting terrorism."

Walking in the streets of Mosul, you can notice that concrete blocks, walls, barricades and checkpoints which were placed by Iraqi army and security forces are all gone.

"This sense of freedom is mixed with a sense of fear for the future. We don't know yet what will be the reaction of the Iraqi army in the next few days. We are afraid that battles will occur inside the city, yet most of our fears emanate from Iraqi Air Force raids."

On Thursday, the Iraqi state television broadcast video footages of Iraqi Air Force bombing the Base Ghazlani in the south of Mosul.

The population of Mosul is estimated to be 1,800,000, with nearly 500,000 having been displaced since the beginning of the crisis.

Hundreds of Iraqi people have been killed in the country in the recent clashes, and nearly 300,000 others have been displaced to the provinces of Dohuk and Erbil in the Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq, according to the UN.

www.aa.com.tr/en


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Source: Anadolu Agency (Turkey)


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