The Wall Street Journal has written a report based on six interviews with Mosul residents describing life in the city under the rule of the so called “Islamic State”.
In the report, citizens describe a Taliban like rule of brutality enacted upon those who are seen to transgress against the highly austere interpretation of Islam advocated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
This is evidently a grim situation for the majority of residents.
The city was once a major retirement destination for officers in the former regime, often misleadingly described as “secular” but still comparatively progressive compared to ISIL.
For example, for much of the history of the Ba’ath regime, at least until the late 1980s, womens’ rights were a feature of their ideology.
Not so for ISIL. Furthermore, the banning of smoking and even remotely Western like practices is not proving popular in the city.
Services such as health and electricity have also atrophied.
Hospitals are critically short of medicine and electricity is down to a couple of hours a day, from being available for most of the day.
The article ends by speculating that Mosul residents may be organizing to rise up, possibly with the outside help of governor Atheel al-Nujaifi.
However, their prospects of success without significant outside help are slim.
By John Lee.