Today, Mosul witnessed a reconciliation between Ansar Al-Sunnah group (legitimate authority) and ISIS through the sheikh [leader] of a tribe called Tai. This reconciliation ended a dispute and fighting which lasted over 4 years.
ISIS fighters are carrying laptops which contain a database of civil and military records. They are launching checkpoints around the city, asking for people’s IDs, looking for their “wanted” people.
Kurdistan closes its borders with Mosul using concrete blocks and prohibits anyone’s entrance after seizing 27Km towards Mosul’s administrative borders. Christian families return to Al-Hamdaniya and Qurqoosh following their displacement over the past two days.
ISIS put their flags over buildings which do not have any ISIS fighters inside, in order to mislead the military airplanes and drones. A state of panic is among people as a result of the closure of Kurdistan’s entrance zones in the face of the displaced people of Mosul. Anger and rage started showing among people against ISIS and the current miserable situation they are living.
Airstrikes with unmanned aircrafts miss the target and hits a building of Nineveh’s Health Department which is opposite to one of ISIS centres, occurred today’s dawn. Another airstrike occurred on the river’s side despite the absence of ISIS in that area which lead to the burning of shops.
Military aircraft is flying on a low altitude in Mosul’s air. There is growing fear of possible airstrikes which caused anxiety among people.
ISIS spreads their “ideological syllabus” under the title ‘this is our belief and this is our syllabus [way/approach]’ and it is stamped by the sentence ‘Printed in the printers of the Islamic State’. Their syllabus consisted takfirist belief and approach which is well known and there is no need to talk about it. However, the most dangerous section is the one which says that Al-Shiaas are considered as atheists, apostate fighters. It also considers secularism in all of its shapes (nationalism, patriotism, Ba’athism) beyond denomination and atheists. The weird about it is that it does not contain anything about Christians at all. It also focuses in one of its section on the necessity of fighting whom they called “apostates” before original “atheists”.
Al-Juma’a preach [yesterday] was strongly worded and semi-uniform across all Mosul’s mosques. The most prominent section of it was the concentration on the matter of obedience to the leader and obedience to ISIS as a necessity for the continuation of Al-Sharia’a governance, and whoever opposes this governance will expose themselves to the Legitimate Court as a “fighter” and opposer to the rule/governance of God.
One preacher, who is not considered as an ISIS member, justifies ISIS’ actions in the destruction of Mosul’s archaeological sites and monuments and he considers it to be a “blessed” operation.
“ISIS Visual Production” is being spread in centre of CDs and DVDs sale. They show ISIS military operation in Mosul, on their first days. The terrorists in these CDs/DVDs are from Bahrain and they talk about the reasons they came to Iraq and restricting these reasons to “fighting Shiaas”.
Armed men enter my Shiaa neighbour’s house who left his house two days after his return. They destroyed, sabotaged and messed with his belongings inside.
A state of resentment started showing among Mosul’s people against “ISIS” actions and people started talking about their desire to see a force from inside Mosul to govern the city militarily and administratively.
My own opinion, outside context: “ I don’t know how Mosul’s people think, in the same moment they support ISIS, then opposed it, then started supporting it again!”.
Following the entrance of Barazani to Kirkuk and following what happened in Al-Hamdaniya and Qarqoosh, people’s opinions started to spread that there is a Kurdish conspiracy and an alliance between the Kurds and ISIS in order to geographically crawl and take over some areas in Mosul’s and joining them to Kurdistan.
Factions of tribes’ armed forces declare their Baya’a [loyalty and obedience] to ISIS in Mosul and become part of their armed forces. ISIS: there is no room for Sufis on the ground and Sufis are “polytheists” and we will not allow them to carry weapons [possibly meaning Neqshebendi Army by this talk].
Families from Mosul leave their houses after they returned to Mosul, and a new migration movement towards outside the city.
Syrian ISIS armed men cross the Syrian borders to Mosul, and Syrian families are wondering around in Mosul. The movement between Mosul and Syria has become very easy as many families from Mosul entered Syria and vice versa.
Today, I interviewed a sheikh of one of the Turkmen tribes who refused to mention his name, but I know him personally. This sheikh declared joining, along with his tribe’s members (called them the fighters), the armed forces. He is one of the tribes’ rebels, not ISIS. I asked him few questions:
1) Me: There has been many news and rumors about insulting Shiaas in Al-Qubaa and Shreekhan areas, especially southern Shreekhan (those areas are in north western Mosul).
The sheikh: I will talk honestly and say to you that there has not been any insult done to Shiaas (the peaceful ones). I went by myself twice to these areas and visited the Shiaa families to reassure them that no one will insult them and they are protected by us. But what happened was that some news came to the armed forces that some Army runaways handed their weapons to the people of those areas before running away, which resulted in a group of armed men going towards them and a light clash occurred which ended.
2) Me: I heard that some women were kidnapped from those villages? How true is that?
The Sheikh: Not true at all, I am well-known in the area, I am not afraid of anyone and I can check myself and able to know about everything happening from my sources. So, I can emphasize to you that no kidnap or killing of women happened there.
3) Me: What is the future of Mosul administratively? In the absence of system and law?
The sheikh: It’s not easy to know how the future is going to look like considering the current situation which is not easily understandable. But I well know, through my connections with the council of the tribes’ rebels and tribes’ affairs council that there are “arrangements” for everything.
4) Me: What are those arrangements? Can you identify them? And is there any clear plan regarding founding a civilian governance and civil administration of the city?
The sheikh: Do you expect such movement not to have planning or organisation? Surely, there are clear arrangements which are that we have a governance council ready and present. This council is made of 3 presidencies, on top of the pyramid is a “sheikh from Samaraa” who has a PhD in Islamic law, the second man is a military leader, and the third is a judge whom everything has to go through him before initiating a decision.
5) Me: From Samaraa? Why not from Mosul?
The sheikh: There is no difference, as long as he is an Iraqi “Sunni”, plus don’t forget that Al-Mosul is the area from which the “blessed conquest” had started towards liberating the other Iraqi Sunni cities, in order to establish fair governance which secures everyone’s safety.
6) Me: You mentioned the judge, is he a civil judge? Or Islamic?
The sheikh: We are Muslims and the current laws proved their failure. We need a fair Islamic governance now where no one is oppressed.
7) Me: You’re a Turkmen from the Turkmen minority in Mosul, did anyone offer you an invitation or reassurance or anything else? Was there any racism considering you’re Turkmen among other Arab tribes?
The sheikh: This never happened, and there is no difference between Turkmen and Arabs as we have lived together through history and our relationship with Arabs is very strong. No one offered reassurance to us and we do not need any as I am the sheikh [leader] of the tribe and have plenty of fighters under my commands, and we took responsibility to protect our areas.
8) Me: Had anyone asked you to give Al-Baya’a [loyalty] or obedience and loyalty under specific rule?
The sheikh: I declared myself a holder of weapons with my tribe members without the need for anyone to ask me to do so. Plus, no one has the right to ask others to give them Al-Baya’a because we have common goals and I am not obliged to give Baya’a to anyone. However, we all hold a very old Baya’a and loyalty which is Al-Baya’a to Islam and the Prophet.
9) Me: Allow me to ask you an embarrassing question to us both, what about your position about ISIS? And terrorism? Do you support their presence and governance of Mosul?
The sheikh: ISIS is just like the other present groups on ground; however, ISIS is only a picture moved by strings. There are many groups which had not announced themselves yet and they are working in Mosul. They have not announced themselves because the time is not right, and they will appear when they feel their appearance has become crucial.
10) Me: But you did not tell me what your position is about ISIS? I mean, will you stand against them if need be? Or will you declare your loyalty to them?
The sheikh: We do not follow anyone and our loyalty is to Islam and to the land, and not to anyone else. We will not allow a Pakistani or an Afghan to govern us, no matter what it takes.
End of interview.
Today, ISIS bombed Al-Hamdaniya area, east Mosul, with mortars. Al-Hamdaniya is mainly inhabited by Christians and under the control of Beshmerga [Kurdish forces]. The bombing occurred after Beshmerga’s attempt to progress towards Al-Salamiya area (mainly inhabited by Arabs) which is next to Al-Hamdaniya. There was about 50 shells shot, some fell on houses. The source is my Christian friend who is inside Al-Hamdaniya.