1- How is daily life in Mosul?
The city lives in a state of hallucination, crisis and disorder. People’s feelings of happiness for being liberated from the Iraqi Army, police and security control, had ended. The Iraqi forces used to hurt people by closing off roads and streets, presence of checkpoints which used to cause traffic in the streets. Now, the streets are open, there is no explosive cars and no bombs; this was the biggest request and demands of people in the city. Many people from the city appeared to support ISIS during their first days and many said that their liberation came on ISIS hands, but now and after two months of ISIS presence in the city, it’s very easy to notice the anger which is spreading in the city. There is continuous worry of what ISIS could do in the future, especially following forcing “al-niqab”, bombing shrines and mosques, and displacing Christians. The people here started talking about the direct relation between ISIS and foreign agendas, and that ISIS came to destroy the city, its history and heritage. These things were not present during the first days. What made people more displeased is that many of those within ISIS lines are well known by the people to have bad and criminal history. So people started making comparisons regarding how awful ISIS is depending on its members, who are scum backs of the society and criminals. The anger has become even clearer following the bombing of Imams’ and Prophets’ shrines in the city. Many people shouted at ISIS members, publicly, that what they’re doing is an unforgiven crime.
2- Where does the Islamic State get its money from to pay doctors and others?
ISIS did not pay the salaries of doctors or other governmental offices’ employees. The salaries were taken by people after they were sent via Kurdistan’s banks to the areas which are close to Mosul or through Kirkuk. As for the resources of ISIS and their financial support, if they continue on this status, they will become one of the richest organizations in the world. They own oil fields now, they take the rent of the governmental buildings which are rented by civilians. In addition, they are trading in oil derivatives and have a station for liquid gas and a factory of cement production “Badoosh cement factory”, western Mosul. They also take customs fees on all the vehicles entering or existing Mosul.
3- Is there tension between local population and IS?
It is easy to notice that people started being angry and paranoid towards ISIS, as I have mentioned in the first point, but this anger and tension is still on an inside level. I mean among people themselves, in the houses, youth gatherings, private conversations, in public transport cars. But this anger is accompanied by a state of fear too.
4- Is the tension connected to the destruction of Prophet Jonas mosque?
Since the moment of bombing Prophet Younis Mosque, a big state of paranoia started. Even many of the loyal supporters of ISIS declared that they were angry. The most used phrase by people today regarding the bombings which happened is “now the criminal and disgraceful truth of ISIS has been revealed”.
5- Was the mosque Sunni or Shia?
The mosque does not relate to a sect, as it relates to three faiths “Judaism, Christianity and Islam”. Sunnis, Shiaas and even Christians visit it. Therefore, this mosque is considered as an image of social interconnections images in the city between all various groups of Mosul’s citizens.