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Residents Live In fear And Despair In Mosul In Iraq

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 9/3/2014

The northern city of Mosul in a community hard-hit by this insurgency. Residents there are living in fear, horrified at the brutality carried out by ISIS militants who control their city. When ISIS brazenly took control of Iraq's second largest city back in June, it sent shock waves throughout the country and the region. Alienated by the Maliki Government and persecuted by his security forces, for the militants, Mosul was fertile ground. But nearly three months after ISIS raised its black banner over the city, residents describe heavy handed oppression and brutality under the rule of these extremists. "When they first came to Mosul they told us they would protect us and that this was a revolution", explains one Mosul resident, too afraied to reveal his identity. ""But after the people got to know ISIS, they felt hatred towards them." The people of Mosul now live in fear or arbitrary arrests, punishment and death, with eyewitness reports of a young man, accused of adultery, publicly stoned to death. Conditions in the city are rapidly deteriorating, with shortages of power, food and medicine. The economy is collapsing, local markers, the only businesses open. Professionals, like doctors and teachers, must now pay special taxes to ISIS while women, who once lived in an open society, are forced to wear full veil and be accompanied by a male relative. "We are afraid to even go out", says one Mosul resident. "The best freedom is to stay inside your house. We have known true Islam for years now, but we have never seen something like this." It was here in Mosul that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi made his only appearance as the self-declared caliph of a new so-called "Isalamic State." But to the residents, his vision bears no resemblance to their beliefs. "Fourteen-hundred years we have believed in Islam and we have never seen this," says one Mosul resident." How is it possible that they came up with a whole different interpretation of Islam? This is a stupid interpretation." He adds that ISIS forced them to swear allegiance or face death. For those who escaped, like these businessmen, who spoke to us on the condition we wouldn't show their faces, it's been torture. They have family and friends in Mosul who refused to leave and now find themselves trapped. "I speak to my family on the phone, they say we wish we would die only to be free. We never wanted to live under their control," says one Irbil businessman. "All the people of Mosul are now imprisoned." They believe there are people planning to resist ISIS. Last week, a group claiming to be an armed opposition to the militants posted this video. But the businessman says ISIS and its supporters are too powerful and can't be defeated without outside assistance, a move that would involve enormous risk. "We fear they will use the people of Mosul as human shields," says an Irbil businessman. "We need the international community to help." But if no one comes to their rescue, they morbidly believe the only safe haven for the people of Mosul is death.

   
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