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In Mosul, Water, Electricity Shortages, And Warnings Of Disease

An Islamic State sign along a street in Mosul.
An Islamic State sign along a street in Mosul.

Life for residents of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which has been under the control of Islamic State (IS) militants since June 10, is becoming increasingly difficult, according to sources inside the city.

While there are few reports from inside the city, some information is trickling out, painting a bleak picture of the situation for ordinary Iraqis trapped in Mosul.

An RFE/RL correspondent in Iraq cited activists in Mosul as saying that disease is spreading in the city as a result of the water shortages that hit Mosul on October 10.

Sources also said that Mosul residents are suffering electricity shortages, after the city's privately owned electricity generators stopped operating.

Islamic State militants are also reported to be confiscating abandoned houses inside the city, using them to store and produce weapons and to house IS gunmen, the RFE/RL correspondent said.

The Mosul Eye Facebook page, which claims to publish reports from a local historian inside Mosul but which cannot be independently verified, has also reported on the electricity and water shortages.

On October 20, Mosul Eye said that water is now available for only two hours a day in the city.

The electricity shortages have led to a dramatic rise in the price of oil products and cooking gas.

Mosul Eye also reported that IS militants have confiscated medicines from Mosul hospitals, in order to treat their wounded.

According to one report on October 22, IS militants are raising money by imposing various taxes on Mosul citizens and business owners. IS are levying taxes on Mosul's pharmacies, amounting to between 10 percent and 35 percent of the drugs sold by the pharmacy, depending on the type of drug. The same report also claimed that IS gunmen have taken over the city's parking lots and imposed a fee on them.

Despite the fear felt by Mosul residents as a result of months of IS repressions, there are signs of protest among some of the city's inhabitants. According to Mosul Eye, some women residents of the city are protesting against the imposition by IS militants of strict rules regarding dress code. Women in IS-controlled Mosul must wear a niqab, a cloth that covers the face apart from the eyes, as part of the hijab head-covering. Some women are refusing to leave their homes in protest at this rule.

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world.


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