By Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
At noon on a hot summer’s day inside a small makeshift radio studio at the Iraqi army’s Division 15 camp, Deputy Sgt. Fanar Khalid read out several messages from a piece of paper fixed to a copyholder.
“To our dear people in Ninevah, the end of terrorist Daesh is close,” Khalid said confidently, referring to the Islamic State (IS) by its derogatory Arabic acronym.
Urging unity against IS, he said, “Let’s stand together against this suspicious [group] and cut its tail.”
The Ninevah Liberation Operation Command’s radio station is located just a dozen miles from the active battle zone in the southeastern countryside of Ninevah province. It relays the Iraqi army’s propaganda, or, as the officers like to call it, the “awareness” campaign against IS, as the Iraqi forces are slowly but steadily making inroads into the jihadis’ territory south of the Kurdish-controlled town of Makhmour.
The radio station has a reach of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) and airs a total of 11 hours in two morning and evening broadcasts, representing an Iraqi army’s tool of countering IS propaganda and attempting to change the locals’ perception toward the security forces.
“I’m proud of this,” Khalid told Al-Monitor. “We want to tell people — through this radio station — that we are close to them and care about them.”