Mosul Locals Wage Psychological War Against IS

The IS group have been trying to isolate the people of Mosul from the rest of the world for some time now. In November 2014, the group banned communication by mobile phones (with varying degrees of success) and in February, they started to stop locals from leaving the city. Today there is no way of getting out of the city without using risky smuggling routes.

About a month ago IS fighters started to collect satellite television receivers. Members of the group drive around the city with loudspeakers, calling out to households to hand over their satellite dishes. The receivers will be taken to the outskirts of the city and destroyed, the IS members say.

Locals say they will need around another month to collect all of the receivers in the city. As one local man told NIQASH, “I asked them if I could keep the satellite receiver because my kids like the cartoons but they said to me, ‘aren’t you ashamed of yourself? The satellite is forbidden. Why would you keep a demon in your house?’.”

As of July 24, the IS group has issued a decree saying that the Internet is also to be banned in Mosul. Again it’s hard to say how successful they will be with this ban.

Although the extremist group say they are banning contact with the outside world, including cartoons and news shows, for religious reasons, it seems clear that it has more to do with preventing contact with external organisations that might attack the city and to prevent locals and their own fighters from hearing about any battle field successes against the Islamic State group and any resistance internally.

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