Can IS Keep Control of Mosul?

The increasing arrests have raised the density in prisons to unprecedented levels and placed pressure on the economy of the organization, which is required to pay for guards in detention centers, the investigators and food for the prisoners, prompting IS to execute many prisoners. There are cases of people being detained for smoking and being executed.

According to witnesses who spoke to Al-Monitor from Mosul, most of the executions are carried out en masse and in secret. To increase their impact, some of these executions are performed in public squares, filling the Mosul morgue with corpses. Families of detainees end up waiting for their children in front of the morgue instead of at the courts.

One man who wished that his name be withheld spoke to Al-Monitor over the phone about the changing mood of the city. “We have to admit that IS used to have a broad favorable environment within the city, and it has often imposed itself as a protector or avenger of any attack against the population. It was even taking care of hundreds of families of the detainees or the dead regardless of their affiliation to the organization,” he said.

“IS,” he continued, “which presented itself as a defender of the Sunnis, attracted sympathy and was welcomed by the people in the first days of the occupation of Mosul, especially as it was carried out under the cover of former Baathists and army officers, before people also turned against them.” He said the wide Sunni sympathy for IS cracked less than two months into the occupation of the city.

Another said, “In just a few weeks, IS lost its base in Mosul, which justified its aggressive behavior against the people and the increasing number of its detainees and executed people.”

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