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Why Isis Fighters Are Being Thrown Off Buildings in Mosul
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Iraqi security forces kill Isis prisoners because they believe that if the militants are sent to prison camps they will bribe the authorities in Baghdad to release them. “That is why Iraqi soldiers prefer to shoot them or throw them off high buildings,” says one Iraqi source. A former senior Iraqi official said he could name the exact sum that it would take for an Isis member to buy papers enabling him to move freely around Iraq.

The belief by Iraqi soldiers and militiamen that their own government is too corrupt to keep captured Isis fighters in detention is one reason why the bodies of Isis suspects, shot in the head or body and with their hands tied behind their backs, are found floating in the Tigris river downstream from Mosul. Revenge and hatred provoked by Isis atrocities are motives for extrajudicial killings by death squads, but so is distrust of an Iraqi judicial system, which is notoriously corrupt and dysfunctional.

Paranoia at the end of a very violent war partially explains why so many Iraqis are convinced that dangerous Isis members can always bribe their way to freedom. Dozens of posts on social media from Baghdad allege that suicide bombers who blow themselves up killing many civilians had previously been detained by the security forces and released in return for money. “We die in Baghdad because of corruption,” reads one post, frequently shared with others. One tweet says: “Daesh [Isis] pays the government and kills us in Baghdad.”

Fears may be exaggerated, but are not entirely without substance. Isis may have suffered heavy losses in Mosul, but can still operate. A senior Kurdish official said that “recently, during the funeral of a leader of the Shammar tribe in Rabia, no less than 17 Isis suicide bombers were discovered. This shows they can still plan and carry out operations even if they are weaker.”

Anti-Isis residents in Mosul are now making the same allegation. “I know two men in my neighbourhood notorious for being members of Daesh who have just been released by the government,” complains Saleem Mohammed, a resident of the Nabi Yunus district in east Mosul. “One of them used to go on Daesh patrols in the markets here to look for people who were smoking cigarettes.” He added that people were frightened that the suspected collaborators, who had been freed, were members of Isis “sleeper cells” or had now been recruited as Iraqi government spies.


Saleem says that an important cause of distrust between those who had always opposed Isis and those who had joined it or collaborated with it is that the latter had often developed prosperous businesses during the three years that Isis was in power. He said that “many of these collaborators have shops in the markets and people buy from them, though they may shun the owners”. He knew one man who had been poor before Isis arrived, but made money working as a security man at Isis checkpoints where large bribes were often paid for free passage. The man had been arrested, was released and has now moved with his family to Turkey.

Isis commanders and militants often came from impoverished Sunni villages on the outskirts of Mosul that look like a collection of huts. While they controlled Mosul there was hostility between them and the traditional inhabitants of the city. “What is provoking particular anger in Mosul is that well-off Daesh families are being released and coming back to live in well-furnished apartments, while poor people are still living in the camps,” says Saleem.

The situation in east Mosul is far better than in the west of the city because it was always wealthier, saw less destruction from air strikes and artillery, and has been free from Isis control for six months. Though the Iraqi government claims to have won a complete victory over Isis in the Old City in west Mosul, there is still the occasional sound of gunfire and air strikes. There is an exodus of people across the Tigris river from neighbourhoods in the west that are damaged but not totally destroyed to east Mosul where there is electricity and water. A shortage of accommodation for those moving within the city has led to a tripling of rents.

A crucial boost to the economy of Mosul is that the government is paying back salaries for public employees that were not paid under Isis rule. Education, health and municipal workers are getting their salaries leading to much more activity in the local markets. People have started buying cars and property again and there are long queues of trucks bringing goods from Irbil and Kurdish controlled areas into the city.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iraq, ISIS 
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  1. El Dato says:

    Innocents will be taken up in this, especially when ethnic cleansing is involved or someobody wants to get rid of a few debts rather elegantly.

    Things like these happened in Europe after WWII. And so it goes.

    “What is provoking particular anger in Mosul is that well-off Daesh families are being released and coming back to live in well-furnished apartments, while poor people are still living in the camps,”

    These well-furnished apartments will become death traps.

  2. TG says:

    Something else to consider: even in so-called ‘civilized’ armies, in the aftermath of a battle it can be very hazardous to try and surrender. Soldiers get bloody-minded when they’ve been under fire and seen their buddies get killed, and in the immediate aftermath bad things happen a lot (personal opinion: it’s the people that start wars – and REFUSE TO END THEM WHEN THEY ARE POINTLESS – that have the primary responsibility, you can’t expect flesh and blood human beings in combat to behave like angels. IMHO). Maybe it’s especially bad in Iraq, but I am told that that is really common in all armies. Just that our side doesn’t like to talk about it much.

    • Agree: Talha
    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    , @Mao Cheng Ji
  3. Renoman says:

    Will you look at what idiot Bush went and done!

    • Replies: @Quartermaster
  4. And it would be very convenient for UK, French etc governments if not too many ISIS fighters made it back home.

  5. Joe Wong says:

    Iraq was a functional society, peaceful, law and order, education, health care, etc. were not the best but near the top among the Middle East nations despite lack of western defined freedom. Well, all those goodies are gone because the American and NATO said they wanted to bomb and kill to destroy Saddam Hussein’s weapon of mass destruction which was never found by the American and NATO members in Iraq after their bombing and killing.

    But we won’t hear much about the perpetrator of this disaster, all we hear nowadays is the disaster itself as though the disaster happens by itself and completely detached from the perpetrator. Yeah, the perpetrators now behave as audience and bystanders lecturing the victims on the moral high ground.

  6. Why are (captured) ISIS fighters being thrown off roofs in Mosul?

    1) Retribution a la “eye for an eye.”
    2) Boys will be boys.

  7. @TG

    personal opinion: it’s the people that start wars – and REFUSE TO END THEM WHEN THEY ARE POINTLESS – that have the primary responsibility, you can’t expect flesh and blood human beings in combat to behave like angels. IMHO

    Well, while this might also be your personal opinion, this was, actually, the main conclusion of the Nuremberg trials: “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”

  8. Anonymous [AKA "miiikhas"] says:

    These Saudi Barbarian mercenaries aren’t so cocky when they’r not high on CAPTAGON and ZioWahhabi indoctrination now are they?

    You saw the ISIS woman that fled and spilled the beans, not because they were glad to be liberated from this medieval tyranny, but mostly because their husbands favoured Yasidi slave girls over them. Plain old jealousy. Next day they take the first best opportunity to blow themselves and their kids up at a checkpoint for the “god” they believe in.

    They would all do the same, unless they are put on a very costly and time consuming de-programming during which case they could do it anyway. They are walking time bombs so i quite understand the Iraqis. someone should investigate the opportunity to turn them against ZioWahhabism and send them back to “israel”, US camps or Saudi Barbaria instead.

    On another note: I remember cocky cockburn not too long ago, jumping up and down over the prospect of his beloved “Yinon-plan” coming into fruition, so sure he was that Syria was going to be divided along sectarian lines just as Yinon and the other Polish-Lithuanian squatters in occupied Palestine wanted it. Well, neither he is too “cocky” now….

  9. @Renoman

    That Bushitler is a powerful man. More than 8 years out of office and look what he done gone and done.

  10. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The world breathes a sigh of relief.

    Not just London and Paris, but Beijing and Moscow will see fewer terrorist attacks in the future if all ISIS fighters can be liquidated after the fighting ends.

  11. And this is a problem because…?
    I’ve been saying this for a while now: ALL Isis fighters should face the firing squad. Their wives should be surgically sterlized and their children adopted out to non-Muslim families in the west.

    • Replies: @Rosamund Vincy
    , @Alden
  12. @Fidelios Automata

    Yeah, can’t say I’m terribly upset by this.

  13. Alden says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    Id rather adopt a rattlesnake.

  14. Give them the same treatment that they would give others.

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