The Independent reports: “It is like a terrible dream,” says a man who has just fled Mosul for Irbil, describing conditions in the city five months after Isis captured it in June.
He adds that “from the day they started to blow up the mosques people hated them”, referring to the destruction of the Mosque of Younis (Jonah) and other mosques denounced by Isis “as places for apostasy not prayer”.
The man, a small businessman who had been an army officer under Saddam Hussein and is now on a pension, was very nervous that anybody should learn his name. Some of his family have stayed on in Mosul to prevent their house being confiscated by Isis. Its officials check house-to-house demanding to see documents proving that the occupant is the owner. If they discover that the real owner has left the city, he is given 10 days to return or his house is confiscated by Isis.
He said actually crossing from Isis-controlled territory to that under the authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had not been difficult. He had taken the road between Mosul and Kirkuk that was guarded by “a couple of 15- or 16-year-olds with guns” at a checkpoint. A Kurdish friend sponsored him to enter the KRG. [Continue reading…]