The Washington Post reports: After storming the Iraqi city of Mosul in June, the brutal Islamic State quickly solidified its control. Gunmen enforced its laws, and supportive imams preached at the mosques.
But the jihadists were missing something — doctors. So last month, the Islamic State issued an ultimatum to physicians who had fled: Return to work, or we’ll seize your property and you can never come back.
The Islamic State’s efforts to run Mosul’s health-care system provide a glimpse into its efforts to build a caliphate, or Islamic state, in Iraq and Syria. Despite their victories on the battlefield, the jihadists have struggled as everyday administrators in Mosul, with the city’s hospitals grappling with daily power outages and shortages of medicine. The Sunni fighters have also imposed measures that have alienated staff and compromised the lives of patients, doctors say.
The Islamic State’s rigidity and inexperience may ultimately cost it support in areas where some Sunni residents initially welcomed the group as an alternative to the Shiite-led central government. Already, the Islamic State has been forced to give ground on some of its stringent policies, such as barring male and female doctors from working together. [Continue reading…]