When Islamic State group fighters swept into northern Iraq’s second city Mosul in a lightning June offensive, their propaganda trumpeted a better life for the people under jihadist rule. Now, nearly six months later, residents there are suffering from a lack of clean water and also a shortage of medicine to treat illnesses caused by it, The Times of India reports.
The very name “Islamic State” is a clear pointer that the group seeks to rule as well as to conquer: IS has declared a cross-border Islamic “caliphate” spanning parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria. But despite spearheading the June offensive that also overran the surrounding Nineveh province and swathes of other territory, IS has been unable to provide basic services in these areas, ultimately undermining the state to which it aspires.
“The impression given in IS propaganda is a group offering a better quality of life than before that is also more just for locals,” said Aymenn al-Tamimi, a fellow at the Middle East Forum who is an expert on jihadist organisations. But “the hardships of the locals certainly undermine IS claims to be a state meeting the needs of the people and offering them real security,” he said.