1) What’s the situation like in your area right now?
A: A case of mixed and contradicted feelings among the people of Mosul: between a desire for continuing the current situation as it is ( no explosions, no bombings, no closed roads, safety and peace) and fear of the upcoming unknown, fear of violent governmental airstrikes, fear of ISIS radical and unacceptable laws. The faces of people are screaming saying that they want this peace and safety but under governmental and lawful rule, not under the rule of ISIS. There is increased volunteering of 17 – 25 years old youths to join ISIS, mainly from two small tribes known for their bad reputation.
2) What do you expect the authorities to do?
A: The government is foolish, I don’t expect anything but a civil war since Al-Maliki is pushing hard towards it. In contrast, there would be a Sunni rule (under ISIS) pushing towards fighting over Baghdad. Diyala province could end up being the combat zone, the battlefield between the two.
3) What do you expect to happen in Iraq over the next weeks/ months?
A: I fear that ISIS would last its rule of the land. ISIS continuity means a complete change in the country, especially Mosul which has been fighting to defend its identity for a long time and for the pre-2003 Iraq, not the Iraq of today or tomorrow.
4) Other comments
There is a rapid movement inside Mosul. ISIS is strengthening its presence and the people have the ability to adapt to it which is terrifying. The states (divided Iraq) will form but it won’t be the expected solution on ground, which predicts a unified party that would remain in the city, making any solution worthless. The Baathists exist but their voice is silenced by ISIS strong and violent voice. The horror increases and the history is moving very rapidly over here.
There are about 22 groups inside Mosul now, all under the rule of ISIS, However, not all groups support ISIS which predicts future fighting between ISIS and its opponents. There are the tribe rebels who don’t agree with ISIS. At the beginning of the crisis, there was no involvement of any group but ISIS. After 4 pm on Saturday, the other 21 groups started emerging. When ISIS first entered Mosul, foreign fighters from Tunisian and Algerian backgrounds were seen among the ISIS extremists. Nowadays, we see other foreign ISIS members: among them a German and an American from Chinese background who joined the fighters after he was captured in 2006.
Airstrikes could possibly make it worse. Al-Maliki MUST be forced to step down as soon as possible. The next week could shape the future Iraq for ever, the change in Mosul is very rapid and solutions are taking so long and nothing has been done yet. US intervention should be political, at least to start with.