After Mosul Destruction, Militias protect corruption, Trade oil, antiquities, scrap

Megahed al-Taey

Translated by Shaimaa Shedeed  

The political file of any Iraqi city is primarily related to the security file while both city and security files are related to all administrative, services and economic files in addition to crises of Nineveh governorate, definitely Mosul city and other Iraqi cities. Since it had been taken back from the ISIS grip one year ago, the Mosul city still suffers a noticeable security vacuum increased the problems and left more aggravated disasters. This is because of the attempts initiated to fill such political vacuum through some personalities, groups and forces who aren’t capable of managing the crisis and has no admissibility with the local community as they were only appointed by militias to take over the power of such a city whose bounties snapped by corruption lobbyists and militias.

All people complain about the militias and its economic offices established as prefaces to trade bounties of Mosul city. These militias in Mosul are deemed to be the closest to Iran and the most powerful in Iraq and they include Hezbollah brigades, Asaeb Ahlu al-Haq, Sayyed al-Shuhadaa brigade, al-Imam Ali Brigade, Badr group and all other militias dubbed as “Islamic resistance”. These militias monopolize the scrap trade after they destructed the city along with ISIS through the chaos bombardment in the right coast during battles and they earn thousands of dollars from such scarps after melting the iron. Some officials estimated that they sell more than 200,000 ton of war remnants, noting that they don’t use it in rebuilding the city, rather, they transport it to north and south Iraq.

On the other hand, such militias manipulate with and make advantage of the administrative and political vacuum and absence of directorates and administrative systems in Mosul. They control the antiquities sites and shrines of Prophets Jonah and Sheet that had been exploded before by the ISIS in addition to several monumental houses and antiquities. They also established commercial blocks related to the IMIS and rented it to others, which means that they had violated the law that prevents benefiting from any land included in a distance of 250 meters from a monumental site and also violated the ownership rights of Sunni endowments in a peaceful Sunni city hates the sectarian practices. In fact, Mosul witnessed a merciless war in its streets near its people homes and lost more than 40,000 of its sons. The militias ignored demands of Sunni endowments about ending such practices and violations and about restitution of what they converted to Shiite endowment and also ignored warnings about inflammation of a sectarian conflict in a time Iraq in general and Mosul in specific are in need to unity.

Meantime, militias controlled many locations and historical antique houses that include monuments and treasures and changed its ownership contracts in the Land Registration. Moreover, it fenced some locations and prevented the visits and any attempts or reconstruction or even debris removal, thus, antiquities trading is currently so flourished in Mosul whether in terms of antiquities stolen from the historical churches, mosques and houses or in terms of those antiquities they took over during the post ISIS phase after 2014 when the ISIS demolished more than 360 archaeological sites in only in Nineveh.

Concerning the oil file, the ISIS controlled the “Najma” oil well in “Qayara”, south of Mosul and financed itself by selling these wells’ production in the black market and smuggling it through local or international ways. After the ISIS had been defeated, militias adopted the same kind of trade through the IMIS although the IMIS denies its relation with them or the economic offices but at the same time it doesn’t detain or prevent them. Some militias aren’t affiliated with the IMIS legally and aren’t being financed from the Iraqi budget and even Iran stopped supporting them after the US sanctions, nevertheless, these militias are financed by itself through the oil trafficking as it took over 72 oil fields and smuggle about 100 tanks daily to Kurdistan, Syria and Iran and sell in the black market for prices less than the international prices. These fields used to export about 30,000 barrels of oil daily before 2012.

Finally, both central and local governments stand helpless in front of such out of control militias and corruption lobbyists that began to expand. In fact its silence can be understood as a kind of complicity as both have ignored the Mosul file and left it to the militias and corrupted governor Noufal al-Akoub to maul from a city was looking forward to construction. Tragically, their postponing and neglecting attitude and corruption grants the ISIS and sectarian militias the kiss of life through returning to the hide and seek game and the dilemmas of security mess and disorder.

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