Iraqi affairs researcher
Translated by Shaimaa Behery
Whenever you wander in Mosul streets, Nineveh governorate, north of Iraq, you will inevitably be shocked by the scale of destruction after this place liberalization from the ISIS grip. The people there still suffer the effects of the devastating war and live harsh reality under the power of military concentrations eager to end what the terrorist did from theft and waste of public and private money.
When contemplating the faces of this city’s inhabitants, one can easily notice their silent misery. Anyone speaks about the operations carried out by these militias affiliated with the IMIS is exposed to the enforced disappearance or the exile in the darkness of prisons.
Excessive security domination
The magnitude security power imposed by these military groups on all service, economic and social facilities is really striking. Moreover, new unfamiliar phenomena spread in the city such as the boom of the drug and hooch trade and the organized prostitution covered up by those militias, which turned the city inhabitants to testing grounds for their extraneous projects.
According to some people have been questioned about the situation there, the city has been turned into a honey pot for these rallies. “The city is like a sponge full of water, it shows you what lies inside every time you squeeze it”, said one of IMIS member called S.Q.A, adding that he spent an amount of 15,000 USD in his move to Mosul and that he “can’t return without compensating this amount ten times.”
Having a tour in the right side of Mosul, the crisis will prevail clearly as you’re finding the old city full of militias of different names. Each group controls specific alleys and streets although these areas are already devoid of its inhabitants. According to someone affiliated to these militias, there are commercial operations in these areas managed by the IMIS economic offices there. They trade with the dead bodies, home materials and properties without former consent from its legal owners and they even facilitate the work of number of international humane organizations that come under the heading of humane aids while they’re in fact represent intelligence organizations searching for monuments and historical manuscripts. What’s more, some people said that most grand vehicles came from south Iraq loaded with aids return with hundreds of tons of iron stolen from destructed houses and then sent to Iran across Sulaymaniyah and Basra. Al-Ghuzlani camp has been turned into a store for the iron stolen from the right side of the city.
Lands and properties confiscation
Confiscating lands of Mosul by the municipality is the city’s hottest topic today as the militias could lay hands on thousands of meters that returned to the municipality and Sunni endowment. For instance, lands around Nabi Younus area have been confiscated and turned into commercial stores from which they benefit. In addition, hands have been laid on lands affiliated to Nabi Sheet area and other lands and have been turned into Shiite endowments. Anyone wants to own a land can simply pay an amount of 50000 USD for any leader in the militia and the ownership contracts are simply forged.
Oil smuggling is the most prominent phenomenon in the city. Large quantities of containers loaded with hundreds of pure oil wells are smuggled under the sponsorship of the militias and then sent to the oil ports in south Iraq under the security of militias. Many offices have been opened for the purpose of arranging processes of freeing prisoners accused of being in relation with ISIS in return of financial amounts and sometimes they procrastinate the procedures in order to earn more money.
Royalties imposed on the grand restaurants, stores and shops in addition to customs represent large source of income for those militias. According to a restaurant owner in the city, he is forced to pay an amount of 500000 Iraqi Dinars in return of securing his work. Another laboratory owner said that he was forced to pay million Iraqi Dinars in return of securing his work from one side and securing the arrival of the raw materials from Baghdad from other side, in addition, there are blackmailing processes carried out through dominating commercial areas such as Zohour, al-Mathna and al-Masarif. Most military forces in these areas are affiliated to the IMIS and no other security force can get into such areas.
Although the construction problem there is really critical, it hasn’t been touched yet due to the direct interference from IMIS leaders in the construction process. There is sort of coordination with the governor of the city to refer all investment contracts and files to the IMIS leaderships in return of facilitating his work and strengthening his role.
Effectuating the role of the Competent
There are a coordination processes with the competent responsible for the local constituents in the city. When squandering in the city, you will find identification access cards for each area. These cards have the signature of the person in charge who is affiliated with the IMIS. When the IMIS affiliated leader replaced with another, the inhabitants should change the cards to another having the newly appointed competing’s signature in a process costs an amount of 5000 Dinar for each card.