Middle East

Battle for Mosul: IS are 'just beards', survivor says

Image copyright Norwegian Refugee Council
Image caption Rakan Jauid Aid says he is responsible for providing for 15 family members

Since the Iraqi and Kurdish armies began an operation to re-capture Mosul, some 17,000 people living in the outskirts of the city have been freed from so-called Islamic State (IS) rule.

Rakan Jauid Aid, from the Nineveh province in Iraq, lived under IS for more than two years. He fled from the city of Qayyarah to safety in a displacement camp where he told his story to the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Before Daesh [Islamic State] arrived, my father and I were in the Petroleum Police - a security force that protects petroleum institutions.

My father threatened Daesh, so they tried to kill him with an IED [improvised explosive device] and failed.

But when Daesh entered Mosul, they killed my father because he was a police officer. I got away - they didn't come after me.

IS are 'just beards'

My village was besieged for two years and a couple of months. If I had spoken to anyone about being in the police or army, Daesh would have killed me.

It happened to many of my close friends. They would go to their homes and Daesh would just take them away.

Daesh are just beards. They force you to attend all the prayers at the mosque. If your woman is not wearing a hijab, they will whip you - they have complete control.

Those with a salary live okay. But those without a salary, like me, and others who have worked for the army or military, cannot even afford bread.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than 17,000 civilians have fled the outskirts of Mosul

But I escaped after the Iraqi army liberated an area just five kilometres from my village. The army was firing mortar shells towards the village, and Daesh were hitting back. It was like that for a while, shelling back and forth.

So we waited for the Iraqi army. They told us to go to another town where we were given shelter.

There, I went to the Iraqi security forces and told them that I was with the petroleum police. At first they didn't believe me, but I told them about Daesh in Kirkuk and they let me help them.

'Daesh are dogs'

People inside Mosul tell me death is near. If the operation takes too long, there will be a disaster. There's no work - people will starve.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Iraqi special forces are just a few kilometres from the Mosul city centre

Some people have told me if the security forces don't air drop food aid in a week or two, there will be massacres.

Those Daesh people are dogs.

I hope that my city, Mosul, is liberated from Daesh and I hope that our prime minister lets us go back to our jobs.

I live here in a tent with no salary. Where's justice?

I am responsible for 15 members of family and I have no salary.