Skip to main content

Services improve under IS in Mosul

Some say there is a silver lining to the Islamic State’s takeover of Mosul in Iraq, namely an improvement in services, in an apparent attempt by the group to gain legitimacy and garner the support of Mosul residents.
People walk past a banner (in black and white) belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the city of Mosul, June 28, 2014. Since early June, ISIL militants have overrun most majority Sunni Muslim areas in the north and west of Iraq, capturing the biggest northern city Mosul and late dictator Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. The banner reads, "There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his messenger."  REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR3W71S

Joining the stench of lead filling the air of the battlegrounds, puffs of dust are also wafting through Mosul’s streets. This time, it was not the result of air raids by the Islamic State’s (IS) bombing of a mosque, shrine or other building. The dust came in fact from road-paving and cleaning and lighting projects, among others. The city has not witnessed such works since 2003, and many are asking why they're happening now.

When asked about services 10 months into IS rule, 15 people living in different areas of the city told Al-Monitor that Mosul has become cleaner than it was under the Iraqi government’s control, and its services have been improving. Residents outside Mosul were surprised.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.