Iraqi residents of Mosul are returning to their homes after the Islamic State inIraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of the city on June 10. The al Qaeda splinter group is enticing residents by offering discount prices on staples such as gas and water.
The fighting in Mosul forced around 500,000 people to flee their homes, many of whom are eager to return. ISIS is an anti-Shiite group and the Mosul residents who spoke to Associated Press did not feel threatened by the presence of the Sunni militants. Many fled Mosul as a way to escape further danger due to potential counterattacks from the Iraqi military, notes AP.
In Mosul, ISIS has restored power and water, and removed the barriers that led to heavy traffic in the city and reduced the price of gas in the city, reports AP. Some residents relayed messages of peace, saying the militants promised not to harm residents.
It appears that the only residents to return are Sunni Arabs, notes AP, while Shiites and ethnic minorities are concerned about potential harm. Following the seizure of Mosul and Tikrit by the militants, ISIS released photos of captured weapons and vehicles as well as photos of a reported mass execution of 1,700 Shiite soliders. The photos and the reports of mass executions of Iraqi soldiers by ISIS was confirmed by Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the Iraq military spokesman, reports AP.