interview ninawa’s council head: ‘ISIS has opened a mosque for repentance’

The head of the provincial council in Ninawa, Bashar al-Kiki, talked to Niqash about what life is like inside Mosul. He says while some minority groups are in grave danger from the Sunni Muslim extremists, local Christians are not. Al-Kiki also outlined his solution for this security crisis. by Abdul-Khaleq Dosky in Dohuk more

did they or didn’t they? iraqi army did not desert mosul, they were ordered to leave

Soldiers who were in Mosul last week say they were ordered to leave the city, shortly before extremists took control. The question is why? And who ultimately gave that order? The search for answers has given rise to a number of frightening theories about who exactly was behind those orders. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

dohuk’s displaced: paying US$50 a hotel night until mosul is safe again

An estimated half a million Iraqis are fleeing potential fighting between extremist groups and the Iraqi Army, with many headed for Iraqi Kurdistan. NIQASH spoke with a number of families in Dohuk, including one that was heading home because they heard it was safe in Mosul now and they couldn’t afford the hotel bills in Dohuk. by Abdul-Khaleq Dosky in Dohuk more

inside mosul: ISIS bringing the Baath party back – or are they?

Reports have emerged suggesting that one of Saddam Hussein’s former top military commanders was responsible for defeating the Iraqi Army and was going to give a speech in Mosul to prove it. But Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri never appeared. Now some are saying that ISIS is using al-Douri and his group in a clever propaganda trick, even while they are really in charge. by Special Correspondent in Mosul more

a baghdad soldier’s story: ‘he would rather have died in battle than desert his post’

Recent reports indicate that Iraqi army soldiers are deserting in droves. Up until recently, Yasser, a career soldier from Baghdad, would never have contemplated such a thing. But then he too quit the military. NIQASH writer Mustafa Habib pays tribute to his good friend. And in telling of his untimely death, Habib also gives some insight into an Iraqi soldier’s life. by Mustafa Habib in Baghdad more

inside mosul: why iraqis are celebrating islamic extremists’ takeover of their city

This week, Mosul’s streets were filled with celebrating locals. And the Internet was alive with videos of Mosul people jeering the Iraqi army as it left and congratulating the extremists who took their place. That is even though most of them know about the beheadings and amputations and other cruelties that come with the hardline Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. So why was everyone so happy? And how long can ISIS’ honeymoon in Mosul last? by Special Correspondent in Mosul more

interview with senior kurdish politician: baghdad ‘wanted mosul to be captured by extremists’

The head of Iraqi Kurdistan’s most powerful political party in Mosul tells NIQASH how he managed to escape the city besieged by extremists. He also tells why he thinks Iraqi army soldiers didn’t fight but just fled and explains why a national state of emergency is a very bad idea indeed. by Zanko Ahmad in Sulaymaniyah more

inside mosul: how did extremists take over one of iraq's biggest cities in just five days?

From the first suicide bombings to an attack on the next province, it has only taken Sunni Muslim extremists five days to gain control of one of Iraq's biggest cities and its surrounds. How did it happen? NIQASH spoke with the governor of the province as well as eyewitnesses inside Mosul. by Special Correspondent in Mosul more

the most cancerous street in iraq? locals in basra leaving homes because of disease

In the southern city of Zubair, in Basra province, there is one street where the neighbours report more cases of cancer than most. The street is close to former government offices that were bombed by US-led forces in 2003. As a result families have been leaving their homes and appealing to local authorities for action. by Saleem al-Wazzan in Basra more

unpopular civic upgrade: historic karbala will become closed ‘religious zone’

The sacred city of Karbala is undergoing renovations, with million dollar efforts being made to turn the historic Old Town into a more pleasant, cleaner and efficient place. However also as a result of the renovations, property prices in Karbala are rising, small businesses are being driven out and historic buildings are being demolished. by Ibrahim al-Jibouri in Karbala more
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