The Islamic State is suffering from internal unrest, corruption, and mass desertions, as its ‘citizens’ become shaken by coalition airstrikes, military defeat, and the brutal murder of prisoners by the Islamist regime.
Reports are now coming out of ISIS-held city Mosul that the feeling of invincibility have worn off the authoritarian theocracy, following the retreat from Kobani. While ISIS propaganda had assured those living within the Caliphate’s borders that victory was assured, the reality of defeat at the hands of Kurdish and coalition forces has convinced the people of frontier town, which is only miles from the most ferocious combat, that they are not as safe as once believed.
“People were thinking that Isis would never leave [Kobani] and would for ever keep its hold on it, but now people are convinced that Isis is only staying for so long, and their departure from the city is inevitable”, a source told The Times.
Students have reportedly gone on strike, and incidents of anti-ISIS graffiti are on the rise.
Quoting sources inside the Caliphate, the paper reports jihadi fighters and ‘government’ bureaucrats are using their positions to escape the Islamic State, using false or confiscated identity documents to vanish into Kurdish and Turkish territory. The Islamic government has been forced to take steps to prevent its troops deserting, including erecting signs forbidding lorry drivers to carry soldiers, and banning militants from confiscating identity papers they may be able to themselves use to escape.
Despite the apparently grim reports coming out of the Caliphate, disillusionment with the reality of life under Sharia law and bombardment by coalition air forces is nothing new, and ISIS has been dealing with deserters since the beginning. It was reported last year that the Islamic State had executed hundreds of its own fighters, including over one hundred jihadists who had travelled from Europe. Common reasons for wanting to come ‘home’ to Europe apparently included the bad weather and iPod batteries running out.