The Islamic State’s news agency, Amaq, has produced an online video of “interviews with civilians,” one of which declares, “It is safe and life is normal. Satellite channels are lying. All their reports are lies.”
“The situation in Mosul is better than normal,” says another. “It is normal and the movement is natural. Business is going on as usual. People are doing business. What they say in their satellite channels – they say what they want.”
Sky News reports the video includes footage of “bread being made at a bakery and shoppers at a vegetable market.”
“The situation is good and people are outside. We went to the market,” one shopper declares.
A massive military operation is, in fact, under way to eject the Islamic State from Mosul. It might be a while before Iraqi troops are buying pastries from that Mosul bakery, but Sky News notes the Pentagon stated the operation was running “ahead of schedule” on Tuesday.
CNN reported Kurdish general Sirwan Barzani saying, “My expectation is two months for the fight inside Mosul, but weather is one of the factors that can delay the process.”
He thought it would take about two weeks for advancing forces to enter the city, at which point the Kurds will have to hold back because only Iraqi government troops and police forces will be allowed to enter Mosul, to avoid “sectarian retribution” from the liberated populace.
Watch the video here.