Daesh's territorial losses expose the reality of the group in Iraq and Syria

In 2014, Daesh exploited regional divisions and occupied territory in Syria and Iraq. Through the chaos that prevailed, Daesh co-opted innocent civilians on the premise of providing health, education, infrastructure and an Islamic State.

But, Daesh controlled by fear, torture and murder. They entrenched themselves into society, and civilians across the region had no choice but to adhere to their barbaric version of Islam.

Once Daesh occupied territory in Syria and Iraq, they promised an abundance of services. Free education, free health, a safe and harmonious region, payment for its militants and ultimately a statehood. But their promises were hollow, residents living in Daesh-controlled areas were forced to flee from their deprivation, and the residents who chose to stay when the jihadists took over are now paying smugglers to get them around the checkpoints that were designed to retain them.

Daesh failed to deliver. They imposed tolls and traffic tickets, rent on buildings, utility bills for water and electricity, taxes on income, crops and cattle; and fines for smoking or wearing the wrong clothes. Women were forced to were the burka, forbidden to use mobile phones or to be seen in public without a male accompany. Daesh could not provide for its citizens, famine is rife in Daesh-controlled territory. Desperate civilians were forced to boil paper and cartons to fill their stomachs, said a Mosul IDP.

Daesh continue to commit unspeakable acts of terror, its primary victims are overwhelmingly Muslim. Revelations of brutality are well-know, and as they continue to lose territory its civilians that pay the ultimate price.

Daesh are in decline. Their promises of a statehood failed to materialise.  The reality is that they have lost up to 60% of the territory they once controlled, they have lost Mosul – the very city in which Baghdadi declared the caliphate, and as each day passes Daesh are significantly losing territory in Raqqa – the only remaining capital they control.

Image: Al Jazeera

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