The Zanjili neighbourhood of Mosul was devastated under ISIS rule and during the battle to liberate the city from the terrorist group. Volunteers are providing relief to local residents there.
On the joyous occasion of Eid al-Fitr, an initiative was launched by the international, non-governmental organisation Mercy Corps, to distribute food aid to the residents of the Zanjili neighbourhood in the western part of Mosul. The local residents state that it is the fourth time over the course of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan that volunteers from Mercy Corps have provided people in Mosul with food aid.
This project was organised by the Mercy Corps under the “Ramadan Basket Initiative” which was coordinated with the participation and contribution of a number of philanthropists. Each food basket contains 14 food items, including chicken and clean drinking water.
Zanjili was particularly hard hit during ISIS rule and the battles to liberate the city of Mosul. Mosul was considered to be the de facto capital of ISIS’ so-called “Islamic State”. 2016 and 2017 saw a heavy push by the Iraqi Security Forces to regain the city from ISIS hands. The eastern part of the city was liberated first, but the most prominent strongholds were found in the western areas, especially in and around the Old City.
There are several accounts of the local residents of Zanjili being used by ISIS militants as human shields during the fierce clashes with the Iraqi Security Forces. In addition, ISIS had reportedly established a “kill zone” in the Zanjili area, in which the terrorists would open fire on civilians. This lead to what is now known as the Zanjili massacre, which took the lives of between 300-500 people.
The sheer destruction of parts of western Mosul has forced many local residents to rely on aid initiatives in order to survive. The Iraqi central government has had very little presence in Mosul ever since the ISIS incursion into the city and so state provisions are not accessible to local inhabitants.