Abu Saad al-Ansari, the imam of Zahra mosque. File photo
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Erbil, Kurdistan Region – Abu Saad al-Ansari, the imam of the Zahra mosque in the sub-district of Qayyarah in Mosul, in northern Iraq, called upon people of the city during Friday prayers to urge their sons to volunteer in the ranks of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in order to protect the lives of civilians from the attacks of what he described as “Safawis” (in reference to Shiite Popular Mobilization forces), a local source told ARA News.
According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the preacher urged people to push the young men engage in the ranks of the Islamic State in order to defend Mosul, saying the Safawis will rape women and burn houses, and that Islamic State’s fighters would prevent this from happening, describing the war against the Islamic State as “Iranian War”.
Speaking to ARA News on the phone, M.R., a resident from the al-Nour neighborhood of Mosul who attended the Friday prayer sermon, quoted the preacher as saying: “The Safawis burned homes and raped women when they entered the city of Tikrit, and those forces are led by Qasim Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who in participation with the Hezbollah militia seek to enter Mosul, after battles in Tikrit.”
“They will never ever enter Mosul,” the imam reportedly said.
Several sources from the city of Mosul stated to ARA News that a state of fear and anxiety overshadows the city, because people know that the IS leaders will not be able to defend the city for very long, and their withdrawal from other cities and towns proves it.
“Despite assurances made by the Iraqi central government, people are afraid the Iraqi forces will carry out vengeful acts against civilians after the possible departure of the radical group,” one of Mosul’s residents told ARA News.
Noteworthy, the central government forces backed by the Shiite militia of the Popular Mobilization Forces announced earlier their intention to start the battle for Mosul soon.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yusuf
Source: ARA News