Mosul’s Boondock Saints

Almost immediately after Mosul fell to Daesh fighters, local militias began springing up to stanch Daesh’s progess.

Now it seems there are anti-Daesh militias operating inside Mosul targeting Daesh leaders. Just this past weekend, a senior Daesh commander was killed by an unidentified group of gunmen, this comes a few months after several Daesh fighters were killed in gun (presumably with anti-Daesh militias) battle inside the city.

According to a report from Radio Free Europe in September 2015, Daesh has been trying to cover-up the targeted killings of their fighters.

In some cases, the anti-Daesh militias are targeting collaborators as well. That could pose a problem for some militias, as targeting collaborators could draw into question the utility of their actions. It also points to the limits of vigilantism. Where does the group eventually draw the line? How do they determine who is or isn’t a collaborator?

Nonetheless, these Mosul versions of the Boondock Saints are making sure Daesh leadership in Mosul aren’t resting easy every night. I only hope that once the battle to retake the city begins, who ever is leading the charge, has the wherewithal to co-opt those militias. Otherwise they may end up on the target list as well.

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Katie Putz

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