By risking their own lives, and in hiding for IS, people inside Mosul are desperately trying to report to those on the outside what is happening. This is what they write.
The message came from a young man on the inside of IS bastion of Mosul last week, sent from one friend to another, on October 9:
"IS has now cut the internet, even in cafes and there are roadblocks everywhere. They also prevent civilians from leaving the city, and they have given orders to kill anyone who tries to leave, even IS-members who are trying to leave. The situation is horrific, everyone here is afraid."
Getting information from Mosul is now very difficult.
Therefore, the Norwegian newspaper ]VG has in recent days asked Iraqis and Syrians with friends and family inside Mosul to share the messages they have received. That way, the outside world will get an idea of what goes on inside the IS-controlled metropolis.
It was Mohammad Khedhr who got the message out. He runs the network "Sound and Picture" which is trying to inform the world about what is happening in areas occupied by IS in Syria and Iraq.
There are almost a million civilians left inside the Iraqi city of Mosul, as a coalition of armies with different interests now are attacking from all sides. In the air over the city US-led bombers fly.
What is now unfolding is the biggest battle against IS, ever.
After IS took the city in an onslaught in June 2014, reports from inside the city have become fewer and fewer. While IS has lost ever more control over its so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, they have also become more paranoid. In Mosul, signal towers have been destroyed and all internet connections are attempted closed.
IS does not want the citizens to communicate with someone on the outside. They are afraid that the people inside the city will provide information to the Iraqi army, or the US-led coalition.
But in desperate times people are also more creative. When residents find mobile coverage or internet, they quickly message friends and acquaintances who are waiting in local refugee camps in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, or in refugee centers.
- Everyday life becomes harder. IS raids houses in search of guns or internet connection. They have also become less difficult when it comes to dress codes and beard rules. They have also recently given much aid and food to civilians. They try to get the civilians on their side, reads a message to Mohammad Khedhr from friend in Mosul.
Mohammad Khedhr tells VG how IS desperately is trying to cut off Mosul from the outside world:
* A few months ago IS banned internet inside private homes, then, a week ago, the group forbade internet connection in all cafes. Now web cafes are completely closed.
* According Khedhr, IS now increasingly raids private homes in search of secret WiFi receivers or other internet devices.
* They use fear as a tool: Last week IS executed many they thought communicated with the coalition that is fighting against them.
The offensive to retake Iraq's second largest city was launched Monday night. 30,000 soldiers are now moving in from several sides, while between 4,000-8,000 IS terrorists inside the city are getting ready for battle.
The civilians are caught in the crossfire.
Because communication with people inside Mosul is so important for the attacking force, the Iraqi army has in recent days started to put up new phone lines to make sure the people of Mosul again get a signal.
Author and poet Rusly Almaleky is in Baghdad. Recently he has received messages from friends and acquaintances inside Mosul.
- IS is terrified that citizens will disclose information to the enemy forces who attack them. Everyone I talk to is afraid of being exposed, says Almaleky in a telephone conversation with VG.
His impression is that opposition to the Islamic State within the city has increased recently. Several media have written that anti-IS graffiti has been tagged on walls inside the city, and a local resistance movement was discovered by IS a short while ago. 58 were executed afterwards.
VG was earlier this year near the front towards IS in Iraq. The Kurdish Peshmerga forces then believed that they could take Mosul within a few days.
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