As the Mosul battle commences, Daesh is pressed in Syria – Life Under Daesh

Many Daesh members were seen taking their families and belongings out of al-Bab City, heading for al-Maskana (75 km southeast), with some continuing 115km east to Daesh’s Syrian capital of Raqqa City. Further, it has been reported that Daesh planted dozens of booby-trapped IEDs north of al-Bab City, disguised as everyday objects, such as packs of cigarettes, toys, and crates of ammunition. IEDs are one of the greatest cause of casualties in Operation Euphrates Shield. Moreover, Daesh checkpoints north of al-Bab prevent locals from leaving for Free Syria Army-controlled territory, as has been Daesh policy in the past.

Meanwhile, Daesh security forces faced challenges within the city, including issues with its own members. On 11 October, Daesh members surrounded a neighborhood in western al-Bab City after a Daesh member threatened to detonate a suicide vest after Daesh security forces arrested his son for allegedly helping outside groups. The standoff reportedly lasted seven hours, with security forces preventing anyone from leaving or entering the neighborhood. Eventually, the fighter was disarmed and taken into custody. On 14 October, Daesh evicted a family from their home in al-Bab City after their son was identified as among the deceased in a fight between Daesh and anti-Daesh group Usud al-Sharqiya (Lions of the East).

Further, on 16 October, Daesh military police arrested several fighters for dereliction of duty. The arrested Daesh fighters were accused of neglecting their duty because they were found in internet cafes when they should have been on patrol. However, seemingly the arrested fighters were recovering from wounds and were physically unable to fight. Notably, Daesh media has recently focused on wounded and handicapped fighters carrying out administrative duties and suicide bombings despite their ailments.

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