Very little of the news coming out of Mosul, Iraq makes you laugh. This one though…. It is being reported that ISIS fighters are getting desperate to escape the besieged city. Some of them are trying to leave by disguising themselves as civilians. And was caught attempting to flee, dressed in drag. There was just one problem.
Actually, that may be a bit generous. There appear to be several problems. But the facial hair is a dead giveaway. While American readers might be accustomed to a broader spectrum of gender fluidity, Mosul’s standards for gender identification are a bit more old fashioned. Women don’t have beards like this.
He made a valiant attempt at the eye-shadow, though. And that lipstick. Still, he could have used a shave. The Daily Mail is reporting that he was even wearing a padded bra. The images were released by the Iraqi Army.
And this isn’t the first time this has been recorded. The tactic was attempted in Ramadi, too, though it seems no lessons were learned.
Mosul itself isn’t looking nearly as pretty. The old city hasn’t survived the months of bombardment and fighting between ISIS fighters and those trying to liberate the city. UN Habitat, using satellite imagery, estimates that one third of the city has been destroyed. More than 5,000 structures were destroyed in one three week phase of the fight.
The battle of Mosul has lasted for more than 9 months. US and Iraqi forces have worked diligently to clear the streets and free the civilian population. The city was declared liberated on July 10th, though there are still ISIS fighters who have not left.
As the civilian population returns, they are experiencing new problems.
Safwan al-Habar, 48, spoke to the Mail. His house in the al-Zinjili district, was booby-trapped by the ISIS fighters. “Two bombs attached to each other with wire. If you put your leg on it, it will explode,” he said.
While the victory in Mosul is something to celebrate, there’s still work to be done. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke on Friday and said he believes Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still alive. “I think Baghdadi’s alive… and I’ll believe otherwise when we know we’ve killed him. We are going after him, but we assume he is alive.”
If he is alive, he may very well look like this: