Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants issued directives on Friday in Anbar to punish whoever uses a currency other than the ones issued by the group.
During Friday sermons, Islamic State preachers at the group’s havens on Annah, Rawa and Qaim, west of Anbar, obliged civilians to use coins issued by the group’s “finance bureau”, threatening public whipping for violators.
Past reports had told of the group imposing the currency at other havens in Syria and also in Mosul, its former capital which Iraqi forces recaptured in July.
Islamic State militants have held the three towns since 2014, when they occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim their self-styled “caliphate”. So far, there has not been a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions, but occasional offensives by government forces and allied Popular Mobilization Forces have managed to take over several surrounding villages.
The Iraqi government declared victory over Islamic State in Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, in July, and said it was going to proceed towards other group holdouts, including Anbar. Government troops are currently battling Is out of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh.
Late July, Iraqi army warplanes reportedly dropped millions of messages on western Anbar telling locals that liberation offensives for the province were nearing, and advising them to stay away from militants’ deployments.